When I first moved to the Heights a few years ago it seemed that a great local dining scene was just a "pie in the sky" notion. But, slowly and surely that distant hope is coming closer to fruition. The addition of Marlene Stubler's Pie In the Sky Restaurant to the addresses on 19th St. will certainly help bring the dream even closer to reality.
The phrase pie in the sky was originally coined as a lyric in a song by Joe Hill and over time has come to be "used figuratively to refer to any prospect of future happiness which was unlikely ever to be realized."
Much like the dream of having a successful restaurant.
But, for Ms. Stubler that prospect has been realized. And then some. Her first store in Conroe has been a big success and now she is bringing her talents to the Heights. "One of my slogan's is 'What's your pie in the sky?' This was one of mine, a pie shack in the Heights," she says.
Ms. Stubler got her start baking pies in her father's gas station, believe it or not. "We had the best smelling gas station in the world. My first flavor of pie to sell was cherry. Cherry lattice pies are so pretty and tempting right out of the oven."
In the fall of 2004, when her father decided to retire and close the station, Marlene and her father agreed to use a half-acre of land to build the first Pie In The Sky. She and her sister opened in October 2005 and they have never looked back, baking over 40,000 pies since then. Today, their pies are available at all Rice Epicurean Markets and the restaurant menu now features much more than just pies. In fact, the original Pie In The Sky now offers cakes and casseroles and even helps with event planning and fund-raising.
Opening in mid-November, Pie In The Sky 2 will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and will feature the same menu as the original store dishing up everything from fresh pies and pastries to burgers and fried bologna sandwiches.
Marlene and her husband, a builder in the Heights, bought a home and moved their family here a few years back. "I love the Heights. The sense of community is so great. The phrase 'sit long, talk much and laugh often.' (from her website) rings true here."
"I have been looking for a place for about two years. Finally, I found the perfect [one]," she beams. "I will enjoy riding my bike to work in the mornings."