House of Pies: A Slice of Heaven on Earth

April 20th, 2020

A slice of heaven on earth!


By Blaine Ochoa

During these trying and uncertain times of COVID-19, people, businesses and communities are having to adjust to new guidelines and standards of living. The U.S. economy has suffered tremendously. Many businesses have had to close their doors temporarily or make a livelihood based off of E-commerce sales alone. Essential businesses such as restaurants, have been able to keep their brick and mortar locations open and have made food purchases available for drive through, pick up and delivery. It is a positive thing that the restaurant industry is able to stay in business, however, it is still being greatly affected by the current worldwide pandemic known as the Coronavirus or COVID-19. One iconic Houston business has been able to stay open during this rough time to serve the community, keep their employees having a job, and serve delicious food to keep customers happy and full.

A local Houston favorite, House of Pies founded in 1967, has become a beloved tradition for many families. House of Pies is a family owned and operated business that now has four locations across Houston and its surrounding areas. The original locations are on Kirby and Westheimer in Houston, and in 2017 the Ganim family also opened the Fuqua location, along with the Woodlands location in 2019. One of the owners, Chuck Ganim, said, “we are happy that we are able to stay open for the Houston community. They have supported House of Pies for over 50 years and we are glad that we are able to serve the great citizens of this city during these tough times.”

A lot of restaurants have seen a decrease in sales, but continue to push through in hopes of providing for the community, keeping jobs for employees, and getting past the economic crisis. “Sales haven’t been anywhere near what we are used to. Its been a very rough time for everyone, but we can’t wait to get past this and get back to doing what we do best for the Houston community and getting our employees back to work full time. With the limited hours and lack of business we are trying to schedule as many employees as possible and rotating them with a few hours a week to help support them and their families.”

During difficult times or changes throughout life, we are able to evolve and grow. Sometimes in these moments creativity and innovation can flourish. Companies and business can evolve and establish new ideas and protocols to make their business better. It is imperative to always find the good and positive things that come from challenging times; for example, sparking new ideas, spending more time with loved ones, or strengthening a business. “We are continuing to keep our traditions in place. We are taking more time to spend with our employees over zoom calls to reach out and keep the company morale with our employees positive. We have a great team and want to let them know we are there for each other during this crisis.”

Next time you are in Houston or the Bay Area be sure to visit this incredible, family friendly establishment. Between the wonderful service, hospitality and food, you are guaranteed, ‘A slice of Heaven on Earth’. I highly recommend the chicken fried chicken or the patty melt! Or if you are in the mood for sweets, the Bayou Goo is the house favorite pie! “It consists of a layer of sweetened cream cheese, crushed pecans, and a chocolate vanilla custard topped with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and powdered sugar.”

“I would love to tell the community how grateful we are to be apart of this amazing city. We have seen generations of families grow in our restaurants and we consider our patrons as apart of our own family. We can’t wait to be fully open again to serve our community and bring the House of Pies family back together. Stay strong Houston, we will come out of this greater and stronger then ever.”

Our world, nation, state, and Houston community will rise above these challenging times and continue to adapt and grow stronger. Thank you to the hospitality workers and restaurant industry, like House of Pies, that are feeding the community and those on the front lines who are working diligently to ensure Americans are safe and healthy.

Dessert and wine pairing

April 3rd, 2020

By Alisa Star

As the colors of the desert get lighter the wine gets lighter.

Rule of thumb: The wine should be as sweet as the desert, with enough acidity for balance. It’s easy to pair wines with the main course. But what if you are treating yourself to the perfect desert? Fear not, the basic rules of wine pairing still apply, that you look for similar notes in your wine and your desert.

When shopping for the right dessert wine, you don’t have to limit yourself — get creative! As long as you ensure that the wine you pick falls on the sweeter side of the spectrum and matches the flavor and the color of the desert. You will be sure to end up with a perfect dessert wine pairing for your guests.

Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc pair perfectly with creamy butter desserts such as cheesecake, or brulee. It also complements lemon and cranberry flavors. Cabernets and Shiraz go well with lighter flavored chocolate, caramel, raspberry, plum and blueberry desserts. If you’re a port lover, try pairing with spicy desserts such as nutmeg, ginger, pumpkin or orange flavors. Rose wines get all the fuss pairing with strawberry, kiwi, peach, and shortbread, such as a fruit tart. For all the sparkling wine or champagne drinkers, we all know the answer to this one…raspberries and dark decadent chocolate! It takes champagne, with all that intense minerality and high levels of refreshing acidity, to contrast with the rich, creamy smooth and intense flavor of dark chocolate.

If you want to throw a special event for a party or holiday, you should try a “Sip & Sweets” theme. Your guests will be entertained throughout the whole evening taking this delicious and unusual journey with their palates as they sample different wines and dessert’s pairing.

Bay Area Houston Magazine