Dish of the Day: Seasonal Pie Cups

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 /by
Photo by Andrew Friedman
Photo by Andrew Friedman

Day 3: Seasonal Pie Cups
Where: Hill Country (Food Village)
Cost: $6

The breakout addition to this year’s U.S. Open Food Village is an outpost of Hill Country, the superlative, Manhattan-based barbecue joint that has generated long lines since last week’s qualifying event. At the Open, Hill Country offers an abbreviated menu of greatest hits such as their sausage links, signature brisket, and a pit-smoked turkey sandwich.

Most originally, for dessert, there’s a daily changing selection of Seasonal Pie Cups. If you’ve never heard of a “pie cup” before, that’s because they are the brainchild of Hill Country’s Executive Chef, Elizabeth Karmel. At a recent U.S. Open press tasting, Karmel explained that the single-serve pie cups are her stab at creating something barbecue-appropriate that dovetails with the current cupcake craze.

Mission accomplished… sort of. While you can, indeed, un-mold the pie cups and eat them like a cupcake, they are probably best and most elegantly consumed at a table, with knife and fork. They are, however, delicious, and scaled and priced perfectly for a coda to a barbecue meal, such as the aforementioned smoked turkey sandwich with pickles and onions. (Be sure to ask for barbecue sauce, which the counter staff will be happy to provide you.)

The selection of Seasonal Pie Cups changes daily, the saucers du jour displayed under glass domes, a charming flourish amid the insanity of the Food Village. Pictured here is the Cowboy Pie Cup, a wonderfully dense concoction of dark chocolate, butterscotch, and toasted pecans. Other varieties include double cherry and blueberry. Order them up when purchasing your ‘cue; trust us, you’ll want one.  

Click here for more Dishes of the Day from the 2013 U.S. Open.


In addition to his duties as an editor at-large for TENNIS, Andrew Friedman writes about food, chefs, and the restaurant industry. He has written or co-written more than 25 chef-focused books and cookbooks and chronicles his travels in the culinary world on his website, Toqueland.

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