Hoosier Mama Pies in Chicago, Worth the Extra Fat Rolls


Banana cream pie from Hoosier Mama Pies.

Serious Eats impresario Ed Levine and his epic diet blogging almost ensnared me. You see, I’m not the skinniest cat in the room (and that room includes Garfield). While I’m not yet on the wagon, I read Ed’s missives for inspiration. When I do, they tend to have a mild deterrent effect on my eating prowess. Though, the deterrent effect of those posts is very much like the threat of confession when I was an eight year old Catholic.

Once you’ve assuaged your guilt in a short rap session with the priest in that veiled wooden box, you’re ready to bust out and start swearing and stealing candy from the corner store again.

But, I’m an adult now, supposedly in possession of a modicum of self control. So, when I drove by the new Hoosier Mama Pie Company storefront recently and stopped my Ford Escape, I paused for a moment and wondered if I’d really needed pie for breakfast. In fact I kicked “Jesus” out of the rubric and asked myself, WWELD (What would Ed Levine do?). I reasoned that he’d go in for a bite—just one, or two, and he’d put the rest of the pie away for a rainy day.

And so that’s what I’d do.

But, the satanic evils of quivering vanilla bean dotted, quivering banana-filled cream enwrapt in buttery flaky pastry is strong, and before I knew it, I’d downed three quarters of the thing and a half cup of black locally roasted Metropolis coffee. What can you do? Owner Paula Haney is a super sweet baking Jezebel, and her apple, passion fruit meringue, and lemon chess pies are worth burning in the fiery hell of fatness for. It used to be that you could only really find the pies in a few stores around town or at the Green City Market.

As slothful as I was, that meant I usually never woke up early enough to score one before they were sold-out and my skinnier soul prevailed. Now that she's got a full scale boutique—one I drive by every morning during the week—it’s only a matter of time before I’m a prime candidate for the Biggest Loser.

That being said, there was some redemption. I saved a one-fourth of the slice for later. I’d like to say it was because of Levine’s inspiration. Really, it was because my wife might cast me out if she didn’t get a taste of this beauty, and as they say, hell hath no fury like a woman denied tasty pie.

Hoosier Mama Pie

1618 1/2 Chicago Ave, Chicago IL 60654 (map) 312-243-4846