Debbie’s Pies: Hang Left at the Hippo for Hutto Bakery

Restaurant Sign Texas

Debbie's Pies signage is subtle, so look for the massive Texan Cafe steer.

Debbie’s Pies, Etc. is an offshoot of The Texan Cafe, an adjacent down-home restaurant that Bud and Debbie Wheeler opened in 1996. The sister businesses reside in “old downtown” Hutto, a hair north of Highway 79. According to the website, Debbie learned to bake from her Grandma, who learned to bake from her mother, Debbie’s Great-Grandma Cormier.

The charming café touted tan brick walls, a pressed tin ceiling, and a sign that espoused sage wisdom: “Pie Fixes Everything.” Indeed.

Pie Sign Texas

The charming café touted tan brick walls, a pressed tin ceiling, and a sign that espoused sage wisdom: “Pie Fixes Everything.” Indeed.

Highway Sign Texas

The Texan Café side featured a corrugated tin wall and Highway 79 road sign, plus plenty of other Texas memorabilia. A hippo carpet paid tribute to Hutto High School, home to the Hutto Hippos.

Pie Case Texas

The café’s motto is “down home cooking with a smile.” As soon as we set our eyes on Debbie’s staggering display case, we sure were smiling.

The multi-tiered display case featured options like chocolate fudge pie, coconut cream pie, turtle pie and pecan pie. Guess “Etc.” stands for cakes and cobblers, since there were plenty of both. There were only two of us, and we just treated Louie Mueller Barbecue like a trough, so we couldn’t do as much damage as we would have liked. With only two picks, my father wanted to try a cream pie and a fruit pie, so that was our criteria.

Surprisingly, our waitress revealed the person who bakes the pies is named Nita Hodge. Not Debbie. Oh well. Good pie is good pie, whoever bakes it.

Pie Texas

Butterscotch chips and a smattering of whipped cream topped our butterscotch cream pie. The slice was enormous, easily equal to two slices, and dense, like a thick pudding. Five bites into the ultra-rich butterscotch cream pie, it was obvious we couldn’t eat anymore. That’s when my father turned to me and said, “You want to try another one?” I said, “Of course.”

Pie Texas

Strawberry rhubarb pie was outstanding, featuring a flaky cinnamon-dusted crust and slightly bitter rhubarb balanced with strawberry sweetness.

Pie Texas

Apple pie featured big apple chunks and the same terrific cinnamon-dusted crust as the strawberry pie.

A take on Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” advertised Pie Happy Hour. If you’re in Hutto between 3 PM and 5 PM, Tuesday through Saturday, it’s $2.99 for a slice of pie and a beverage.

While my father and I were gorging on pie, I became mesmerized by the list of tempting vegetables and sides on the blackboard. I took a copy of The Texan Cafe menu to go, and realized that since it was Friday, we could have eaten blue plate specials like meatloaf, chicken fried steak, or catfish – fried, grilled or blackened. We reserve at least one meal per Austin trip for something other than barbecue. I could easily see Texan Cafe being our non-‘cue stop when we return in 2008. Which would have to conclude with a stroll next door to Debbie’s Pies, Etc.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

Bud, I have been thinking of you’ll and wondering how your doing scence Frameswitch. I here that the Texan Cafe may have someone I knew years ago, Ron Yantes? Please e=mail me.
Chip from the CTC ACF in the 1980’s

Chip – Yes Roger and I operate The TEXAN now – hard work but great fun would be great to see you and Diane – wow 25 years ago – still in cvontact with Gerri Misko –

Debbie has left and the Texan Cafe will not tell where she is!! Can somebody help!

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