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Rhubarb Remembered: How Pie Junkie Delivered a Slice from My Past

Back in the small-town Texas where I grew up, at a county fair—a true county fair—my father won a cakewalk.

Being a peace officer, it was undoubtedly rigged, but, for his prize, he won a strawberry rhubarb pie. I still remember it's smell, texture and incredible taste – an earth-shattering experience that still taunts my tastebuds like a long-lost love to this very day.

I have always wanted another piece of this treat and for the last 40 years or so, and have been chasing it like a monkey on my back.

Naturally, when I heard the Pie Junkie, 1711 NW 16th St., had a Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble pie in their line-up, I went on a quest to find and eat it by any means necessary, even if I left a few Plaza District gentrifiers in my wake.

Since I'm a food writer and all, I decided to not only try the rhubarb, but also some of their other selections as well. Here is my report...


Pecan ($5.00)

As traditional as a traditional pie can be, Pie Junkie's take on this classic is ensconced in a flaky buttery crust with a classic topping of warm nuts. With all apologies to Ms. Fields, it's one of the best I've had. It is downright exquisite, with a great taste of the holidays and, even better, candied nuts that seem like pure junk food.


Blueberry Crumble ($6.00)

Look: For most of my life, I grew up on those ultra-sweet blueberry pies from the gas station, and this one puts those to shame. That may not sound like a heavy compliment, but from me, it's very high praise. With plump blueberries, brown sugar, and other assorted magical ways, it is the best type of blueberry pie you can hope for.

Chorizo, Potato, and Green Chile Quiche ($5.50)

This pie features a flaky crust surrounded by fresh chorizo, sensible potatoes, and somewhat hot green chiles, providing a stepping-stone between the sweet fruit-pie and the luscious pot-pie. With enough chorizo and chiles to get your burn on, it’s a spicy treat that works great for dinner.


Brownie Batter Pie ($6.00)

Like a decadent slice of heaven, its pie was a little rich for my blood! Taking an Oreo cookie-crust filled with brownie batter mousse and real brownie bits, and then topped with whipped cream and then mini brownie squares, it made my teeth hurt... but in a good way.


Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble ($5.50)

And now I present the magnum opus. The pie that's been roaming around my subconscious for decades – the Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble.

An all-butter crust filled with sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb, topped with brown sugar oat crumble, it is, simply put, amazing. It instantly took me back to the small Texas town where I grew up, triggering my senses to the point I could feel the warmth and soaking humidity and see that very first slice plopped on my plate.

After years of wondering and wandering, I believe that this Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble is the one I have been searching for... but, I think I’ll need another slice – or at least win a cakewalk – to make sure.


Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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