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Family Pie Shop

Route 70, DeValls Bluff, AR - (870) 998-2279
Posted By Paul Swan on 7/17/2012 11:46:00 AM
After a visit to the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock on a steaming late June afternoon, an hour's drive for pie seemed like the perfect dessert. After a phone call to Mary Thomas to make sure she was open and baking, it was off to Interstate 40 and U.S. 70. We were aware that the pie shop was across from Craig's barbecue restaurant, but still couldn't see the shop from the road. After another call to Mary and a drive around the block, we finally saw the "Pie Shop" sign. Note: It's easier to see the off-the-road location from the westbound side of U.S. 70.

The drive was worth it. The slices of chocolate pie (thoughtfully supplied with plates and plastic utensils) were heavenly, not-too-sweet chocolate topped with the lightest meringue I've ever tasted. A whole buttermilk pie, enjoyed over the next two days, was a sublime, custardy treat. Once again, the pie's filling wasn't overly sweet and the crust was flaky.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Apricot Fried Pie
"Apricot Fried Pie"
BSamuelson





Fried pie is especially popular in Arkansas. There are none better than Mary's. No fork required: you can break it in two and eat it out of hand.
"Fried pie is especially popular in Arkansas. There are none better than Mary's. No fork required: you can break it in two and eat it out of hand."
Michael Stern


Some sweet potato pies cool on the counter.
"Some sweet potato pies cool on the counter."
Cliff Strutz


Mary Thomas, Pie Queen of Arkansas. Directly behind her are some hot fried pies. On the shelf below are full-size pies as well as pies-for-two ... or for one.
"Mary Thomas, Pie Queen of Arkansas. Directly behind her are some hot fried pies. On the shelf below are full-size pies as well as pies-for-two ... or for one."
Michael Stern


This
"This "small" sweet potato pie was actually two slices worth, or a 1/4-pie. "
Cliff Strutz


The filling of Mary Thomas's egg custard pie is shockingly delicate, both in weight and taste.
"The filling of Mary Thomas's egg custard pie is shockingly delicate, both in weight and taste."
Michael Stern


Chocolate Cream Pie
"Chocolate Cream Pie"
BSamuelson


Light-as-air meringue, with incredibly dense fudgy filling; this is world-class pie!
"Light-as-air meringue, with incredibly dense fudgy filling; this is world-class pie!"
Cliff Strutz


Mary Thomas at work forming the crust of a pie
"Mary Thomas at work forming the crust of a pie"
Michael Stern


Roadfood history:  this is a picture of Mary Thomas and her daughter and a table of pies we took in 1982, just five years after the Family Pie Shop opened.
"Roadfood history: this is a picture of Mary Thomas and her daughter and a table of pies we took in 1982, just five years after the Family Pie Shop opened."
Michael Stern


Here's an individual lemon meringue pie. It's enough for two modest appetites or one Roadfood appetite.
"Here's an individual lemon meringue pie. It's enough for two modest appetites or one Roadfood appetite."
Michael Stern


Here, inscribed on a piece of butcher paper, was the list of pies Mary Thomas was making when we stopped in early in 2004.
"Here, inscribed on a piece of butcher paper, was the list of pies Mary Thomas was making when we stopped in early in 2004."
Michael Stern


Don't miss the shop from U.S. 70. It's easier seen from the westbound side.
"Don't miss the shop from U.S. 70. It's easier seen from the westbound side."
Paul Swan


Formally named the Family Pie Shop, this humble roadside bakery is known to fans as Mary's.
"Formally named the Family Pie Shop, this humble roadside bakery is known to fans as Mary's."
Michael Stern


This image of the Family Pie Shop, captured in 2010, might just as well have been taken in 1980. Nothing has changed!
"This image of the Family Pie Shop, captured in 2010, might just as well have been taken in 1980. Nothing has changed!"
Michael Stern



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