Appreciating all that makes America special

Food: Mrs. Rowe's Pies

Photo courtesy of Flickr, posted by vdr928.

Photo courtesy of Flickr, posted by vdr928.

Okay, I realize this is way off the radar for most of you. It could go under the heading of “Roadside Food,” because Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant is located near Staunton, Va. at the intersection of I-64 and I-81. Everything on the menu is good home cooking, and many people think breakfast is the best time to visit. If you enjoy spoon bread or sausage gravy, it is. If you love a hot roast beef sandwich with homemade mashed potatoes and other foods your grandmother made, try lunch or dinner. Comfort food, night or day.

But for me, the highlight of Mrs. Rowe’s is the pies. Oh, the chocolate meringue, the apple, the peanut butter custard.Starting in June, you can even purchase the cookbook, Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies, with 65 my-oh-my recipes.

Whatever you do, don’t fill up on mashed potatoes and find yourself too full for dessert. Mrs. Rowe’s sells more than 35,000 pies each year. You haven’t lived till one of them filled your pie hole.

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  1. Allison and I stop there any chance we get while traveling, and you’re not going to believe this, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a piece of pie from Mrs. Rowe’s. We always get cookies to go after dinner. Her raspberry filled cookies are possibly the best cookies I’ve ever eaten in my life, and once I discovered that, I can’t bring myself to stray since it’s only an occasional treat to even be there. That just shows how good all of her food is. One of the last times I was there, their dinner entree special for the night was fried catfish, and it was the best fried fish filet I’ve ever had. And if we’re on our way home from somewhere instead of on the way to somewhere, we always get something from the freezer to take home (stuffed peppers and lima beans are the stand-by’s). Tell you what, I’ll try a piece of pie next time I’m there, if you get a couple raspberry filled cookies to go next time you’re there.

  2. I can’t recommend the cookbook mentioned here – Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies by Mollie Cox Bryan – enough! I live near Staunton and have eaten at Mrs. Rowe’s many times. The pies are indeed the highlight, and if it’s too far for you to drive to pick up one in person, then you can still enjoy these delicious desserts by making your own. Here is a link to the cookbook:

  3. Thanks for the tip. We travel right by there several times a year to visit our son in Christiansburg. So we’ll definitely try this out.

  4. Only been there the one time (to take this photo! Yes, I am VDR928) but we LOVED this place! We even bought pies to take home, we loved it so much! We can’t wait to return. Maybe leaf season this year… beautiful country!

    • Vivian, thanks for your great comment (and for your great photo!). I know you enjoyed Mrs. Rowe’s…I hope you continue to enjoy Great American Things as well.