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MUCHO MERINGUE

Sometimes after that perfect burger or humongous chicken fried steak, you just need something sweet to fill in any little chinks you may have left over.

There are three little letters that can do just that…..PIE…

Great pie can really add to a wonderful meal. You’ve stuffed your face and sunk as far back into the booth or chair as you can….almost too full to even contemplate taking another bite….but the waitress stops by and utters those words that suddenly push that meal down a little in your stomach, “Y’all save any room for…..PIE?”

From somewhere deep inside you, you find the inner fortitude to smile and nod your head. As she lists the types of pie they have for the day, you somehow find yourself lost in the world of cherries, pecans, apples, and lemons. Any thoughts of being too full have long vacated your head and you’re wishing you could try each and every one she mentions. At this point if your tablemates are on your same wavelength you will decide on different kinds of pie for each of you….(now I’m not big on sharing food but when it comes to pie…well…Fat Joe shares).

What has brough this to mind was me looking through some pictures and reliving some of the wonderful things I’ve been able to eat on this Fat Guy’s journey through Foodland. One picture caught my eye and it is so dramatic that I just had to jot down a little of what I was feeling and share that with you.

The place is De Wese’s Tip Top Cafe in San Antonio. It’s been open since 1938 and when you step through the doors it looks like they haven’t really changed much since that first day all those many years ago. The tables and booths all look like they been there from the beginning and make sure you bring cash….cuz they don’t take plastic. I saw this wonderful place featured on an episode of Diners, Drive-ins & Dives….and even through the TV I could hear the Tip Top calling to me. Five hours in the car for chicken fried steak? What kind of Fat Joe would I be if I couldn’t do that?

The food (which will be another posting) is unbelievable. The chicken fried steak (gravy on the bottom), the burgers, the fried shrimp (some of the biggest shrimp I’ve ever seen) and the onion rings are the stars of a menu that calls for many, many trips back to try each and everything listed.

But this is about the PIE.

You have to choose from whatever they have on hand when you’re ready to order….you may check before you order your meal to make sure you get the kind you want….Mom may not approve of ordering dessert first…..but, Mom ain’t there…is she?

We selected lemon, chocolate and coconut. We were thinking we had struck the motherload having all three available for our after dinner treat.

As you can see from the picture these pies are not to be believed…the meringue is skyscraper high. We lost each other from across the table as we could not see over the pieces of ginormous pie placed in front of us. You’re almost afraid to touch, but the call of that meringue is just too great and so you slice through an endless layer of eggs and sugar until your cutting through lemon or chocolate or coconut and then into that flakey buttery crust. You lift it to your mouth and your brain is telling you that you don’t have the strength to do it…..but you’re amazed at how light your fork full of pie is. As it makes its way from fork to mouth you find yourself becoming entranced in a world of tastes that you don’t often get to enjoy….at least not in this quantity and this intense.

At this point we almost forgot our deal….to let each other “taste” each other’s pie. I didn’t want to let anyone take any of the pie from heaven from me. But we found strength and pushed our plates towards someone else at the table. And once again as we tasted the new pie in front of us we did not want to let that one go either.

The Tip Top has had many years to get all of what they do….right…..and boy do they get it right….overall, this is probably one of the best places I’ve ever eaten. Worth every mile traveled to and from San Antonio.

Make sure you do what your Mom would tell you… save room for……dinner….

http://www.tiptopcafe.com/

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Categories: BURGERS, Uncategorized
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