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What’s cookin’ in Jacksonville?

Submitted by Jennifer Ellis on April 23, 2011 – 11:42 amNo Comment

The Original Fried Pie Shop is an American classic with a southern twist that sprung up, just off the Gregory Street exit in Jacksonville, about four months ago. It’s definitely worth a try, but there are a couple things you need to know to ensure you enjoy your pie.

Photo by Jennifer Ellis

They serve breakfast pies ($3.75), lunch and dinner pies ($3.75), dessert pies ($2.95), sugar-free pies ($2.95), cream pies ($3.49), nut pies ($3.49) and you can even build your own flavor profile by mixing and matching the fillings and they usually come to you piping hot and delicious.

On two separate occasions the pie I ordered came out cold. Once was a pineapple pie and other time a coconut cream pie. Needless to say I was disappointed.

Here comes the need-to know-information to make your experience better— ask for your pies hot. The first few times I tried the Fried Pie Shop I just hit the drive-thru, so I didn’t realize until I actually went inside, that some of the dessert pies are made ahead of time and placed in a display case. Of course those ones are varying degrees of warm or cold depending on how long they have been there. But the staff is happy to make you a fresh, hot pie if you prefer, which is what I highly recommend.

All the pies have the same flakey crust, are shaped like a half moon and intended to be eaten in the hand-held paper envelopes they come in, but I really don’t like eating the pies by hand. I prefer the fork method; it allows you to distribute the extra bits of crust on the outside to the entire pie and doesn’t feel as greasy.

On the upside, I haven’t tried a dessert pie that I didn’t like; the blackberry, cherry cheesecake, and chocolate cream have been some of my favorites. The pecan presents a problem though. Although the filling is really tasty it feels sticky in your mouth, almost like peanut butter, so I needed a big drink after every bite (And speaking of peanuts, if you’re allergic you’ll need to skip The Original Fried Pie Shop because everything is fried in peanut oil).

The lunch and dinner pies are another thing altogether, because they really are hit-and-miss. My favorites are the chicken and vegetables, similar to a chicken pot-pie mom would make with diced chicken, carrots and peas in a hearty sauce; the Tex-Mex with spicy refried beans, beef and cheese; and two specialty pies that have been written in on the soup of the day menu posting, barbecue and macaroni and cheese.

Some of the kids who helped with my taste tests enjoyed the pepperoni, but personally, I thought it was gross; not much pepperoni and the sauce tasted like the tomato base in a can of Spaghetti-Os. Also, the comfort pie, “diced Polish sausage and potato in light cheese sauce,” sounded yummy, but was particularly disappointing with little flavor.

The Original Fried Pie Shop is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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