Central Montana’s Pie a la Road (pie trail) welcomed the Branding Iron Cafe in White Sulphur Springs to the trail. Pie a la Road features locally owned restaurants and I’ve discovered that many of them (including the Branding Iron) are located in small rural communities like White Sulphur Springs.
I’ve eaten at the Branding Iron before but have never tried their pie. Today was the exception.
When I walked in the cafe, one of the waitresses was rushing out. An elderly gentlemen was just getting in his vehicle and she called him by name and said, you forgot your leftovers. She handed him a small to-go container and he was incredibly grateful. Small town charm and a friendly smile – this waitress had it to the max.
The Branding Iron has a counter for casual dining and some tables along side it, then another dining area. One side was full so I took a table in the dining area. In a few minutes I had met the waitress and the owner and I decided they already knew all of the other customers.
The list of pies available was long. My choices included chocolate cream, banana cream, lemon meringue, coconut cream, cherry, blueberry, apple, pumpkin, strawberry rhubarb and pecan. Whew! I decided this was a pie-eating community.
My choice – pecan with a small scoop of ice cream. Now, I hadn’t planned on ice cream, but they had Wilcoxson’s ice cream, made in Montana, and the Branding Iron owner told me the story of the ice cream business and the wonderful person the owner was, how well he treated his employees…I had ice cream. And they warmed the pie for me.
As the owner and I visited I asked who made the pie. Usually there is one person who does this and it’s hard work. She said they all help with pie making. There are a couple of young waitresses who are learning some great baking skills!
Now, for the pie. It was yummy and it brought back some good memories for me. I made pecan pie quite frequently when my Mom, in her later years, was having medical issues. It gave her some calories to keep her from dwindling away and there was protein and some good oil in the pecans. My Mom’s comment at the time was, it just tasted right, and it was the one thing she would always eat.
I spent a lot more time at the Branding Iron than I had planned. It didn’t take long for the owner to introduce me to a new person in town sitting a few tables away. He had just purchased one of the local hotels and all of a sudden a chair was pulled up for me and I switched tables. I’ve already said something about small town charm but it is worth repeating!
The Branding Iron is open year round from 6:30am to 8:30pm. They have an active Facebook page and frequently post their daily specials. If you go, save room for pie!