Friday, July 11, 2008

Shoo fly pie!

This is both a review and some personal ramblings on Missy's Pies (a.k.a Ramsey's dessert kitchen). Yesterday was Mr. Dupree's, my boss, birthday. Now under normal circumstances this would mean a homemade cake/pie made my me, but in an effort to "make things easy on me", he wanted a pie from Missy's. I considered making the pie myself and sliding it in a box to make it look like it was store bought, but I restrained myself and ordered a butterscotch and key lime pie. To fully appreciate the butterscotch you have to be a meringue lover, which I am not. So I admit my review will be slightly biased because of that. The pie was VERY hard to cut and didn't slice well. The butterscotch filling was a tad too runny to hold together. The meringue was a good 4-6 inches tall and evenly browned on top. I prefer my butterscotch to be light in color and somewhat light in taste. This pie was neither. It was quite dark, perhaps they used dark brown sugar or molasses, and the taste was heavy as well. As an admittedly unfair comparison, I'm comparing this pie to a butterscotch pie I made Mr. Dupree several years ago, that turned out quite well, if I do say so myself.

Now the key lime had a very good, tart flavor. It was cooked much better and held together when sliced. The presentation was lacking though because it was a mere graham cracker crust (perhaps even store bought, gasp!) and no garnishment on the top. Thankfully they don't succumb to the commercialized temptation to artificially color the filling green. Rather, it was a nice golden yellow color, just as a key lime pie should be. Yes, for those of you that don't know key lime juice is not green, it's clear! Therefore any key lime flavored items you have eaten that are green, are artificially colored, and perhaps flavored. The pie was very smooth and was better received amongst my coworkers than the butterscotch. I of course tasted both and prefer the filling of the key lime but the crust of the butterscotch - again a slight unfair critique because I prefer pastry crust any day over graham cracker crust!

On to the health department inspection, or lack thereof! What exactly does an inspector look at when they "inspect" a restaurant? After seeing the inside of Missy's Pie Shop, one could definitely wonder. The bakery itself is nothing more than a closet, a piece of the original Ramsey's kitchen that they sectioned off after the booming success of the pies, to make into a little store front. The front door was propped open for all the lovely car exhaust fresh air to flow through, not to mention gnats, flies, and other various insects. You would think none of this would matter since the pies are surely stored in a cooler, a closed case, or some other sealed device. You would be wrong. There are some pies that are in a dilapidated case but the back is completely open. The rest of the pies are on large pie racks (think of the racks that they deliver bread on), again completely open. There are open metal shelves that have stacks of pre-baked pie shells just sitting in the wide open. Now I realize I'm somewhat of a germ-a-phob but this space is really small so if someone was to cough or sneeze, the germs would certainly be spread to the pies and these shells. Not to mention the bugs that have probably landed and left their larvae...or worse! The place looked like it hadn't been cleaned in, well maybe never. There was an old beat up stove that only sat on 3 feet, with a dirty old stock pot on top. Oh and to top it off, I'm not sure the air conditioning was on/working. Perhaps I could be wrong on that one and maybe the air was just filtering right out the opened front door. If the place looked like this, I can only imagine what their cooking standards must be! After seeing this place, I've determined that people don't care where their food came from as long as it tastes good. I guess I'm guilty of the same since I ate the pie. No that falls into my lack of self control, but I digress.

Oh and the cost, no wonder I make my own pies and cakes! Their pies are $16.95 for a whole, $4.95 for a slice, but their cheesecakes will set you back a whopping $45!! Are you kidding me? What a ripoff!

In the future, I think I'll stick to my guns and make the dessert myself and sneak it in if I have to!

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