Summertime, perfect for Salsa and Pie

The ingredients and method are in my Banana Salsa YouTube video.

This feels like a cool refreshing beverage kind of day. Maybe a pitcher of margaritas, or just some fresh mint tea over ice. Speaking of refreshments, how about making a batch of salsa for appetizers tonight? If you already have my Sensational Salsas, from Apple to Zucchini book, then you already have the recipe for my favorite Banana Salsa. But if you don't have the book, click on the link and check out my salsa video, here. And if you go to this link, you'll see that both my Salsas and my Homemade Crackers with Herbs books are on sale right now.
Lori & Tom Hess. Lori weaves pine needle baskets, Tom makes his famous pie plates.

Summer is also pie weather. I've been visiting with Tom and Lori Hess at the Reeds Spring (Missouri) Evening Farmers Market (you can see more photos on the market's FaceBook page). Tom Hess is famous for his incredible pie plates, hand-thrown in his shop. They're deeper than a regular pie plate, made of unglazed clay, and the pie crust actually cooks perfectly on the bottom of the pie.
Fine Cooking magazine (2006) declared Tom's plates as The Perfect Pie Plate.
The cool thing about visiting with Hess Pottery folks every Sat. night at farmers market, is they are also Pie-aholics. They keep a diary of the best pie places across America! They are always on the lookout for really good, homemade pie places. When I name this place or that I've visited, they've likely been there and have rated it in their pie diary! I'm always trying to add some new roadside pie stops to their list. So it was no great surprise when I mentioned Royers Cafe in Round Top, TX, and Royers pies, that Tom and Lori had been there several times.
That's it, that's just about all there is of Round Top, TX, population 50.

Round Top, TX is a little bit of a place, even smaller than the town where I grew up. You wouldn't think of it as the kind of eating destination that would be nationally known, would you? Nor would you look at Royers Cafe and immediately think, "Wow, I gotta stop there!" But for those of us who are adventurous-eating-travelers, it's exactly the kind of place we look for.
An unimposing place, it may not look famous, but it is. Most anytime you'll have to wait in line, or sit on bales of straw out front until there's a table empty. The lines to get inside to eat, are sometimes substantial and always worth the wait.
The King of Pies, is Bud Royer. He keeps things moving, personally greets every customer and is full of stories about all the famous and not-so-famous customers who've graced his table. And he knows his pies!

On a balmy evening this spring when I'd finished with my responsibilities at the herb festival at nearby Festival Hill, I stopped by Royers Cafe just as they were closing. Kind and genial hosts as they are to everyone who steps over their doorstep, they invited me to sit on the front porch and visit. It's a family place and the entire Royer family keep the place running smoothly. Even after a long, tiring day, they found the time to visit with a pie-hungry traveler.
It's fun to see a family that not only works together, but can laugh and like each other at the end of the day!
CBS Morning  Show conducted a nationwide survey of great cafes. Royers came out in the top 3 or 4 in the nation!
These pies are famous, not just in nearby Austin, or only in Texas, but they have a following across these United States. And what do people come here for? Buttermilk and garlic marinated pan-fried chicken, sandwiches, quail, and pie. Real, homemade, honest-to-goodness pie, the kind that us hard-core pie lovers look for.
These are the real deal, homemade, over-sized, melt in your mouth pies.
Peach on the left, apple, their top seller in the middle, cherry on the right. Mmmmm.
Getting married? You can order a wedding pie. Why not? Cakes are boringly same.
People send thank you notes, signs, photos. This is just one tiny spot on a wall that's completely covered with notes from happy customers. All the walls, and the ceiling, too, are covered.
So if you're wanting something truly summer-ish, watch my YouTube salsa videos and make either my Banana or Peach-Mango Salsa.  Then, dream about Pie. And if you get anywhere within 300 miles of Round Top, TX, plan to have pie (they also serve other food, sandwiches, quail, chicken, you name it) but save room for real pie at Royers.
That pretty well says it all.


Terra said...

Wow, those pies look delicious.

Carla said...

Pie, Pie, me oh my, I love pie!! The salsa sounds great too.

Rhonda D. said...

Wow, wouldn't that be fun to travel around eating pie? Those hand thrown pie dishes and pine needle baskets are beautiful! I just have to share your salsa videos on our FB page. We love the banana salsa, but Peach salsa is my all time favorite :-)

Linda Lehmusvirta said...

Royer's is great! And can't wait to try your salsa!