Southern Comfort at Emporium Pies
Dec 05, 2014 11:20AM ● Published by Dia
by James Reid
December is truly my favorite month of the year because of the cooler weather, the holidays, time with friends and family, and the holiday dishes - as well as the memories those favorite dishes bring to mind. Here in Texas and the South, we have a fascination with pies. Nothing against cakes, but growing up in Oklahoma I don’t remember my family ever baking cakes or cupcakes (those were purchased from a bakery). However, pies were always present.
Until a few holiday seasons ago, although to making pies. That was until Megan Wilkes and Mary
Sparks found a permanent home for their pie-making operation. They spent a season renting or borrowing space from various restaurants in the Dallas area, but after a thorough renovation of a former residence in the trendy Bishop Arts District, they opened their first location. Since then, they have expanded by adding another location in the Dallas suburb of McKinney, but my favorite is the original.
One bit of trivia about their Bishop Arts location, the address is 314, which could be read as 3.14 or pi which dovetails nicely with their sole there were places to buy a slice or even a whole pie, nowhere to be found was a shop devoted only product offering. As you walk up to the porch in front of their original location, it is common to see a line of people waiting for a slice or to possibly purchase a whole pie, especially on a weekend or sometimes during the evening. Be prepared to wait —though it won’t be too long —and to have several choices in mind just in case the pie you wish to try is already sold out for the day. It can happen. The menus can be found on the wall just after walking off the porch into the cozy dining area.
One key distinction between the pies at Emporium and those found at various retailers, restaurants or even made in your own kitchen is that none of the pies have artificial preservatives, hydrogenated oils (i.e. trans fat), dyes or corn syrup. All the pies are handmade each day by the staff. This should make you feel better as each delicious bite passes your lips.
There are a few pies available most of the year, but each quarter most of the selections are swapped out for seasonal favorites and possibly a new pie never before seen at Emporium Of course the all-American apple pie, called The Lord of the Pies, is available most of the year, but sells out quickly; as does their version of the venerable Southern favorite, The Drunken Nut. Both are equally impressive, though I prefer The Drunken Nut being a pecan pie enthusiast myself.
As you approach the counter ready to order your pie from a smiling member of the staff who is probably wearing a vintage apron, add a pour over or French Press coffee to share with your companions, as it will add to the experience. You might leave one person in line and another to stake out a claim on a table inside, or if it isn’t too cold, one of the benches just to the left of the porch area.