by Steven Doyle
There are days in the year worth celebrating. Some have significance, religious or personally meaningful like a true love’s birthday or anniversary. Other holidays instill pride for our country and the flag. The United States recognizes only 10 days as national holidays, and they are certainly legitimate, like Christmas and Independence Day. Take it down a notch and you’ve got government-sanctioned national observances, like Mother’s Day and Flag Day. Then there are less meaningful days in our country which simply are meant to bring a small curl to the lips and a twinkle in the eyes of people like me, and maybe a marketing department somewhere or the manufacturer of corn flakes.. Today might very well be one of those days.
Now I realize that foodie holidays are a bit silly, and perhaps self serving to those which brought them to light. But these are no less marvelous as holidays heavily promoted by the likes of Hallmark and Whitman’s Sampler on behalf of Valentines Day.
To this end we celebrate with great joy National Pie Day. This ranks in my personal book along side National Burger, Texas Chicken Fried Steak and National Bourbon Day. Perhaps it gives great credence to the idea that I need to ponder and otherwise sample in large capacity, pies, fried meats and brown liquor.
Regardless, enjoy the Dallas pie list as much as I did in preparation.
Let us start the list with a pie that is so timely in a variety of ways. This is the Samoa Pie made by Whistle Britches, owned and cheffed by James Beard nominated Omar Flores. Timely in the fact he be appearing on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives next month, which will no doubt escalate his restaurant to a degree none of us might be able to enter without long waits, but also that this is prime season for Girl Scout cookies. And that Samoa box doesn’t last long, as this pie offering may not either. Chef Flores assures us that the Samoa pie will remain on his menu at least for a season, and if you call ahead you may order an entire pie. It is just that delicious. And chicken.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle has been offering this coconut pie for ever bit as long as I can remember. It is one of the reasons I eat steak.
This is a bit of a stretch, but Lekka makes this wonderful cheesecake that happens to have a slice of red velvet cake on top. Count? We think so. They also have an assortment of sinful pies waiting for you at both locations; North Dallas and on Henderson.
Our premiere pie maker in Dallas is no doubt the young ladies you run Emporium Pie with location in McKinney, Deep Ellum and their flagship in Bishop Arts. There is something about a business that focuses on a single item. You would expect that one item to be the most terrific in its class, and Emporium performs this quite well. Enjoy the chocolate with a salty pretzel crust (Smooth Operator), the seasonal coconut custard (The Snowball), or our favorite made with a buttery shortbread crust, and a sweet sauce of bourbon, butter and brown sugar topped with Texas pecans (The Drunken Nut). All Available by the slice or whole.
The pies at Liberty Burger get very personal, but large enough to share. Taste the chocolate or the coconut after enjoying a superior burger. Can you believe as of this writing there are now eight locations, including one in Jackson, Wyoming? That is a lot of pie.
Is it odd that the coconut pie shows up so many times on this list and it is not necessarily our favorite (OK, it might be). Check out this insanely good pie from the folks at Malai Kitchen have this pie on the menu year round and it is made with a coconut crust, plenty of whipped cream and a caramel drizzle. Oh, we have the recipe but seriously, let them do the heavy lifting.
TJ’s Seafood Market and Grill has two locations, both sporting this lush and creamy key lime pie. After wolfing down a slice I was tempted to order another but instead held temptation and just went to the other location for a second. Don’t want to look piggish, now do we? Oh yea, Lobster Night, fresh daily seafood, great wine selection and pie.
When I message Fearing’s pastry chef Jill Bates she most likely knows I am looking for the latest of her desserts to suit the seasonal story I am conjuring. Without a doubt each, at least most of the time, the new concoction will feature a fried pie. God bless her, and God bless the Ritz-Carlton.
Norma’s Cafe sells enough pie each year to line up to the moon and back 12 times. OK, I made that up. How about free pie today (Jan 23rd, 2018) to make up for that whopper. You may start with pie, but finish with the plateful of chicken fried steak.
Featuring burgers, fried chicken, cabbage rolls and poutine, the Maple Leaf Diner is a slice of Canada and a whole lot of pies baked fresh each day for my personal enjoyment.
Bisous Bisous Patisserie might be best known for their incredible macarons, but this is not a one trick pony pastry shop. They also serve up fine pastries such as muffins, cruffins, scones, cookies, eclairs, tea cakes, cakes and tarts. Tarts qualify as a pie today and check out this beauty.
Finally, we leave you with one of our very favorite pot pies in Dallas that happens to be as large as a hubcap. Try the Chicken Pot Pie at The Grill on the Alley at the Galleria for a hearty treat you will not soon forget.