Although we’ve enjoyed many offbeat places in our travels, only two are so special they give us the feeling that we’ve just steered our rig right into the center of the universe: Luckenbach Texas being one and the Pie-O-Neer being the other. Recently we made a special stop at this favorite haunt when I donned an apron and became . . .
Pie Lady for a Day
Each bite of magical homemade pie from Kathy Knapp’s kitchen is its own little unforgettable piegasm. After 20 years of being a relatively obscure but well-loved roadside attraction, TV personalities like Bill Geist and documentary makers have finally noticed and now the Pie-O-Neer is a foodie destination.
Each weekend Kathy’s magical pies draws hundreds of tourists from far away places, all in search of their own little slice of heaven.
As Pie-O-Neer fanatics, we return as often as we can. Recently Jim was lucky enough to become the go-to guy for maintaining the cafe’s website. “Will work for Pie Credit!” he likes to say, but Kathy and her partner Stanley insist on greenback compensation too.
A few weeks ago when we told Kathy we were coming through to collect on our pie credit, she wanted to know if I’d like to be “Pie Lady for a Day” and help out on a busy holiday weekend.
It’s been a while since I waited tables, but I didn’t think twice. So with my comfy shoes and a fabulous borrowed apron, I spent one afternoon as a “pie runner” delivering slices of ecstasy to drooling customers.
Over twenty years have passed since I waited tables and I was nervous at first, but by noon I was reacquainted with the various nuances of waitressing and having a blast doing it.
In the meantime, Jim helped out doing odd jobs in the kitchen which gave him flashbacks of his own days as a waiter.
As for my table service, I know it wasn’t flawless but I sure had a damn good time trying. I can’t recall the last time left a job smiling after a long hard day.
Have a Piegasm in New Mexico
How could you not have fun in a tiny rural roadside cafe, surrounded by happy people who journeyed hundreds of miles to experience their own piegasms?
Throughout the day we indulged in several types of fresh, hot pie right from the oven. With every delicious bite, my fantasies about losing weight from all that running around disappeared. Still, I didn’t mind one bit. How often do you get to sample gourmet pies right out of the oven?
When the long, busy day was over, Kathy and Stanley generously showered us with gifts. But that’s not unusual for them, because they treat all of their employees like family. Their kindness is just one of the magical ingredients that keeps people coming back to the Pie-O-Neer.
Kathy and Stanley have considered hiring workampers to do what we did, only for long-term arrangements for several months in the year. The only problem is: nobody seems to want to work that hard. Hiring dedicated employees is difficult when you’re 1 hour from anything. But they persevere and their hard work has paid off.
As full-time RVers, we keep our wheels turning because there are so many neat places in the country to experience. Still, only a handful leave you with a yearning to return again and again. For us, the Pie-O-Neer is definitely one of those magical must-dos that we’ll always go out of our way to revisit. . . . and don an apron too!