You’ve probably seen the big signs as you drive through Oklahoma, advertising “Fried Pies!”
Now, the legendary Arbuckle Mountain treats are available in Kansas.
Two shops in Sedgwick County sell the fried pies, the first of which opened in Park City in 2017.
“This is how many pies we’ve sold since we opened last December,” said manager, LeeAnn Walsh, pointing to an electronic sign in the store that reads 136,217.
The numbers keep clicking higher, as customers like Gary and Rita Weber of Wakeeney learn they don’t have to go out of state to get their fix.
“I got peach,” said Rita, as she waits for her order.
“I got cherry,” said Gary, “but I like apple, too.”
The couple discovered fried pies almost by accident the first time.
“We were traveling south to Oklahoma a couple years ago and saw this great big sign, said Fried Pies!” said Gary. “Let’s go see what it is, so we pulled off.”
Immediately, they were hooked.
“It takes you home. Everybody had a grandma that made pie, and you remember smelling the apple pie sitting on the counter,” said owner, Bradley Monahan. “It just takes you back to a younger time.”
Monahan took over the Park City shop last fall, soon after opening a drive-through kiosk in west Wichita.
Each store offers sweet pies, from pecan to chocolate and coconut, and savory pies, that include breakfast flavors, pepperoni pizza, and Tex-Mex.
“Every pie is handmade so they’re all a little different in their own right, but they’re all beautiful,” said Monahan with a smile.
Employees make the dough fresh each day by mixing in buttermilk.
Precise portions of dough are then flattened with a machine so workers can fill them with fruit or a meat mixture.
The edges of the dough are crimped, and the pie is fried in hot oil for three minutes.
“They’re really good,” said first-time customer, Melanie Vanscyoc of Wichita. “I’m taking some back to some co-workers so they can see how good they are.”
The fried pies are so popular, the owner will sell them on the road this year in a food truck.
Monahan may also open more stores in Kansas, but for now, the former chiropractor is enjoying his new career in the restaurant business.
“There are your pies, sir. Enjoy!” said Monahan to Weber, handing him a bag.
“I will, plan on it!” responded Weber. “And I’ll let others know you’re here.”