Crouse Cafe in downtown Indianola, Iowa is one of those small-town cafes that serves great pies. When you find a place that makes good pies, you need to take note and make an effort to go back. Great pie places don’t last forever as the ability and willingness to make great scratch pies is usually limited to a particular cook. Breitbach’s in Balltown, Iowa was one of those places that offered great pies, though I don’t know if the same local lady is making pies for Breitbach’s after the place burned down twice in as many years. Too often, a restaurant offering great pies suddenly switches to the generic corporate pies that come in a nice white truck every Thursday. You know those pies; they are all very uniform in size and usually sickeningly sweet. I’ve all but quit ordering dessert as so few restaurants make their own anymore. If any readers know of a place that still makes their own desserts, drop me a note and I’ll mention it. Anyway, some friends got together and had lunch at Crouse Cafe and after eating a very good lunch we just had to test the pies. Actually, we could see the pies in their round pie display case on the counter just begging to be eaten. The Coconut Creme Pie was described as the best ever. I had the apple pie and it was excellent, featuring a sugared crust on top. This isn’t excactly the right season to order apple pie using fresh apples, but it was good all the same and everyone agreed that the creme pies were top-notch. The veteran waitress made us out-of-towners feel right at home, with wry comments and menu suggestions when it looked like we might not order enough food. The place was packed but the wait staff was able to keep up with the rush. I wish restaurants charging three times as much for an entree could have service that good. So, if you find yourself in Indianola, drop by and make sure to keep room for a pie.
Prices for lunches were in the $5 to $7 range. The restaurant is just off the southeast corner of the town square.