Okay, after 3 weeks in Marfa and West Texas, I am planning my day around Pie. Specifically, The Fried Pies at Shirley’s Burnt Biscuit Bakery in Marathon, Texas.
I am not even a particularly big fan of pie, and I’ve never had a fried pie. I’m not even exactly sure what it is. Maybe once I tried the apple pie at McDonalds? A zillion years ago. Does that count?
But I have run out of things to do. Yesterday I drove 60 or so miles to Balmorhea State Park to swim in a giant 1.75 acre pool that was built around a natural spring. Me, a duck, and a bunch of fish. A true oasis in the desert. (Watch the video in the link.)
It was a beautiful drive, and very cool to have that place all to myself. But, really, if there was something else to do, I probably would have done it. But there wasn’t.
So today was going to be Pie day. Did I mention that Marathon is 56 miles from Marfa? You know what? I’m happy for the 56 mile drive. More miles means more time spent on an activity. And those pies have gotten some great reviews. I asked my neighbor Mike if they were worth the drive. He said they were. (He’s lived in New York. His wife still lives there. I think he knows that I kind of need that drive, if not the pie.) Just now when I was googling Shirley’s to make sure they would be open (I’ve learned; call ahead), I found a review on Yelp:
“Go to your car now! Drive to Marathon…I don’t care how far a drive it is. Go straight to Shirley’s Burnt Biscuit and get a fried pie. Yes, I’m serious, they are THAT good …. Seriously I’d marry the pie if it were legal. Yes, I love it that much.”
So I was psyched. 120 miles of driving. A fried pie, whatever the hell that is. A walk around cute little Marathon, “the catbird seat of West Texas” according to the guide book (5 minutes of activity googling “catbird”). 10 minutes or so in the gallery of Big Bend photographer James Evans. I could turn that into a whole day.
But I had a lazy morning. Hey, why not lie in bed for a while. And Alice was the only person working at Alice’s Cafe, so it was slow. Really slow. Slow even for Marfa. But I’d already been to Carmen’s Cafe three times, and Alice is just a block away from my house. So I felt I should give her a try. Even though I’d heard that while Alice is “as sweet as the day is long”, her food isn’t particulary good. And you know what, it’s not. But if you are in Marfa for a month, I won’t be surprised if you give it a try too. Because, really, how can you be here a month and not try every single eating establishment? Next on my list, the “Jalitos” at the Dairy Queen. Seriously. They are fried strips of jalapeno. “Served with ranch”.
Back to the pies. So after Alice’s, I got on the computer. I am going home next week and it’s time I tended to my somewhat-neglected business and clients. So I responded to emails and made a couple of phone calls. And did all that reading about Shirley’s.
And by the time I looked at the clock, it was 11:40am. And Shirley’s (56 miles away), closes at 1:00pm.
P.S. 1 hour spent on this blog post. Time for lunch? I probably already missed the daily special at The Food Shark. Not that I’m hungry. But it’s something to do. I feel like Bridget Jones, logging my minutes of activity like she tracked her cigarettes, drinks and weight.