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Archive for the ‘pies’ Category

Mama Renie’s Pizza: McArthur, OH – Pie Post Script

Posted by CMH Gourmand on June 15, 2017

My core readership of 137 may recall my various posts concerning McArthur Ohio or as I now call it the western oasis of the Hocking Valley and future home of my Southeast Ohio Bigfoot & Identified Bigfoot Sanctuary and Interpretive Center. Those said readers may recall my one lament about McArthur, not trying the pie at Mama Renie’s. Well last Thursday, I corrected that. I took two cohorts on a sales trip to Southeast Ohio to explore Family Donut Shop, Mama Renie’s, O’Betty’s Hot Dogs, Casa Nueva, Jackie O’s, Little Fish Brewery, Hocking Valley Winery, Brewery 33 and Loose Rail Brewing.

At Mama Renie’s the three of us walked in at lunch time and ordered three waters, two slices of pie and one order of chips, which seemed odd to our server as well as everyone eating in the establishment. However when I explained I was taking my colleagues on a progressive lunch through the Hocking Valley she recalled me from my previous visit, laughed and asked if I wanted ice cream with the pie. “Yes, Ma’am.”

The pie is made by a local pie maker that by report has garnered many awards at county fairs and the like. We sampled Peach Pie and Strawberry Pie. My two companions are very experienced eaters, both are from the restaurant industry, and their opinions aligned with mine. These were classic Ohio comfort food slices of pie. The fillings were simple and full of flavor, the crust was neither too flakey or too crusty, in the Goldilocks Zone of just right. And unlike the fancy, artisan, hipster pies of Columbus, these were not small slices for $6 but large slices for $2.99.

So, if you happen to be in McArthur and don’t have room for a pizza, pop in to Mama Renie’s for a slice of pie.

slices of pie

Posted in culinary knowledge, Ohio, pies, Road Trip | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Mama Renie’s Pizza: McArthur Ohio

Posted by CMH Gourmand on July 29, 2016

(An installment in the Route 56 Trilogy and the Grumpy Old Man Saga)

Our tale of Mama Renie’s involves several sidetrips both literally and figuratively so let us begin our journey. The path to Mama Renie’s was a long and winding trail. it began when I became aware of Family Donut Shoppe in Londonderry which started my exploration of Route 56. For this trip to McArthur I sought out a co-pilot in the Grumpy Old Man. Readers may be familiar with the Grumpy Old Man from another installment in the Route 56 Trilogy – Carl’s Townhouse. One the first exploration of Route 56, I talked the Grumpy Old Man into going to Family Donut shop the first time by promising a trip to O’Betty’s in Athens after. At the mid-point of our first Route 56 adventure we passed through Mcarthur and the place below caught my eye. My eatery sixth sense kicked in and knew I had to head back some day (soon).


(Take a look at the sign in the photo). A sign on a pizza place which says Breakfast 6 am is the sign of a full service establishment that warrants investigation. Looking at the brick work (glazed enamel which was high-end in the 1920’s) of this building I could tell this place has a lot of history which meant – the potential for a lot of character.

So once again, I talked the Grumpy Old Man into joining me on another Route 56 adventure. This time we would go to Carl’s Townhouse and since Family Donut Shop was only 15 miles away we would head back there and then proceed to McArthur for a very detailed scouting mission.

Now long time readers of this blog are thinking “why would the Grumpy Old Man need to be talked into what sounds like a great day trip?” Well, the back story is complicated but I’ll provide some bullet points. I’ve known the Grumpy Old Man for almost thirty years and along the way we have had many good adventures: camping trips, a trip to Baltimore where I slept under a pool table and wore reindeer pants, a 4 day trip to Puerto Rico that nearly led to my death by pork and rum overdose and at least six trips to Lake Hope. The Lake Hope adventures are the ones that lead to the trepidation the Grumpy Old Man has when I make a trip pitch to him. Lake Hope Adventures typically involve the following: five to seven meals per day in Athens (sometimes going to the same place two to three times in a day), a long hike where we are sometimes unclear if we will finish…or survive, a hangover, often extended bursts of intestinal gas and on our last two trips drinking one bottle of Yering Station Fortified Shiraz which is the finest and one of the most potent wines in the world. And unfortunately for me can only be found at the Yering Station winery in the Yarra Valley and my supply is now depleted which is fortunate for the Grumpy old man. While the Grumpy Old Man enjoys a trip to Lake Hope he has found the rigors of my itineraries wear him out and age him about 1 year in 3 to 4 days. A shared bottle of fortified Shiraz seems to age him about 3 years. My additional selling point for our McArthur scouting run is that this little town is only 14.7 miles from the cabin we stay in at Lake Hope. Somehow in all of our trips to Lake Hope and the surrounding area we have never been to McArthur. So if McArthur did indeed have a good place to eat, I would have an alternative to Athens on our adventures and thus he would have some protection from my indulgences at Jackie O’s, Devil’s Kettle, Little Fish, West End Cider House and such. This added to a guaranteed trip to Family Donut Shoppe allowed the Grumpy Old Man to commit to be tripped.

However, after lunch at Carl’s and second lunch at Family Donut Shoppe, the Grumpy Old Man asked if we were going to skip McArthur and just head home. Of course my response was merely a roll of my eyes as we moved on down the road to our destiny (this is why I always drive so that my agenda can’t be trumped).

Upon arrival in McArthur we did a quick drive by of our target sites in town then exited the vehicle to explore McArthur on foot (which took about 10 minutes). We were not sure if Mama Renie’s was open and the Grumpy Old Man was reluctant to enter so I scouted it solo by trying to find an unlocked door. I was a bit disoriented upon entering because the interior is very dark with minimal lighting as well as a very dark, long wood bar and booths. I knew based on the look of the bar alone that Mama Renie’s was worth this trip. I returned outside to fetch the Grumpy Old Man and apparently I was not just scouting for myself, as two frumpy twenty something ladies that were also casing out the place entered when I came out to give the thumps up.

Since Grumpy and I were both full from our previous meals we just opted to order a beer a piece as we took time to soak in the atmosphere of the bar. I explained that we would not be eating but that would still like to look at the menu. The menu looked very promising offering a full breakfast menu, some sandwiches and of course pizza. One thing caught my eye because it was completely unexpected…..homemade potato chips. So against the protestations of the Grumpy Old Man I placed an order. You can see where the chips fell below.


These chips were great. Some were very crispy and a few still had some chewiness. All together the best barroom snack for a place like this. While we munched away we began to chat with our server/host to find that her son has owned the restaurant for over 15 years but in the past the place had hidden tunnels and trap doors used to hide and sell moonshine during prohibition. Other things that caught my eye during my exploration of the building were decades of photos of local sports teams – mostly basketball, which is big in Vinton County. I also found an old business license and photo of owners from the late 1940’s. All in all the place has the look and vibe of many of the neighborhood bars in Cleveland so the Grumpy Old Man felt right at home. I continued my discussions with our new friend behind the bar I decided that I needed to order a pizza (to go – even I was beyond full at this point) because she kept talking about how good the pizza was. We also covertly watched what the other people were eating (everything looked good) and heard an older couple struggling over what pie to order. In the process of their deciding we overheard that the pie purveyor Mama Renie’s uses is well-known throughout Vinton County. We did see a few slices of pie and they did indeed look exceptional.


Eventually, we reluctantly departed Mama Renie’s. The Grumpy Old Man was excited to head home but I told him we were not done yet, we needed to back track to check out the other place that looked good on our drive into McArthur. After quelling a minor mutiny we headed to Main Eatery to pick up a beverage only for the long ride back to Columbus. As we approached the building we noticed the 20 something frumps had followed us (henceforth known as the McArthur girls) and they did declare “we are not following you guys….really”. I know better, my guess is that they had spied the two boxes of Family Donut Shoppe donuts in my Subaru and were looking for an opportunity to steal them. So I gallantly insisted that they order first (so I could keep an eye on them and my donuts). After the McArthur girls ordered their shakes and planted themselves on the patio we started chatting up the woman at the ordering window. She went on at length about all Main Eatery has to offer including over 150 types of shakes, house make corned beef, fresh sauces, etc. Very impressive for a small building that just looks like a typical, generic soft serve ice cream stand. At this point the Grumpy Old Man was beyond distraught, thinking I was going to force another meal on him, he started to make a run for the house next door which had a Safe Place logo sign on the door. Since I was full and had a full pizza and box of donuts in my car, all I ordered as a small cole slaw for the road. We bid the McArthur girls adieu (until our next meeting, they did look like stalkers) and headed back to Columbus via SR 93 and 33.

I am happy to report both the pizza from Mama Renie’s and the cole slaw from Main Eatery were really good and made a fine dinner that evening. The Grumpy Old Man survived this adventure as well and still talks about the Family Donut Shop and the McArthur Girls each week.


100 W Main St, McArthur, OH 45651
(740) 596-3300

Mama Renie's Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Ohio, pies, pizza, Road Trip | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Honeykiss Bakery: Pie of the Month Club

Posted by CMH Gourmand on August 14, 2014

I’m not really sure I need to write much in this post – the title says it all. Honeykiss Bakery offers a pie of the month club. Yes, indeed. You can have a pie delivered to your house once per month. A very pleasant pie pixie, makes a wonderful pie and delivers it to your house. You can choose your monthly pies or go with the seasonal selections suggested. Whatever route you choose, the pie will rock your socks.

So like Fight Club, there are rules for Pie Club, well at least the rules I made up.

The first rule: of pie of the month club is that you do talk about pie of the month club.
The second rule: of pie of the month club is that you DO talk about pie of the month club.
The third rule: If someone says “stop” or goes limp, the pie from the pie of the month club must be gone.
The fourth rule: Only two people per pie.
The fifth rule One pie at a time.
The sixth rule: No pies, don’t cry.
The seventh rule: The Pie Club will go on as long as you eat pie.
The eighth rule: If this is your first time for Pie Club, you HAVE to eat all of your pie.

Honeykiss 2

I’ve been a big fan of Rachel Eaton’s pies since almost day one of operation. I’ve written about her peanut butter pie and I interviewed her back in my radio days. I have eaten quite a bit as well, mostly at The Ohio Taproom. Taproom owner John Evans must have seen how many slices I was consuming when he was tallying his monthly sales because he signed me and Mrs. Gourmand up for the pie of the month club as our wedding present.


The timing could not have been better. Our first pie was delivered after our first week of rehabbing our new home. My better half and I were stinky and tired as we were wrapping up another long day of painting, scraping and building when we spied our first pie on the porch. The second pie came a few days after Mrs. Gourmand broke her tibia, fibia and ankle slowing her down a notch and raising the need for pie considerably. We look forward to our soon to arrive August pie as I write this. Oh Boy! So if you are looking for more pie in your life, I’d suggest you have it delivered to you via the Honeykiss Bakery Pie of the Month Club.

Posted in CLOSED, desserts, pies | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Kuhlwein’s Farm Market and & Deli

Posted by CMH Gourmand on July 30, 2013


As some of you know, I have often said that there are only two reasons to go to Hilliard: Starliner Diner and Olive Tree. I have now added a third – Kuhlweins. I went there in search of two items. Jami’s Cheesecake and the Kulhwein’s Sub. I was only able to get one, we will get to that in bit.

Kuhlwein’s has evolved from a farm stand to an almost-suburban farmers market destination. The market is located next to some of its fresh produce, in particular, farm fresh corn. Visitors have come to that for years. The recently expanded their deli and it’s offerings to include a wider range of sandwiches and lunch meats. My goad was the Italian sub, but they were out of subs. How could this be? Well it seems that they serve the sub with a special multi-herb and seasoned Italian dressing that uncle Kuhlwein has crafted about 6 months ago (according to his nephew). This is liberally doused onto an Auddinos (home of the cronut) sub bun then piled high with freshly sliced deli meats, fresh lettuce and tomatoes then topped with mix of mozzarella and provolone cheeses which melts while the bun is toasted. They start making them fresh daily at 11:00 am.


Sounds like the perfect sandwich right? Well, as it goes, it may be. However, I did not eat it. They generally run out of sauce and ingredients early in the day so it is suggested that you order ahead. I was told they would make more sauce but they have two people picking corn full-time right now and if they had enough people they would have two more out there. So no extra hands to increase sauce production. The sandwich was described to me by a combination of employees and nearby customers – they all love the sub and say they have sworn off all other subs.

I’ll be back for that sub.

Also at Kuhlwein’s are large scoops of ice cream, a lot of produce. homemade baked goods from many nearby bakers, canned and pickles vegetables, groceries, a lot of corn, on the day I arrived a sign for free rabbits and much more.


I did find Jami’s Cheesecake – there were a few left. I sampled the Oreo. It was exquisite. Dense, moist, fresh, with a very tasty crust. Every rating area on my cheesecake index scored in the 10 out of 10 level. Thank goodness they had the cheesecake. And thank you Jami – whoever you are, you make a great product.

When I have the sub sandwich, I am sure I will tweet about it and hope to write about it too.


1859 Walker Rd
614 876-2833

Posted in bakery, culinary misadventure, desserts, pies, Road Trip, sandwiches, Sub Dude | 4 Comments »

CLEWeek: Sweet Moses

Posted by CMH Gourmand on June 11, 2013


I like ice cream. In fact I like Ice cream a lot. I have eaten much more than you have. I have read more about it. I may have made more than you have. So, in case it is not yet clear, I have a thing for ice cream. In an alternate retirement path for me, I see myself owning an ice cream shop in Athens Ohio that would be a more accessible, less (oh my god I am going go say/write it) pretentious version of Jeni’s. Another thing I have a thing for is history – the stories, lore, facts and falsehoods of food history, in particular ice cream.

The above sets the stage for why I adore Sweet Moses. Creating a culinary experience is a difficult task. Creating one that is also historically accurate as well as really, deliciously, painfully good and still profitable is……near impossible, downright expensive and risky as hell. So when I approached the doors of Sweet Moses, I was a bit skeptical. I really did not want to get my hopes up only to see them melt away and go down the drain.

The closest experience in my life to a true soda fountain occurred in my early youth before I could appreciate it. The Beechwold Pharmacy just up the street from my childhood abode was a quick banana seated bike ride away. I might have peeked my head in a few times as a youth, but I never stayed long enough to enjoy the place. It seemed a bit old-fashioned for my inexperienced pre-gourmand, pre teenage self. I was more interested in the pharmacy across the street that had an ancient coke machine dispensing a freezing cold bottle of coke for a quarter next to a stack of 25-cent comic books that time forgot. By the time I did get to an age where I could appreciate a true soda fountain, the Beechwold Pharmacy was a florist shop and I was scooping ice cream at my first job at Knight’s Ice Cream. (Note: I did find this soda fountain again in my later years).


Now that the flashback sequence is over, let’s get back to Sweet Moses. First – the name.
Sweet as in everything this establishment serves. Moses as in Moses Cleaveland, the founding father of Cleveland. Located within the Gordon Square Arts District, Sweet Moses was created with the intention of providing a family friendly place where guests can hang out, take their time and slow down a bit transporting themselves back to the era and pace of the 1930’s and 1940’s, the heyday of the soda jerk. Since we are all a bit too hectic and unschooled in the ways of the soda fountain, the shop conveniently displays signs to guide guests through the disorientation of not knowing what to do…. and having forgotten how to chill out a bit.


Sweet Moses gets every little detail right – from the antique high cresting wooden booths, swivel top stools and wire backed parlor chairs to the triple draft arm Bastion Blessings soda fountain from the 1940’s. Fortunately for us while owner Jeffrey Moreau was preparing for his departure from corporate American he was also collecting real deal soda fountain and ice cream parlor components from the 1920’s to 1940’s throughout a five state area. Some of the menu boards are repurposed from an 1800’s farmhouse. Moreau’s dream was to create a place that fit in with its neighborhood and would feel like it had always been there. His goal: to be authentic without being hokey was not the easiest task.


However collecting the equipment was an easier task than trying to get all of the soda fountain recipes right and ensuring flavors were spot on. A lot of soda fountain lore was lost in the decades so a fair amount of trial an error was needed before opening in March of 2011. And let me assure you, having sampled almost everything that everything is as it should be at Sweet Moses…..just right. The ice cream base is made using Hartzler Dairy milk from Wooster. The root beer is home-made and hand carbonated. The butterscotch, sauces and toppings are made from hand….all labor intensive, all ingredient driven and not inexpensive to source. The major investment is in time – it takes longer to make something than pour it out of a can but the tastes differences between fresh and manufactured never compare. For example, for the Bananas Foster Ice Cream, twenty just right and ripe bananas go into each tub of ice cream. The ice cream machine is the same (Rolls Royce of the trade) Carpigiani that Jeni’s Ice Cream uses. For those of you that are ice cream savvy, the ice cream is low overflow (dense ice cream with a low air content) with about 12% butterfat…..that is the sweet spot for ice cream in my book.


Whether the ice cream is scooped or dished served in a sundae or fresh made waffle cone – the attention to detail is shown in every item served from the counter. What else makes the experience authentic – soda jerk garb of hats and aprons adore each employee as well as a bit of soda jerk jargon getting slung behind the counter. Many of the tables have small placards with details about the shop, the lingo and the lore of soda fountains. Small touches include a salty pretzel attached to the spoon of each sweet sundae. Water service to each table, a lacy coaster with each dish – the right spoon for the right glass – everything must be just so.

What else makes the place a destination: Homemade pies….and brownies. Served with or without ice cream have quickly become well worth the calorie commitment. Or maybe a peanut butter sandwich….simple, basic, American as apple pie….and if you come on the right day, you could get that too. Another item that started as an afterthought and has become a signature items is house made caramel corn, with the addition of handcrafted toffee.


Or maybe you want to bring someone with you for The Gordon Square: homemade brownie covered with Bananas Foster ice cream then topped with warm caramel and hot fudge. The more ambitious or the chronically indecisive may want The Terminal Tower:Ten scoops of ice cream—one scoop of each regular flavor with five toppings, almonds, pecans, sprinkles, whipped cream, some cherries and a few things I may have forgotten.
Jeffrey Moreau aimed to create something that would honor the past and by doing so, has ensured a sweet future on Gordon Square.
6800 Detroit Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio

the end

Posted in CLEGourmand, desserts, ice cream, Ohio, pies, Road Trip | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Lindsey Bakery: A Roundtown Adventure on the Ohio Donut Trail

Posted by CMH Gourmand on May 17, 2011

The donut tasting team arrived in Circleville just after 9:30 on a blustery Saturday Morning. My two tasters had not been to Circleville before. It had been a while for me too. Driving down Main Street all three of us were super smitten by the small town feel at the same moment. It felt like stepping back into time. It felt good maybe even giddy. If we were not at the beginning of a long day of researching, we would have stayed to sit on a bench to talk to town folks, stroll the streets and explore the mom and pop businesses on the stretch. It felt good to feel at home somewhere after just a few minutes.

We liked Lindsey’s just for being in Circleville and we had not even gone through the door. The outside is classic small town Main Street frontage with several handwritten signs on the windows. There is a sign indicating a drive thru – I could not quite figure out how that worked or were it was but I was happy to see the option for donuts on the run. Walking through the entrance, we loved the place. Lindsey’s opened in 1950; it still feels like the fifties inside. The display cases and counter are set up to form a deep U. There were five or six people on the service side ready to answer questions and serve up baked goods. Behind them we could see more handwritten signs and photos of famous politician figures who have come to Lindsey’s to show their endorsement for this home town favorite. Regardless of their politics, it is easy to agree with their taste. Lindsay’s has a wide assortment of all things doughy including cookies, rolls, cinnamon buns, pepperoni rolls (rare in Ohio but ubiquitous in West Virginia so quite a surprise…and pretty good too) and more. It is clear the bakers in the back stay very busy and productive here. Every customer present was a regular with their names and typical orders well-known by the Lindsey’s crew.

We were here for donuts. It seems that all of our questions, deliberate donut selecting and re-selecting then double backing and upgrading to a second box intrigued the folks behind the counter. Our hosts were amused by our mission and made more suggestions based on years and decades behind the counter. The main thing we came for was pumpkin donuts. Lindsay has had made them for over sixty years for a devoted following. People order by the box and worry about the bakeshop running out. Pumpkin donuts are a signature delight in Roundtown (as Circleville is known). In addition to pumpkin donuts, they make pies. Big pies, as in the world’s largest Pumpkin Pie, for the annual Circleville Pumpkin Show. The recipe goes something like this………

For all of my time and photos taken at Lindsey’s I did not get a single donut shot. The donuts are good. The environment is delightful and Circleville has a charm that is hard to describe. This is case where the whole (or donut hole) is greater than the sum of the parts. Come for the donuts and stay for everything else when you drop in at Lindsey’s.

Also of note, we did take a moment for a little side trip to the Oldest Confectioner in the United States just a few blocks away…….Wittich’s

Circleville is worth the trip with plenty to do in between bites.

Lindsey Bakery aka Bake Shop
127 West Main Street
Circleville aka Roundtown

Lindsey Bake Shop on Urbanspoon

Posted in bakery, donuts, Ohio Donut Trail, pies, Road Trip | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Crabill’s Hamburgers, Urbana

Posted by CMH Gourmand on September 13, 2009

Crabill’s Hamburgers
727 Miami Street

There are several different routes you could choose to head to Crabill’s in Urbana, each will take you through small towns, past farmers stands and involve at least one major freeway. The one way trip will cost you an hour and a quarter or slightly more of your time. The journey is worth the effort for a taste of hamburger history.

burger balls become small hamburgers

burger balls become small hamburgers

Three generations of Crabill’s have used a special spatula to smash small hamburger balls into mini hamburgers since 1927. The first burgers were cooked in a hamburger buggy. As business grew a small six seater stand became Crabills. This hamburger hangout took a brief respite for a few years but was brought back in the tradition of the original. The third generation of Crabill’s opened as Crabill’s on Wheels and used the momentum to rebuild the business to open the new stand. The location today is not the original but it does have the six stools from the much smaller 1929 edition of Crabills.

sit on history

sit on history

The menu is as small as the building. Choices include hamburgers, cheeseburgers, double burgers (suggested), chili dogs, a few other items and homemade pies. There is a drive through window which does a brisk business all day. The true Crabill’s experience involves finding an open stool inside and watching the hamburgers grilled in front of you from the counter.

There is an old school approach to hamburger toppings that goes back to the 1920’s: mustard, relish and/or onions. In 1990, ketchup was added as an option. Burgers are ordered, grilled quickly and dressed right in front of you. A typical experience is to order a few, love them, observe that they seem to disappear quickly and then order a few more. There are several regular customers that just walk in and are served without ordering because their tastes are so well known to the staff.

Chili Dog

Chili Dog

For the sake of diversity, I also sampled a chili dog. Homemade chili is served (Ohio style) on a slightly toasted bun with a bit of sear to the hot dog. In my opinion, that is the proper approach to hot dog creation, not bad for a place with an eighty plus year history of “hamburgering”.

There are also other traditions here. Large scale consumption of hamburgers as in 33 hamburgers in 45 minutes in 2007. The owners and staff are friendly and clearly have fun doing what they do and interacting with their customers, neighbors and friends.

classic combo: cheeseburger and bottle of coke

classic combo: cheeseburger and bottle of coke

Posted in hamburgers, pies, restaurants, Road Trip | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

On the Road Again, Newark: The Eatery

Posted by CMH Gourmand on April 23, 2009

The Eatery

44 West Locust Street (4th and Locust, off SR 13)
Newark (Nerk)

Monday to Saturday 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Sunday 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM

My job takes me on the road on occasion. Everytime I hit the road, I take a big hit because the work piles up in the office. However, the time behind the wheel is the only peace I get during the workweek – I can’t have a blackberry or a non Flintstone era laptop so the drivetime is dead time. My area is Columbus, Southeast Ohio and the non populated parts of Northeast Ohio. I see a lot of small towns and back roads. The real bonus is that I often get to eat lunch – as in sit at a table and eat an actual meal, something that rarely happens when I am in my cubical farm.

Other than NPR and some rocking i Pod playlists, what really makes my back road public service bearable is my sixth sense for good small town eateries, I can always find the best place to eat in any town I land in. When I was in Newark, my discovery was The Eatery.

Walking through the door I could have walked into 1961, 1978 or later, the place is a timeless small town diner. Whether you are 21 or 60 and whether your waitress is 16 or 36, you are going to be called hon or honey – multiple times. There is a round pie case on display just as you enter. It is stacked with some great looking pies that look like they should be on the cover of a magazine or maybe a centerfold. I knew this was going to be my lunch spot before my waitress called me hon and told me to sit wherever I liked. The locals tolerated me being a non local. I slid into my booth and surveyed the menu.

I ordered the Shepard’s Pie, a special for the day with a side of coleslaw. Both were good. Coleslaw is my diner canary in a coal mine, if it sucks so goes the meal. I was served the standard two rolls with butter swatches and plenty of refills on my beverage. I asked the waitress for pie guidance but she was stumped because “they are all so good, honey”. I believed her – I know good pie when I see it. Finally we decided I would have the double fudge cake because it just came out from the kitchen. Two layers of cake, separated by a dense, pudding like layer of fudge and encased in a thick chocolate icing with a big tear drop shaped dollop of buttercream frosting on top. Damn that cake was good.

The Eatery does breakfast all day – an essential for the quintessential Ohio diner. Some interesting deals are offered during the week. On Tuesdays, free dessert comes with your entree from 4PM to 7PM. On Wednesdays, there is a beat the clock feature on several dinner entrees. If you arrive before 5 PM, your meal is $5, if you arrive before 6:15 PM your meal is $6.15. Who in the heck would come after that anyway since the restaurant closes at 7PM?

Downtown Newark has an old school town square that is filled with independent businesses – not a Starbucks to be seen. Driving through I could see a sign for a big book store called Cindamar as well as The Buckeye Winery – two places that could keep me busy for a long time – if I had the time, but I had to get back on the road to my next appointment. I should have bought a whole pie before I left – the road can be lonely, but not when you have pie at your side.

Eatery on Urbanspoon

Posted in pies, Road Trip | 3 Comments »

Pie on the Highway – Henry’s Restaurant

Posted by CMH Gourmand on April 21, 2009

Henry’s Restaurant
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.

Henrys was a filling station in a past life - gas(oline) not pie.

Henry's was a filling station in a past life - gas(oline) not pie.

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.

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Mrs. Goodman’s Baking Company – (High Street Bakery Hop, Stop #3)

Posted by CMH Gourmand on May 29, 2008

Mrs. Goodmans Baking Company
901 High Street
Worthington, OH
Monday – Friday 9 AM to 6 PM
Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM
Closed Sunday

There is no Mrs. Goodman at Mrs. Goodmans – actually the owner is a man, Lee Alderman. However, let me assure – everything is GOOD. One feature I always appreciate – free samples – so you can take a few of the the baked goods for a tastebud test drive before buying. The samples are located in a (very heavy) glass cover on the counter and there are many small selections to choose from.

This bakery has the usual assortment of pies, cakes, cookies and such. The best item I have sampled (employees confirm this as the fan favorite) are the scones – in particular – the Peaches and Cream Scone. I have tried it a couple times and felt just peachy each time. The scone has soft texture with fresh pieces of peach and generous glaze of creamy icing that balances all of the flavors together. There are also plenty of butter-cream iced Goodman goodies to choose from. Mrs. Goodman’s was featured on the Ohio Public television show, Our Ohio. The bakery is currently expanding the customized cake, cupcake, and cutout cookie decorations.

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