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The Park Cafe & The Subject of Pie

2010 August 18

The Park Cafe in St. Mary

The Park Cafe in St. Mary, east of Glacier National Park, is highly recommended. Not only did my friends enthusiastically speak of it, but it boasts a “World Famous” status. I took a moment one evening to ponder on what exactly it takes to become World Famous, but I am still not entirely sure…. Is there a checklist or maybe a point system? Do you have to register with an organization that keeps track of these sorts of things? Just curious….

My friends had told me of the Gypsy Burrito at the Park Cafe. “I’m sold,” I had declared as they listed off the ingredients. I had meant to get there during sooner in my stay and had even planned to a couple times and had not made it. So, I pulled my camper into the parking lot and stopped in for lunch before I took off for the border.

The description of the Gypsy Burrito read:

Curry spices season this blend of potatoes, yams, parsnips, onions, carrots, coconut milk and garbanzo beans, wrapped in flour tortilla and topped with a tangy pineapple salsa and cashews.

It sounded good. And as it was set down in front of me, it looked good. Even the handsome doctor from Dallas standing behind me in the cash register line thought so. He asked if it was good. It was. Very good.

I could only eat one of two rather generous burritos on the plate so I asked to get a to-go box and ordered a piece of peach pie to go.

Pie. I really don’t understand the pie culture. Whenever people tell you that it is a really good cafe, they always seem to underscore it with, “they have really good pie.” Maybe it is just because I am not a pie person. My mom makes really good pies, and I will gladly have a piece if she has made one for an occasion. And I enjoy a piece of pumpkin pie at the holidays, but the rest of the year… pie doesn’t even enter my mind. And it certainly doesn’t persuade my decision making when it comes to deciding where to eat.

But, since it had been mentioned a couple of times, I got a piece to go. Just in case it was the most spectacular piece of pie ever… just in case it would change my entire perception of pie and its meaning in my life – or maybe even the meaning of life. Just in case…

Maybe it would have been better had I eaten it there. But I couldn’t eat another bite at the time. I even tried heating it up a bit on my grill, but I can’t help it… I was not won over. I am not a converted pie lover. Which is fine; I can leave the pie to the people who really appreciate it, and get my fill during the holidays.

The Gypsy Burrito though… was completely worth the time to stop on my way out of St. Mary. If you make it to Glacier National Park, I would recommend stopping by the Park Cafe in St. Mary and having a bite and a piece of pie… if you are a fan of pie that is.

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