***** THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED *****
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 by, 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 won’t be inspired to stop. It looks defunct. It needs paint. The gas pumps that used to be outside are long gone. But a sign in the window says OPEN. And for those who persevere, walking in the door of this place is walking through 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, and universally acclaimed breakfasts. But it is pie that puts this unlikely knotty-pine-paneled roadside café on our must-eat map. Here are some of the best pies in Ohio, in the Midwest, anywhere: peach, banana, chocolate, peanut butter, cherry, coconut, etc. Butterscotch pie is thick and dense, full flavored the way only real (not from a mix) butterscotch can be; and it is crowned by creamy meringue. Custard pie is modestly thin, a sunny yellow wedge dusted with nutmeg: balmy, lightweight, melt-in-the-mouth tender. The flavor of the rhubarb pie is as brilliant as bright summer sun, intensely fruity, and balanced by a crust that flakes into luscious shards.