Walter Mencken 6:15 p.m., Feb. 28
Mom's Pies: Fuel for Famished Cyclists (or Other People) in Julian
The January Ride that runs up Kitchen Creek, over Laguna Mountain, along Sunrise Highway, and finally up to Julian makes a traditional stop at Mom's Pies for mid-ride refueling. The ride is challenging — five hours on the bike, over mountains in the bitter cold — and a hot slice of pie is just the thing to jump start the legs for the final miles of the trip.
Staff at Mom's Pies seem, on the whole, more cheerful and willing to serve than at some other Julian bakeries. On a weekend, Mom's has a constant line to the door, but the doubtlessly overworked crew manage to move things along swiftly.
The operation is a veritable fortress of pie making. Rack upon rack of pastries in various stages of completion fill the tiny kitchen in the store, and the busy staff hustle about trying to fill the orders for slices, whole pies, and apple dumplings that flow ceaselessly inwards from pie-hungry customers. Available flavors include, but aren't limited to: apple, cherry, pecan, boysenberry, and strawberry rhubarb. Pies can all be had with a crumb topping or a traditional pastry crust on top.
At $3.95 for a slice of pie, and $14.95 for an entire pie, which has six slices, it's both tempting and frugal for customers to simply pick a favored flavor and dig straight into a whole pie. One amazing site to see, that happens during the pie stop of the aforementioned January Ride, is watching a small cadre of frozen and starving cyclists demolish such an entire pie in mere minutes.
Coffee, hot chocolate, and apple cider are all equally appropriate beverages to pair with a slice of pie. Soups, sandwiches, candies, and small pastries are also available, but pie is pretty much the order of the day.
2119 Main Street, Julian