The only thing better than the country cooking at this Claremore, Oklahoma, restaurant is the dessert you order when you're finished.
The Hammett House Restaurant would love to make their pies taller, but they're fettered by their equipment. The knives they use to cut them are only 7 inches long, so that's as high as they stand. "Don't get me wrong. Seven inches tall is a high pie," says owner Bill Biard.
A Claremore Classic
The pies have been tall and famous here since Jim and La Nelle Hammett opened the restaurant in 1969. Of course, you're welcome to go with a slice of one of the staples--chocolate, coconut, or banana cream ($3.79). But sift through the list of the 14 different kinds they make every day, and try the lemon pecan, sour cream raisin, or the German chocolate, which, incidentally, weighs 9 pounds. "They're all pretty dad-gum good," says Bill.
One of the most popular pies remains the Sizzling Apple Delight ($5), served warm in a cast-iron skillet, topped with a scoop of ice cream, and drizzled with a brandy-butter sauce.
"It's priceless to see the look on people's faces when you bring them a piece of pie," says Bill.
"I'm not insulted if they take off half of the topping."
Hammett House Restaurant: 1616 West Will Rogers Blvd., Claremore, OK 74017; (918) 341-7333 or www.hammetthouse.com.
He Never Met a Man He Didn't Like
Hammett House sits in the shadow of the Will Rogers Memorial Museum. While you're in town, check out the numerous exhibits of artifacts and memorabilia depicting the life of the Oklahoma native and one of our country's most famous humorists. 1720 West Will Rogers Blvd.; (918) 341-0719 or www.willrogers.com.
"One High Pie" is from the June 2006 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.