Pie on the Highway – Henry’s Restaurant
Posted by cmh gourmand on April 21, 2009
6275 US Highway 40
West Jefferson, OH 43162
Call for Hours
Take Cash – No Credit Cards, No Checks
Philville Phil and I were en route to the US Air Force Museum in Dayton a while back – (which also included a trip to my favorite Dayton hippy lunch spot Christophers and purchase of a few Dorothy Lane Market Killer Brownies!). I am not a fan of driving on I 70 if the weather is nice and I am not on a timetable. As were neared exit 80 (OH-29/State Route 29/Urbana-West Jefferson) I had a notion that Phil could use some adventure in the form of pie.
Henry’s is the type of spot you are going to drive by. First, only locals drive on US 40. Second, the place looks closed and on occasion it looks abandoned. Such is not the case. Henry’s has a long tradition of creating old school, lard laced, sugar laden, fruit filled pies. Back in the day, the former pie mistress took her baked wares to the local fairs and won many a ribbon. In old editions of Road Food by Jane and Michael Stern, this place was listed as an essential Ohio stop. Today, the pies are still as good but the attention has faded.
We arrived about 8:45 AM and inquired about pie. We were told the cupboard was bare. The woman behind the counter could tell we were on a mission, so she asked if we might be passing back later in the day. I figured we would be done with our Dayton doings by mid-afternoon so I asked if they would have any pie after lunch. She said she would be glad to hold a few slices for us. When we asked what was baking she listed off a bakers dozen of varieties – maybe more – apple, cherry, peach, chocolate, peanut butter, coconut cream, several other creams, and more. We placed an order for a slice of Blackberry and a slice of Chocolate.
We came back about 6 PM to find our pie was still waiting for us. We were lucky because most of the pies were gone – some eaten by the slice and others sold by the box. Since we had been eating all afternoon, I put off my pie until the next day. My slice looked average on the outside, not something that would appear on the cover of Gourmet but looks can be deceiving. My slice of black berry pie had expertly executed crust – flaky but not dry, dense but light, thick where it counted and a little chewy.
As for Philville Phil…apparently he forgot about his pie or his wife ate it, I’m not sure which. He would not elaborate and seemed to tear up when I asked about the disposition of his slice.