Review No. 109: The Burgers, Fries, and Pies Restaurant
2160 Harkrider Street
54.0 percent finished reviewing Conway restaurants
He Said: To tell the truth, I’m not really sure what the name of this restaurant is. Online it is the Original Fried Pie Shop, which is a chain with some 20 locations in Texas, four in Arkansas and one in Missouri. Burgers, Fries, and Pies originated in Oklahoma. Each franchise in the company does seem to have freedom to set its own name and menu, though they all have the pies in common, and the franchise in Conway has chosen to add burgers and fries to the mix, and so their sign says they are the “Burgers, Fries and Pies” restaurant.
She Said: Yeah, for those of us who pay attention, the name ambiguity is a little confusing, but we pulled up, smelled fried things and strolled on in around noon. My Fitbit told me I had 1200 calories left after a morning walk, a run and ballet class, so I figured I’d come to the right place!
He Said:It’s a bright a cheery place, with red checkerboard tablecloths giving it a kind of old-time country feel. The old-time vibe comes across in the music that plays over the meal as well: It’s an uninterrupted loop of late ’50s and early ’60s rock and roll that leans heavily toward Motown, that had me singing along at times, much to She Said’s chagrin.
She Said: It’s hilarious that you call the music of your youth “old-time,” Ruud. Ha! I enjoyed the vibe here very much; it’s more charming than the fast-food-chain exterior led me to believe it would be. I like the red and white and the down-home, charming signage and décor.
He Said: They have Coke products from a fountain that you put in Styrofoam cups. I was glad to see they had Barq’s root beer, and grabbed myself some.
She Said: I wish I’d gone for the fountain Diet Coke; instead, I had the unsweetened iced tea, which was not very tasty. It was either too strong or made with water that didn’t taste good on its own. I won’t have the tea here next time.
He Said: I had some trepidation in coming here, afraid that I was just not going to find anything healthy to eat given the fragile state of my pancreas. And I was indeed justified in those fears. There are fried fruit pies as well as fried meat pies, most of which had a heavy cream, which to me says “multiple gallons of fat.” There are hamburgers, but no grilled chicken sandwiches or the like. And pretty much everything is fried (and it is fried in peanut oil—just a caution for anyone with allergies). I went for the hamburger—something I have not had for at least five years because I’ve been off red meat. But hamburger itself, in reasonable portions, is not particularly high in fat (perhaps 12 grams in what I had), and the tomato, pickles, onions and mustard I had on it added no fat to the meal. Generally, the hamburger comes with mayonnaise, which insidiously adds huge amounts of fat to anything it is put in so I told them to hold the mayo.
Turns out the hamburger was really very tasty. They use ground brisket here, which is unusual, and they also use their own special seasoning to give the hamburger a slightly different favor which is very appealing. They use the seasoning on the fries too, if you get seasoned fries rather than plain, which I did. The fries are crispy, homemade and flavorful.
And then there is the pie. I had never heard of fried pies until I moved to the South (from the southernmost Dakota) and had one first on Beale Street in Memphis. It’s a southern treat that should rank as one of the South’s great gifts to the world. The fried apple pie I had here was sweet and gooey and delicious, and I would highly recommend it. You can also get sugar-free pies here if you need to do so for your own diet. Unfortunately, fat-free was not an option. Still, there is not a great deal of fat in apple pie. It’s the fried aspect that makes it hard for me, and perhaps for some of the rest of you. I was already getting indigestion by the time we left the restaurant. If I had a completely healthy digestive system, I would be coming back here to eat hamburgers and fried apple pies pretty regularly. As it is, I’m likely to keep it as an occasional treat.
She Said: Dear readers, I was determined to test my Fitbit’s calorie allowance, and I did this just for you. Because He Said was pretty much constrained to the burger, I ordered a pepperoni savory fried pie, but I also love a great burger, so I ordered the burger basket, as well, to ensure we tried enough variety on the menu. Since He Said chose a fruit pie for dessert, I selected chocolate. I hoped I wouldn’t be able to eat it all, as I have a dress to fit into next week that’s not going to let itself out, so I figured after this food fest, I could eat again two days later, whether I needed to or not!
I tried the pepperoni fried pie first. It reminded me of a calzone, but the crust was fried and cooked, as He Said said, in peanut oil. It was good, though more tomato-y than a pizza usually tastes to me. There were a lot of pepperonis inside, so it would definitely be a filling lunch on its own. I ate about a third of it in favor of the burger…
… Because the burger was amazing. It’s definitely hand-made (i.e., not standardized in shape) and had good char and mild seasoning that went perfectly with the brisket. I asked for it without tomato, but it came with one anyway, so that promptly went to He Said’s side of the table. The mix of other accompaniments was perfect, and it’s one of the better burgers I’ve eaten in awhile. It was honestly a bigger treat to me than the pie! I ate two-thirds of it before I had to abandon it for the chocolate pie. Fries come with the basket, so I dressed them with mayo as usual, and they were tasty, too, crispy and perfectly cooked. In a supreme act of will, I left some of those as well, but next time I’m dying for a burger and fries, I know where I’ll be heading.
Finally, I had room for about one third of the chocolate fried pie. The crust was the same as the savory pie, as far as I could tell (and very satisfying), and the filling was rich, dark and creamy chocolate, all melty and pudding-like. It was a great example of the southern goodness that is the fried pie. It was delicious. He Said’s apple pie looked perfect as well (I’m a big fan of apple desserts in whatever form), but if I can’t have that, the chocolate will console me quite nicely.
He Said: This is one of those places where you order at a counter and take a number to your table and wait for the food to come. It’s pretty fast, even though they do make everything for you rather than make it up ahead of time to serve you faster. So the food is hot when it comes and you know it’s freshly made.
Since we had never been here before, and we were trying to order a variety of things to review, we were pretty slow at ordering, but the woman who took the order was quite patient and friendly, as was the server who brought out the food, who told us to let her know if there was anything else she could do for us, and even checked back later.
She Said: Yes, everyone was very friendly, fitting with the neighborly diner vibe of the décor and music. Even though He Said made some faces about how much food I ordered, the woman who took the order and checked on us later was very friendly and nonjudgmental. She came to check my progress, saying, “She’s pretty little—how’s she doing on all this food!” And congratulated my progress when I finally cried fried-pie “uncle.” Another staffer was super friendly as well, getting my mayo for me when I could have gotten it myself when I asked her where it was.
What We Got and What We Paid: Two hamburger baskets (with fries and a large drink), one pepperoni-pizza fried pie, one chocolate fried pie and one apple fried pie, all for $28.96. (This price is higher than you are likely to spend, since we essentially had ordered three meals for the two of us in order to sample several items for the review).
Elapsed Time from Our Arrival to Food Arrival: 11 minutes.
He Said: Go here for delicious hamburgers and fried pies, if you are okay with fried foods!
She Said: If you want a delicious burger, this is the place to get one… and the fried pies are good too!
So… He Said and She Said: All the offerings hit the spot and make great treats when you’re in the mood for burgers, fries and pies!
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When word comes to Camelot that Sir Tristram has died in Brittany of wounds suffered in a skirmish, and that his longtime mistress, La Belle Isolde, Queen of Cornwall, has subsequently died herself of a broken heart, Queen Guinevere and her trusted lady Rosemounde immediately suspect that there is more to the story of the lovers’ deaths than they are being told. It is up to Merlin and his faithful assistant, Gildas of Cornwall, to find the truth behind the myths and half-truths surrounding these untimely deaths. By the time they are finally able to uncover the truth, Gildas and Merlin have lost one companion and are in danger of losing their own lives.
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