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High Point pie joint keeps it simple

by Brian Clarey

editor@yesweekly.com

I’m sitting on the back covered porch of the Sherrod House in the neighborhood known as Uptown High Point, fork in hand, ready to destroy my sensible lunch plans with a warm slice of cherry pie a la mode, the scoop of vanilla ice cream already settling into the plate.

Archibald Sherrod built this house in 1915, almost 20 years after he bought the High Point Chair Co. and moved to town. Neophytes might want to call it a craftsman home, but it’s actually done in the prairie style, like an early Frank Lloyd Wright, with wide first-floor eaves that cover the porchery on three sides, the windows of second floor tucked beneath a green tile roof.

It’s a work of art, so it’s only fitting that it now serves as perhaps the classiest antiques mall in the Triad.

Through the parlors and past the dining room, Jill Newton holds down the galley kitchen with a concept she started a few months ago that is not out of place among the mechanical typewriters and solid-wood chiffarobes. Pies & Coffee walks the walk with a slate of daily pies — today it’s cherry, banana-cream and lemon meringue — and insulated urns of fresh brew from local roaster FosterHobbs. The pies have a local source as well, though she’s not ready to share it with readers. She’s limited by the galley kitchen and the constraints of the Guilford County Health Department — “I can’t mix batter, I can’t use the stovetop. I can’t cook from scratch in here,” she says. “It’s just so small, [and] I’m limited in what I can do.”

Her career wends through accounting, the foodservice and travel industries and a detour through historic preservation. She took courses at Randolph Community College with Benjamin Briggs, executive director of Preservation Greensboro, to feed her love of historic architecture. And when a space became available at the Sherrod House, she was instantly drawn to it.

“Take all these things and bring them into one,” she says. It seems like she’s in the right place. A lot of husbands and children who find themselves in the antique mall not entirely of their own free will often stroll through the back kitchen, commit to a slice of pie and a cup of coffee. Newton will usually have something for lunch on the day’s menu, chicken or tuna salad, something that can be prepped off site. And the wonderful back porch hides nicely from the summer sun.

The cherry pie looks like a winner, the crust with just the right amount of sheen and flake to denote that it came from a kitchen and not a factory. The flavor leans to the sour side of the fruit pie spectrum, on point: sour cherry is one of he trendiest flavors of the season. And when commingled with the high-end vanilla ice cream, a savory element comes through that takes away some of the guilt I feel for having pie and ice cream for lunch.

WANNA go?

Pies & Coffee; 1100 N. Main St., High Point; 336.887.PIES

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