House of Pies and Pies and Pies

Not long ago, I wrote a piece for Eating Our Words about National Pie Day (what, you missed National Pie Day?).  And as a precursor to both the piece and Pie Day itself, I met a group of friends at the House of Pies on Kirby to do a little “research” and “preparation” (I’m nothing if not dedicated).

House of Pies (or House of Guys, if you’re fabulous) has about 30 different pies on their menu at any given time, in addition to regular diner food and the best tater tots — although House of Pies calls them “cottage fries” — in town.  Their house speciality is the curiously-named Bayou Goo pie.

Bayou Goo at House of Pies

According to their description, the Bayou Goo is “pecan crust with a layer of sweet cream cheese, then a layer of vanilla custard swirled with chocolate chunks and topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.”   Meh.  Frankly, I expected more “goo.”  You know, some caramel or something, at least.  But I gave it a whirl.

I was just as uninspired after a few bites as I was after reading the description.  The miasma of contradictory flavors and textures left me disappointed.  I guess there’s a lot to be said for clever naming and rhymes.  Onto other pies, then…

The Texas pecan fudge pie was heavenly and heavily rich.  The slice alone felt as if someone had plated a brick, but Lord was it good.  The French blackbottom (“a layer of chocolate , then a layer of French vanilla rum custard with lots of whipped cream and chocolate shavings”) and the apple were also good, but the sleeper hit of the night was the unobtrusive strawberry-rhubarb.

Served warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, the strawberry-rhubarb pie was everything I think of when I think pie: flaky, fruity, mildy sweet and just slightly gooey. It utterly melted in my mouth. The sweetness of the strawberries was — as expected — perfectly offset by the tart rhubarb.

While I’m certain to try different pies during subsequent trips House of Pies, I’m afraid I’ve found my favorite and will find it hard to stray.  I’m loyal like that.  I guess I’ll just have to order two slices at a time — a strawberry-rhubarb and a ____________.  Oh, the terrible things I have to endure for the love of food.

Triple Bypass Burger

Behold the monstrosity upon which I gorged myself last weekend:

Triple Bypass Burger

This is the Triple Bypass Burger, found in its natural habitat at Dry Creek in the Heights.  I had brunch there with my friend Jen on a chilly Saturday that meant I needed more sustenance than could be provided by a paltry omelette, but still required some kind of “breakfast” in my “brunch.”  Thus, the bacon cheeseburger with a fried egg you see before you.

At the tender age of 28, I tend not to worry all that much about such piddling adult issues as arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure and LDL levels, but perhaps after this meal I really ought to start.  Unfortunately, for as good as the fried egg, cheese, bacon and all the fixings were (including the perfectly spiced chipotle mayonnaise), I had exactly the same problem with the patty and the bun that Robb Walsh had only a year ago.

The waitstaff at Dry Creek will inevitably ask you how you want your burger cooked and — just as inevitably — it will always come out well done.  It’s like some sick joke they enjoy playing on people.  And the bun was as crumbly as ever.  Not one to despair long over crumbly buns, I simply washed it down with some of the divine Shiner Black that Jen had cleverly brought (since Dry Creek is BYOB, after all) and set about enjoying the onion rings, which are always spectacular.

Next time I’m baking some of these bad boys beforehand and packing them to go.  Problem (mostly) solved.  I can’t pack my own meat, after all.  …or can I?

Where Does a 300 Pound Gummy Bear Sit?

My friend Elaine is a fantastic photographer who occasionally works with miniatures, producing detailed and intriguing work that I could never come close to replicating.  In a lot of her miniature photographs, she incorporates foods or beverages that give the picture a whimsical sense of scale.

I particularly love this latest set:

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Check out more of Elaine’s miniature photography here at Flickr.