March 18th, 2010
Pie in the Sky Pie Company: A Brand New Slice of the Heights
In 5 Words: Rhubarb, 1980's, Elementary, Pies!, Value
The Heights is known for it’s bungalows and small town, main street-like feel. Recently however, it has become a foodie haven; from Stella Sola to Shade to Mam’s House of Ice. While these restaurants and snoball outposts are fantastic there are only a handful of diner-esque places to grab breakfast or brunch. Off the top of my head these are Lola, Yale Street Grill, and the “Creeks” (Dry Creek, Onion Creek, and Cedar Creek), but now there is Pie in the Sky Pie Company. After having both breakfast and pie here, I can say without a doubt that I am glad they’re in the neighborhood.
Situated on 19th Street just east of Shepherd in a bright green building that used to be an antique shop, Pie in the Sky Company is a welcome import from Conroe. The owner, Marlene Stubler, has been baking pies and making lunch and breakfast at their Conroe location for a couple of years now and decided that the Heights would be the perfect location for her second cafe.
My wife and I visited on a Saturday morning to try their breakfast offerings and walked into a very large and bright space, with menus available right by the door. The decor is modern with a kitschy feel, though it never feels like they’re trying too hard. It’s functional, even if it feels a little like elementary school. Stubler’s intention was probably to create an interior is a compliment to the bright green building.
One of the staff asked us what we wanted to drink and informed us they have two types of coffee, a pecan roast and their house blend. They do not serve decaf, to which I say, good for them. The first thing that caught my eye when looking at the menu were the prices, the “Dad’s Plate”, a classic breakfast of eggs, toast, bacon and potatoes is $5. Yes, you read that correctly, $5. I thought I had died and gone to 1980, but I wasn’t going to complain. I wrote our choices down on the provided pad of paper (I’ll come back to that later) as our cups of coffee arrived. My breakfast decision was the Dad’s Plate while my wife chose the savory pie, a fritatta style breakfast pie.
While we are waiting for the food to come out, let’s discuss the ordering process. When you enter the restaurant, grab a menu, find an open seat. There will be a pad of paper and a pen at the table and when you are ready to order, write down what you want and secure the piece of paper to the napkin holder using the supplied laundry clip. Someone will come by, confirm what you ordered, and take that back to the kitchen. I think this is a process that will have to be adjusted a little, as it’s confusing. Not to mention, if the order pad does not stick out on the napkin holder the staff will never notice that you are ready.
The food showed up quickly, even with a slight snafu over my wife’s savory pie. When my plate arrived I noticed that the potatoes were different colors, no, they couldn’t have… Yes, yes they did. They have sauteed sweet potatoes and purple potatoes along with what appear to be Russets as the side dish. My wife’s pie was filled with tomatoes, cheese, spinach, squash, and that day’s meat selection and she and I both found it delicious. The portion size was more than either of us could finish.
Being impressed with what we had for breakfast we decided it would be appropriate to celebrate π Day at Pie in the Sky Pie Company and returned on Sunday to sample the pies. This being their bread and butter – or should I say crust and filling – I expected to be impressed. There is no denying that I was.
I chose a slice of the chocolate peanut butter while my wfie went for one of her family favorites, strawberry rhubarb. All patrons have a choice of ice cream and/or whip cream on their pie. This being a celebration of mathematics, we went with both. The coffee is complimentary when pie is ordered, making this a great afternoon stop on a Saturday for a quick treat and caffeine boost.
Pie portion sizes are huge, so be prepared. The pies were served warm and really delicious, the chocolate peanut butter pie’s filling was gooey goodness and was a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in pie form. I enjoyed the strawberry rhubarb as well, though my wife pointed out that it was a little less tart than she is used to having, not so much a complaint as an observation.
Before we left I looked over the lunch and dinner menu and it is quite extensive with burgers, wraps, sandwiches, and salads on offer, with similar, very competitive prices. I will try and stop by one evening to try it out and update all of the Loopsters out there of with what I think.
I am glad to have such an establishment within walking distance of where I live. Pie in the Sky Pie Company has only been open a full week so of course there are kinks to work out such as making sure customers are taken care of in a timely fashion and explaining the ordering process. They have a lot of potential with tasty food, very courteous staff, and its feels like a neighborhood joint making it seem like it’s been in the Heights for decades. The atmosphere is what I am looking for when I want to eat a good breakfast, enjoy the paper and have a conversation with neighbors who pop in and out.
I encourage you to stop by, have a piece of pie, and enjoy the company of others. It should be noted that the hours are slightly different than the Conroe location, so be sure to check the website if you are thinking of checking it out.
What: Pies! Food! Pies! Coffee! More Pies!
Where: 632 West 19th Street, Houston, TX 77008 (View Map)
How Much: Very Affordable
When: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (Monday-Saturday – 7am-10pm; Sunday – 7am-3pm)