Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
Hoosier Mama Pie Company
Review by: Michael Stern
Hoosier Mama Pie Company has expanded since it opened as a minuscule storefront that was little more than a kitchen, plus two little tables up front and one four-top in the window that provided good daytime light for taking pictures of the beauteous pies. The good news is that its growth has in no way diminished the virtual spell it casts over pie lovers, many of whom contend that this is the best pie shop anywhere.
Whole pies, sweet and savory, as well as quiches are sold to go. Slices as well as six-inch pies (for two) are available to take away or eat here. On Friday nights, Hoosier Mama offers “pie flights,” which are three small slices of different pies, providing maximum variety. The pie flights are a grand idea, especially if you are a party of two, three, or four, because that way you will be able to taste most of the different kinds that have been baked that day.
No matter how you do it when you come to this gem of an eatery, choosing is sweet agony. Fruit pies are made with real fruit. Cream pies are made with real cream. Crusts are buttery. Some of the available flavors we did NOT taste last visit are: Grapenut, Chocolate Cream, Chocolate Chess, Ginger Custard, Oatmeal, and Banana Cream. What we did taste: Apple Cherry with Oat Crumble – a brilliant balancing act of sweet and tart, soft fruit and streusel top; banana cream so rich and eggy and filled with slices of perfectly ripe banana; coconut custard with toasty shreds on top and within; and my favorite, Hoosier Cream. That last one is an utterly simple mix of butter, sugar, and vanilla-flavored cream, baked to become a custard that is like a Midwestern analog of dulce de leche, but richer. It is the official state pie of Indiana. In our book, Hoosier Mama could be the official state pie bakery of Illinois.
Note: A second Hoosier Mama is located at 749 N. Chicago Ave. in Evanston. Currently, masks are required for entry. Several years ago, Roadfood maestro David Sanders, who took many of the accompanying pictures, wrote the following review of the Evanston location:
Directions & Hours
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|