Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas
Sun, 11/17/13 6:26 AM
A quick recap of the day's events..... So far we have been to Ms. Lena's Fried Pies and Family Pie Shop, two of the best pies shops in the South, if not the country. Up Next? Ed & Kay's in Benton, best known for their sky scraping meringue pies! Considering Arkansas very well might be the best state in the country for pies, this is not a complaint! Truthfully, when I read that Ed & Kay's was going to be on the tour, once again I thought this may end up being a weak spot on the day. The pies are good, but in two previous visits, their regular food was just okay. Once parked, we were led in though a side door into a back dining room that I hadn't noticed before. Whether it was to tease us or left there as a preview of things to come, there was one of the meringue pies just sitting by itself on a counter in our dining room. Anyone with a camera was getting up to take this photo, while oohing and aaahing. And if you got up to use the restroom, you would also pass these pies sitting on a shelf just outside the kitchen. You could feel the anticipation in the air, despite the fact that no one on the bus was exactly pie deprived right now. The menu is fairly big, but knowing the quantity and quality of the food ahead, there was no sense it overeating. Our table of six (from left foreground, ChiBears15, Chester the bus driver, Judy Rushmore, Cousin Johnny, ChiTownDiner and myself)decided to concentrate on a couple of vegetable plates, saving room, of course, for lots of pie. Here are the vegetable selections for the day. The first plate has squash casserole and purple hull peas, while the second plate includes more squash casserole, fried okra and green beans. Additional sides enjoyed were macaroni salad, chick pea salad and great northern beans, but those photos I either missed or they didn't turn out well. The vegetables were much better than on previous visits, with the highlights being the squash casserole (lucky we had two orders of it, because it went quick) and I am always a fan of porky green beans. The six of us passed around the plates until there was nothing left. Because we were in Arkansas, we decided to enjoy another local specialty, cheese dip. This is basically chips along with the restaurants own homemade cheese dip. Not bad and this would be good to munch on while watching a game, but this was just a time killer until the pies came out. Since we have been so patient and made our mothers proud by eating our vegetables first, it was time to look over the pie list on the menu. Yeah right! We have the ChiTownDiner at our table and he is not about to wait for pie! Moments after sitting down, he asked our waitress to bring out a slice of the peanut butter and she brought this gorgeous slice of pie to our table. They even told us that this slice was free since it was actually a mistake. Huh? The top layer of peanut butter was creamy and rich, but the bottom layer was so thick, you couldn't cut it with a fork. Or a fork and a knife. Maybe a jackhammer would have done the trick. No problem, who is going to complain about a free slice of pie? Among the pies we got to sample were the apple, the French raisin, lemon meringue and coconut cream. With the sugary crust, the apple was just fine, but clearly outshined by the other pies. The lemon meringue was a little too sweet for my taste, but you have to admire the beauty of that meringue! The general consensus was the French raisin was number one. Unfortunately, with me taking the pie photos (at one point I picked the two meringue pies up and took them to another table to try and get better light), I completely missed out on the French raisin. No doubt that CTD will add comments about what he liked about it. As usual on one of these these tours, there was plenty of sharing from table to table, which allowed us to try the dreamy peanut butter meringue, which was my favorite at Ed & Kay's and to get a shot of another tour favorite, the PCP, which stands for pineapple, coconut and pecan. A few more additional photos from our visit to Ed & Kay's. CTD especially loved the separate pie case, which sits in the main dining room. Of the six places we visited on this day, Ed & Kay's clearly finished in last. But that is more of a testament to the quality of the other stops than an indictment of this place. This was a much better stop than I expected. Ed & Kay's 15228 I-30 Benton, AR 501-315-3663 Okay, after three straight pie stops, even I am ready to eat something. And considering we were next headed to Hot Springs, we are about to get back-to-back greatness!