Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The Cornbread Sandwich Started Here, in Jefferson, Texas.
Not bland, unsweetened bean-broth sucking cornbread, or overly sweet cubes that pass for corn muffins. No, I'm talking about a thin, condensed cornbread that's the essential ingredient in the must-order item at this eatery.
Take the Strawberry-Walnut Salad. Mixed with fresh spinach and spring lettuce, with crumbled Feta Cheese and poppy seed dressing. It doesn't sound like it should all taste good together, but it melds beautifully for a wonderful light and robust salad.
But on my first trip to the House of Pies, I had to try the popular Cornbread Sandwich. You have a lot of variety to go with here. There are three types of cornbread to use -- original, broccoli, or jalapeno. You can have the original with either turkey or ham with cheese, or the Irish with corned beef and swiss cheese. The Texan is topped with chili, the Redneck sports fried bologna and American cheese, and there's a vegetarian too. You can take just the meats or tell the girls to take it "All the Way" and load it with tomato, red onion, and a touch of mayo.
The sandwich was an adventure in itself, soft and warm. I prepared myself for the inevitability of collapse, expecting the cornbread to disintegrage. I was happy to find, though, that the cornbread held well together with its meat payload. It was firm yet soft, and not the least bit grainy. Add in the salty meat, the tangy cheese, the crunch of onion and the soothing cool of the tomato, and it all quite nicely set off the jalapeno bread. A couple of drops of Louisiana Hot Sauce went well spattered on the open face.
This fine repast was served with a selection of teas -- Nutrasweet sweetened raspberry or peach tea or unsweetened tea in addition to popular soft drinks or coffee. It took about five minutes from the time our party ordered until the time it arrived.
If you get the chance to go, you'll find the House of Pies at 117 East Austin in downtown Jefferson, TX. If you get the chance to go twice, try the warmed bread pudding with amaretto sauce. It too can be served up with a big scoop of ice cream.
For more information, call the House of Pies at (903) 665-0505 or check out their website. They're open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 11:30am to 3:30pm.
UPDATE 1/1/17. House of Pies is now Kitt's Cornbread Sandwiches and Pie Bar (there's another Texas restaurant called House of Pies elsewhere) and it's a block down the street. The menu has expanded but you can still find yourself these dishes in the new establishment.