Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Famous Sunglow Pies of Bicknell

"Eat it; it's only a taste."

"DON'T do it. One bite, and you won't stop."

Oh, the demons that have plagued me every day since giving up sugar are relentless. The circumstances were different on this day. This time I was in Wayne County, and the temptation was the Sunglow Family Restaurant's unusual assortment of pies. Sweet Pickle pie? Pinto Bean pie? The reputation of these pies has spread far and wide, and I have threatened to try them since hearing about the unusual dessert menu at the Sunglow.

Did I mention I was on my fifteenth day of a month-long sugar-free regimen? Did I mention I am not even a big fan of pie, in general? I should clarify; I love custard and cream fillings; I love fruit baked in syrupy goodness, and topped with crumbled toppings. 

Why do I proclaim to not love pie then? Honestly? I just can't stand the thought of crust baked with lard or Crisco rolling around on my tongue. Pie crust leaves a greasy residue on the roof of my mouth that only solidifies with a sip of iced water. I just don't do crust, but if you ever need someone to eat the innards of the pie, and leave the crust behind, I'm your girl.

After my spontaneous commitment to join my son in a sugar-free diet two weeks before, I had been very careful to not partake of sugary sweets and desserts. To clarify, yes, I know sugar is in most foods at the grocery store, but for me, it was enough to avoid the classic sugary cereals and treats. During my first two weeks, I ate some plain Cheerios (3 grams of sugar) and I had some honey on my peanut butter sandwich. My intent was to avoid trigger foods, and to completely avoid any kind of soda. Purists will not approve of my tactics; it matters not to me. 

So when I found myself in Wayne County, sitting at a table in the Sunglow Family Restaurant, looking out the window at the tiny post office across the street in Bicknell, Utah, it was not without some deliberation that I decided to hang up my sugar-free eating for just a moment, just long enough to sample the unusual offerings of pie. The Sunglow is known for its specialty pies, and I had promised myself that one day I was going to try their Pickle Pie and their Pinto Bean Pie.

There were four of us there that day, friends who had bonded over a love of photography. We had worked up an appetite after a morning at Capitol Reef National Park, shooting pictures of the fruit orchards in blossom. It had been an enjoyable morning stopping at Chimney Rock, some other overlooks, the Behunin cabin, and the Cook orchard.
As my friends and I deliberated as to which ones to try, our cute little waitress suggested we try the sampler plate: a half slice of each of their popular pies: Oatmeal, Buttermilk, Pinto Bean, and Sweet Pickle. PERFECT! 

As Ana cut each sliver of pie into eight tiny bites, my mouth began to water. I suggested we get the Pickle pie out of the way first. I didn't have high hopes of that being my favorite, as I'd had a rather unpleasant experience in college when I accepted a dare to try the Pickle milkshake at Stan's Drive-In on 9th East in Provo. Let's just say the first taste was surprisingly good, and the experience went downhill quickly from there.

Our waitress told us if we liked Ginger Snaps or Gingerbread, we would LOVE the Pickle pie. Well, I do love ginger-flavored anything. Anything, it turns out, except Sweet Pickle Pie. As I chewed my tiny bite of pie, I detected the crunchiness of crisp pickled cucumber, and a hint of ginger, yes, but no, the flavor was overtaken by mostly the taste of sweet baby Gherkins. No, Pickle will definitely never be my favorite flavor of anything, I think it's safe to say.

We moved on to the Pinto Bean pie. This one reminded me of a very pleasant cookie flavor, mostly just sweet with a nice, solid texture. The Buttermilk pie was a hit with most of us, as it had a tartness and flavor reminiscent of Lemon bars, and that could never be a bad thing, unless you detest lemon, and then, I suppose you would disagree on the yumminess factor. Finally, we sampled the Oatmeal pie. This was hands-down, the favorite. The Oatmeal pie was as good as any Oatmeal cookie, but more moist, and was similar in flavor to a Pecan pie. 

Am I glad I gave in to the temptation? Yes, I am. It was worth it. I rarely get over to Wayne County, but you can bet your bottom dollar that if I ever do again, I am stopping in for a whole piece of Oatmeal pie. If you are with me, I might even let you have a taste. Yes, it's that good that I would even hesitate to share.


  1. If I ever get there myself, I will have to taste them all!

    1. Take me with you when you go, Janna!

  2. I had a friend that used to eat at Stan's drive-in. She loved the pumpkin milkshake. I admire your willpower! Loved the imagery of the piece.

    1. Pumpkin I would love! Thanks for stopping by, Heather!

  3. I think I'd try any of the pies except pickle. And the crust...I'd eat all the crust.

    1. Oh, Deb, I think you would TRY the pickle one! You seem to be pretty adventurous! Especially if we started calling you names... Let's go, and you can eat my crust!

  4. Sounds like an interesting experience! when it comes to food, I always say I'll try ALMOST anything once. But only once. LOL And I love pie crust but hate anything gooey or squishy for filling, so if you ever decide to come to Belize to go zip lining, we could share a slice of pie and not leave even a crumb behind between us!


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