So if you were to have a good meal at a restaurant back in the 1880's, would it have included a list of around thirty different pies, many of which are topped with enough meringue to reach 9 inches high? In those days there wasn't a Denny's or IHOP in nearly every town, much less a variety of deserts to compare to the modern day choices.
But at Patti's 1880's Settlement in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, you can kick it old school... really old school... and get your choice of a whole lot of pies in a somewhat kitschy 1880's style setting. The restaurant sits among floral and plant gardens, sculptures, pens holding a odd collection of barnyard critters and a bit of a small town on the lake. (See photo at right of one of the oddest chickens I've ever seen. I honestly thought it was a dog at first.) Ladies wearing long simple floral print dresses take orders and rattle off the list of pies from memory to full patrons who just keep on eating anyway (me included.) The menu includes plenty of choices of good southern food in generous portions, including fresh homemade potato chips, which themselves are a treat not to be missed. The pies... they were something to behold, in all their massive glory. Just looking at the miles of meringue waiting to be consumed was blissful. Oh, and they do have pies that aren't meringues that are pretty amazing too. The Chess Pie, Bill's Boatsinker Pie and the Dutch Peach Pie were all amazing in their own way, and honestly I couldn't choose a favorite of them all, they were all that impressively good.
I've been asked more than once how do I find these places? This one was recommended to my dad, and it was just a few miles out of the way on our trip toward eastern Kentucky. The recommended dish was the Pork Chops and they were definitely pretty outstanding. If they took away the "theme park" of the place and just kept the menu with all its tasty bits intact, it would be worth making a stop. It's the added theme (and convenient gift shop) that brings in the busloads of tourists on their own treks across the state. I can't say I blame them for doing what pays the bills; just don't stop making those pies. Those will bring the foodies like me back, and have us sending our friends by to sit a spell too.