Sunday was my mother's 84th birthday.
To celebrate, we decided to take a road trip to Pie Town for some pie. Pie Town, New Mexico is located on the Continental Divide, 160 miles from Albuquerque. Pie Town is famous for, what else? pies, of course!
In the early 1920's Mr.Clyde Norman, a tall Texan and a WW1 veteran who "liked to bake" began making dried apple pies on a piece of ground that lay along a little rocky ridge and the "Coast to Coast Highway" later to become U.S. 60. Cowboys drove their cattle to the railhead east of Pie Town and on their way would stop and enjoy some of Clyde Norman's homemade pies. The word got around that the best pies anywhere were to be found at "Pie Town". That tradition carries on today and the Pie Town Cafe is the place to be for a relaxing time off the road, a good meal, great hometown atmosphere, local conversation and Great Pie! Don't be surprised if you see a real cowboy in the place. With Pie Town being featured in various television programs and publicaions, including the February 2005 issue of Smithsonian Magazine and in June 2011 featured on the Food Network Channel "Best Thing I Ever Ate". Pie Town Cafe is visited by many hikets and bicyclists from around the world traveling the "Great Divide" from Mexico to Canada. For more information, please visit here.
Last time I went to Pie Town, it was on a Sunday in March and everything was closed, but I found out that they have a summer schedule that includes being open on Sundays. Road trip, here we come!
Along the way, we had to stop at a rest area. I thought the little buildings were pretty neat, don't you?
However, this sign sort of worried me.
Here's a self portrait with the birthday girl.
Here is a view of the road we were driving on, definitely back roads, huh?
When we arrived at Pie Town, the first place we came to was the Pie-O-Neer Restaurant. The parking lot was full. (This photo was taken after lunch. As you can see, the parking lot is empty and the one at the Pie Town Cafe was full. They must rotate traffic throughout the day.)
But I knew that wasn't the original so we drove on to the Pie Town Cafe. When we got there, the parking lot was nearly empty and we wondered if we had made the right decision.
We went inside and were impressed with the rustic little cafe. It was all decorated with western decor and the daily menu was written on a whiteboard.
The place was empty except for one full table. Eventually those people left but they stopped and talked to us on their way out and back to business. One gentleman was packing a holster so he must have been the local sheriff. Others appeared to be the cafe owners and friends. One gentleman stated that it was a good day if the cash register taped touched the floor. As many more people started coming into the cafe, including a genuine cowboy and his girl (they came in a big pick-up and stock trailer rig) we knew it would be a good day for the Pie Town Cafe.
Please excuse the back end view of this girl. It's very poor timing on the photographer's part, I know.
This is a close up of the horse picture shown in photograph above (over our heads).
There were several other drawings around the little cafe too.
While waiting for our order, we played with the condiments.Aren't those little silver tipped boots cute?
My son was getting creative on his french fries.
As soon as we arrived at the Pie Shop, I asked about their special pie, the Mexican Apple Pie, made with green apples, green chili, and pinon nuts. She said, "Alas, a group of 20 people had just come through and eaten the last of it". There were other pies for sale but we really wanted the specialty. However, she said there were Mexican Apple pies currently being baked and that one would be ready to take with us. This suited us fine because, after having lunch, no one was ready to eat pie anyway. The Pie Town Cafe also does mail order pies. Just click on the picture for an enlargement of the business card for phone numbers and website.
The pie was still warm when we arrived home many hours later. I guess that's one good thing about summer heat.
Happy Birthday, Mom!!! It was worth the trip!