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Henry's

6275 Route 40, West Jefferson, OH - (614) 879-9321
Posted By Michael Stern on 10/12/2007 10:41:00 PM
Highway 40 was once The National Road, a way to cross the country east to west before the interstate highway system. It is now a side road parallel to I-70, so that millions of vehicles zoom past, utterly oblivious to the existence of Henry’s. Even if you are on the two-lane and you do see Henry’s on the south side of 40, chances are good you will drive on by. It looks defunct. It needs paint. The gas pumps that used to be outside are long gone and what remains of the refueling islands is rusty. But a sign in the window says OPEN. And for those who persevere, walking in the door of this place is walking in the gates of Roadfood heaven.

The meals are just fine, very good country-style fare: baked ham, hot roast pork sandwiches with mashed potatoes and gravy, creamed chipped beef on cornbread. But it’s not the hot meals that put this unlikely knotty-pine-paneled roadside café on the map. It is pie. Here are some of the best pies in Ohio, in the Midwest, anywhere. Every day, baker Shelley Kelley has a list of six or eight she has made: peach, banana, chocolate, peanut butter, cherry, coconut, etc. We tried three kinds our last visit. The butterscotch pie was thick and dense, full flavored the way only real (not from a mix) butterscotch can be; and it was topped with a creamy meringue. Custard pie was modestly thin, a sunny yellow wedge dusted with nutmeg. It was balmy, lightweight, melt-in-the-mouth tender. The flavor of the rhubarb pie was as brilliant as bright summer sun, intensely fruity, sweet but not cloying, and balanced by a crust that flaked into luscious shards.

On the way out, for the road, we took a small oval zucchini loaf Shelly Kelly had pulled from the oven just hours before. It was glorious. No doubt about it: she is a baker with a magic touch.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Henry's rotates their pies regularly and you can count on peanut butter on Thursdays.  It has a deep peanut butter flavor, without being overly rich.  One of Henry's best!
"Henry's rotates their pies regularly and you can count on peanut butter on Thursdays. It has a deep peanut butter flavor, without being overly rich. One of Henry's best!"
Cliff Strutz





The apple pie is loaded with cinnamon and is my favorite of their fruit pies.
"The apple pie is loaded with cinnamon and is my favorite of their fruit pies."
Cliff Strutz


With homemade brown gravy and real roast turkey, this is the best non-pie item I have had at Henry's!
"With homemade brown gravy and real roast turkey, this is the best non-pie item I have had at Henry's!"
Cliff Strutz


With so many great pies to choose from at Henry's, it would be easy to overlook the excellent banana cream pie.  The filling is real banana flavor, nothing artificial about it.
"With so many great pies to choose from at Henry's, it would be easy to overlook the excellent banana cream pie. The filling is real banana flavor, nothing artificial about it."
Cliff Strutz


In Henry's dining room, a hush prevails:  customers are thrown into a state of quiet bliss as they fork into butterscotch pie.
"In Henry's dining room, a hush prevails: customers are thrown into a state of quiet bliss as they fork into butterscotch pie."
Michael Stern


The sugary, heavy, flaky crust of this strawberry rhubarb pie is absolute crust perfection!
"The sugary, heavy, flaky crust of this strawberry rhubarb pie is absolute crust perfection!"
Cliff Strutz


Dense fudgy filling topped by a feathery light meringue, this is a great slice of pie!
"Dense fudgy filling topped by a feathery light meringue, this is a great slice of pie!"
Cliff Strutz


A couple slices of blackberry pie, topped with scoops of vanilla ice cream.  It is scenes like this that make Henry's one of America's premier pie palaces!
"A couple slices of blackberry pie, topped with scoops of vanilla ice cream. It is scenes like this that make Henry's one of America's premier pie palaces!"
Cliff Strutz


Having never seen pineapple cream pie at Henry's before, I couldn't resist.  There were lots of small pineapple bits in the filling and of course, the usual tall, airy meringue that makes this place such a pie destination.
"Having never seen pineapple cream pie at Henry's before, I couldn't resist. There were lots of small pineapple bits in the filling and of course, the usual tall, airy meringue that makes this place such a pie destination. "
Cliff Strutz


Packed full of raisins, this pie bordered on being too sweet.  Still, this pie featured Henry's trademark excellent crust.
"Packed full of raisins, this pie bordered on being too sweet. Still, this pie featured Henry's trademark excellent crust."
Cliff Strutz


A study in contrasts: the airy meringue sits atop a layer of dense butterscotch.
"A study in contrasts: the airy meringue sits atop a layer of dense butterscotch."
Cliff Strutz


The first time we stopped at Henry's, many years ago, this pie case was draped with blue ribbons the pies had earned.  They still win highest honors from pastry connoisseurs.
"The first time we stopped at Henry's, many years ago, this pie case was draped with blue ribbons the pies had earned. They still win highest honors from pastry connoisseurs."
Michael Stern


The Waldorf, it's not!
"The Waldorf, it's not!"
Michael Stern


Henry's, a former gas station, doesn't look like a thriving cafe; but its pies lure traveling eaters from across the country.
"Henry's, a former gas station, doesn't look like a thriving cafe; but its pies lure traveling eaters from across the country."
Michael Stern


This cherry pie is so good, the vanilla ice cream is totally unnecessary.
"This cherry pie is so good, the vanilla ice cream is totally unnecessary."
Cliff Strutz



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