Remember the fried pies McDonald's used to serve back in the '70s? The tasty treats were a personal favorite of mine, even more tantalizing than Happy Meals. I always tried to talk the adults I was with into purchasing one for me. There was something about the texture, the flavor, the sheer warmth and scent of a hot pie that made me happy.
Of course, times changed. Restaurants started going healthy. "Fried" became a dirty word. The delectable temptation under the Golden Arches disappeared and I stopped frequenting the franchise.
Over the years, I've tried all sorts of pies -- meringue, cream, nut, fried, baked. I've had all sorts of pie configurations -- round, square, wedges, some served cold and some served hot. I've had Mile High Pie from Ed & Kay's, Ms. Lena's Fried Pies, the momentous Strawberry Pie from Strawn's in Shreveport and Boston Cream Pie at the Omni Parker House in Boston. But I never found that first love of pie again.
That is, until earlier this month, when on a Saturday evening I happened to find an old friend in an unexpected place, a barbeque joint here in Little Rock. My joy in finding this blessing on a plate was only equalled by the more than reasonable price for the bubbling hot wonder.
I am a sucker for pies in any shape or form, and after dining on brisket and twice-baked stuffed potato I craved another sweet offering from the dessert menu. And for $1.25, how could I go wrong with a hot peach pie?
The place -- Cross Eyed Pig BBQ off Highway 10 in West Little Rock, behind NYPD Pizza. I was told it would take a few minutes to prepare the pie, so I sat down and joined in conversation with my traveling companion.
Within minutes, the pie had arrived -- a crispy, golden pocket of goodness served up with a pile of whipped cream on the side. It was very hot and the aroma drew memories out of hiding in my mind.
Somehow or another, Cross Eyed Pig has managed to recreate a childhood favorite right down to the crispy bubbles on the surface. The hot pies are perfectly augmented with the cool cream and a real bargain for someone who wants to make a trip down memory lane.
With pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato, apple, and all sorts of other pies adorning the sideboard this Thanksgiving, do you have a special memory of pie to share? Your comments are hereby solicited. And... happy Thanksgiving!