I found pie.
At a truck stop.
On a Sunday.
And it was delightful.
Leave it to the Green Mountain state to finally provide me with some pie during my summer in the woods. I had heard rumors of a truck stop in Vermont that doubled as a pretty decent bakery, and last Sunday morning I was able to convince a friend to get up early on our day off to drive an hour to another state to get pie and breakfast.
Before I go any further into the pie portion of this post, let me express my undying love for diner food. It's greasy. It's cheap. It's served by surly waitresses in polo shirts who look like they've worked that same section since 1974. And my egg-ham-cheese sandwich was not only made with real Vermont white cheddar cheese, but also with homemade oatmeal bread.
Then came the pie.
While there was an ample selection of fancier pies (chocolate/banana/coconut cream, Reses', etc.), we decided to go the simple route - apple for me, raspberry a la mode for my friend.
Let me add that while the server was taking our pie orders, she asked if we wanted our slices warmed up. Immediate points. I think applauded with glee.
The slices were simple. The fruit was fresh. There weren't any overbearing or unnecessary spices sprinkled throughout. The crust tasted like it had been made that morning and with as few ingredients as necessary. The pies were so pure and uncomplicated that for the first few bites I thought there was something missing. Then I realized that what I was eating was pure, unadulterated, American-as-apple-pie, homemade apple pie.
Haute cuisine bakeries everywhere should take a page from P&H's cookbook. It's fine and wonderful to add seven thousand ingredients to a pie and give it a modern slant and update an old standard and whatever else they do to it. But sometimes all you really want is a slice of honest-to-goodness, no frills pie.
P&H Truck Stop is located at 2886 U.S. 302, Wells River, VT. They don't have a website, but are open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Pies run between $3.49 and $3.69 for a slice, coffee is served in a real mug, and you'll share the dining room with some actual truckers.