You may not know it, but today is National Pie Day (at least according to the folks at the American Pie Council, which, by the way...sweet gig!). It's the 23rd anniversary of the venerated holiday, which was created -- appropriately, if rather disgustingly, enough -- to commemorate Crisco's 75th anniversary. Yes, we are a country that celebrates lard.
The American Pie Council suggests that you bake pies for all your friends and family today in hopes of "starting a tradition of pie-giving." You could go with the standards -- apple, pumpkin, or chocolate creme, which are Americans' top three favorite pies according to Serious Eats. Or you could make your pies all fancified and make a milk chocolate banana pie or a chilled grapefruit-caramel meringue pie, two of Food & Wine's ten all-time favorite pies.
Or, if you're like me, you could just grab a slice at one of the fine establishments listed below the jump.
House of Pies, 3112 Kirby Drive
This long-time Houston institution is more fondly known by the moniker "House of Guys," owing to the sheer fabulousness that graces its divinely retro booths after late nights in nearby Montrose. But that's not the only fabulousness to be found here: the strawberry-rhubarb pie is heaven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and the French blackbottom pie with its chocolate cream and vanilla rum custard is to die for.
Luby's, multiple locations
When nostalgia sets in, there's no place like Luby's to indulge youthful memories of lingering lunches after church on Sundays or weeknight meals with the grandparents. The cafeteria-style setting is oddly comforting, with its bright cubes of Jell-O and Luann platters of liver and onions. Equally comforting is their scrumptious chocolate icebox pie, which tastes exactly -- and happily -- like childhood.
Barbecue Inn, 116 West Crosstimbers
Despite its meaty name, patrons swear by the coconut pie at this old-school family-run restaurant in Garden Oaks. While you're there, make sure to try Barbecue Inn's fried chicken and chicken fried steak -- easily some of the best in town.
My Dee Dee's Pie Shoppe, 301 West Gulf Bank
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Although known for Soup Nazi-esque customer service, people still flock to My Dee Dee's for their fantastic pies and cakes. They also serve lunch, but it's the pies and their pitch-perfect crusts that will keep you coming back. Chocolate seems to be the key here: the chocolate meringue and chocolate pecan pies are among the best in town.
Flying Saucer Pie Company, 436 West Crosstimbers
I would be remiss not to mention Flying Saucer, which is not only the oldest pie shop in Houston (42 years and counting) but is also visible from space on holidays due to the line that stretches out the door like a Great Wall of Pie Lovers. While in serious demand in the holiday season, you can go by Flying Saucer on a weekday without too much fuss and pick up a whole pie to surprise your family with or just grab a slice of any pie for only $2.50. Favorites include the fresh strawberry cream pie and the blackberry pie (which is only available from March through July).
Got a favorite pie establishment of your own? Feel free to sing its praises in the comments section below.