This is my first Houston foodie blog post! From my dorm room window, I have a perfect view of picnic tables and barbecue pits sprawled on a grassy lawn, and I can see a dinky little skyscraper rising out of the trees. All in all, I’m relishing my college experience thus far. Orientation week was like a culmination of small talk, snorting with laughter with my roommates, bonding with my O-week group (“HOOH HOOH HIMAPLAYAZ”), and falling on a tarp of chocolate syrup. (No need to explain the last one. ) Classes start tomorrow and I’ve had little to no sleep all week. But I guess that I’m still coherently writing this post, which means that I haven’t gone completely bonkers…yet.
I’ve never eaten later than 10 pm in my life. But now I can say that I’ve had pie at midnight. (And experienced a car breaking down at 2 am. College sure is a ramble in the woods.) My group and I randomly decided to jet off on a tropical excursion to the House of Pies. It’s a fantastic shack that’s open 24 hours and fellow Martelians (the students at my residential college Martel) have repeatedly sworn that it’s ah-mazing. The restaurant was already jam-packed with folks when we arrived and ’twas rather awkward at first managing to squeeze a flurry of 20 people into several booths. My table did come up with a genius idea to order five different slices of pie and share it all potluck style. After much hemming and hawing we agreed on pecan, bayou goo (sounded like a type of mud to me at first), pumpkin, Dutch apple, and lemon icebox.
I savored the pecan pie the most. Its thick base layer of brown sugar filling didn’t overwhelm my taste buds with an avalanche of sweetness–you know, the kind that makes you feel sick after you eat it. I’d hail the lemon icebox as the second favorite because, as I may have mentioned, I have a thang for lemons. If life gives me lemons, I would date the lemons. I feared that the lemon cream would exude a fake taste, but nope, it was refreshingly tangy and bright. However, I’d have to say that the crusts for the pies didn’t highlight the buttery notes I was looking for. The pie fillings were absolutely splendid though! The Dutch apple, for example, still oozed piping hot cinnamon sugar filling and generous apple slices when the waitress served it to our table.
On to the bayou goo! As I slowly chewed a piece, I had a hunch that there was taro root in it, of all things. But no. Nope. It was just chocolate custard with a layer of cream cheese. Soooo….awkward, Melody. (Maybe I had a hunch that I was terribly off.) Anyway, to my pleasant surprise, the bayou goo harkened me to a place of mildly sweet chocolate heaven instead of the rich, deep velvet taste I had expected.
Pumpkin pie didn’t pop out at me, to be honest. I personally favor Costco’s giant version, which practically resembles a pumpkin pie on steroids. But I have a theory that House of Pies doesn’t retain its famous reputation for its quality of food. It’s the idea of going out with friends to do crazy things like eat out at the middle of the night that makes this place so appealing. It’s a walk on the wild side, an act of spontaneity, a positive form of bonding. I mean, It seems simply incredulous if people went to eat pie during the day. And me, never having been a big risk-taker, rather enjoyed devouring pie at midnight. It was an odd sensation of euphoria. That random late night pie run reminded me that in college, I can’t just go through the motions as I’ve used to. Dipping into crazy waters can actually be rewarding. A blessing.
Shoutout to my orientation group! Courtney, Matt, Joseph, Ashley, Neethi, Stephanie, David, Aaron, John, and Joe….y’all are amazing. And Internet fabulous and famous.