Skip

Hubig's Pies of New Orleans
July 27, 2012 8:42 AM   Subscribe

Hubig's Pies, a New Orleans institution for almost 100 years burned down last night in a five-alarm fire. For a city that's already lost so much, this is an especially devastating blow. Hubig's Pies are vital to the spirit of the city. But they've rebuilt before, and hopefully they will again.
posted by ColdChef (76 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Uneaten pies will be the coin of the realm.
posted by The Whelk at 8:43 AM on July 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


(Also: best flavor? Coconut.)
posted by ColdChef at 8:43 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh my god, all those poor pies. I bet the first few minutes of the blaze smelled pretty damn good, though.
posted by elizardbits at 8:54 AM on July 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


(Also: best flavor? Coconut.)

Liar. Sweet Potato.

For those that haven't had them, they are what Hostess pies are modeled on, only unlike Hostess pies, these taste goooooood...

Tho to be honest, I prefer 'em fresh made - is that burger joint in mid-city still around? Really good made-to-order pocket pies.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:56 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
posted by shecky57 at 9:02 AM on July 27, 2012


This is horrible.


I'm a Hubig's apple pie guy, myself.


I biked by David Simon on mardi gras morning this year, and he was dressed up as the baker on the Hubig's pies logo.
posted by umbú at 9:05 AM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I has a pie sad.
posted by Kitteh at 9:07 AM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is a god damn tragedy.

A couple of years ago, my (N.O.-raised) wife and I stopped for an overnight in New Orleans on our way back from Alabama. After being abandoned outside the B&B by the owner, we happened to pass by the back of the factory, where a worker was out back during the late shift. He saw us despondently rolling our luggage down the sidewalk, and kindly offered to get us a couple of fresh pies.

When he asked what flavors we wanted, I, who had no idea what was going on, could only stammer "uh, uh...". My wife, however, was not going to miss the opportunity. Pleasantries were exchanged, and we left with a couple peach and a couple sweet potato pies.

They changed my life.
posted by mkultra at 9:08 AM on July 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


Oh MAN. I feel privileged to have enjoyed Hubigs pies when we visited last year. A sad loss, this.

(also, you are wrong: God loves all Hubigs Pies equally.)
posted by ardgedee at 9:10 AM on July 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Like a lot of other people, I first heard of Hubig's via the magic pie in the first episode of Treme. I hope they can rebuild soon.
posted by zamboni at 9:11 AM on July 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


God damn it.
posted by brundlefly at 9:14 AM on July 27, 2012


I'm going to be in NOLA again for a conference in early November. I do feel a twinge of guilt about immediately wondering if Hubig's will be back up and running by the time I get there...

But in all seriousness, my sympathies to the shop's owners, employees, and families. I hope this will prompt a glorious re-birth as a shiny new pie-baking phoenix.
posted by LMGM at 9:15 AM on July 27, 2012


I have had several friends give out custom-printed Hubig's pies at their wedding ceremonies. Tulane printed custom ones for my fiance's graduation as well.

I hope they are still around and back in operation when it's our turn to get married.
posted by djeo at 9:17 AM on July 27, 2012


Maybe they'll get new machinery that doesn't drop chipping paint into the food. (from looking at the video)
posted by stbalbach at 9:19 AM on July 27, 2012


Many fond memories of eating the crispy sugar-encrusted corners first.

(Apple, lemon, pineapple. Avoid the chocolate)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:19 AM on July 27, 2012


Maybe they'll get new machinery that doesn't drop chipping paint into the food. (from looking at the video)

Those are prizes!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:23 AM on July 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Those are prizes!

Like King Cake babies, only with lead in 'em.
posted by liketitanic at 9:24 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Protip: Apple Hubig's, slice of sharp cheddar, 20 seconds in the microwave. Heaven.
posted by ColdChef at 9:25 AM on July 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I am sitting here eating a blueberry Hubig's pie I picked up this morning. Later I will eat the banana one. They were out of my favorite: Lemon. Please hurry back.
posted by govtdrone at 9:26 AM on July 27, 2012


As djeo said, they have become an item to mark every major occasion in my life for the past few years. They were most definitely a mainstay in my childhood here. I remember begging my mom for one *every time* we went to the gas station.

I still have a custom Hubig's pie from a friend's wedding, uneaten, in my dresser drawer. I'd thought about throwing it out just the other day, but I'll be holding onto it now.

And yeah, sweet potato. The chocolate is good if you heat it up for about 15 seconds, with vanilla ice cream on top (if you can handle that much sweet).
posted by manimimi at 9:27 AM on July 27, 2012


I've lived in Houston since 2005 and have never been to New Orleans.
This looks like a good excuse to go.
posted by mrbill at 9:27 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy shit, a few years ago I lived literally two blocks from Hubig's Pies. I used to bike past it on my way to work every day. Hard to believe that something like that could happen.

I'm very glad nobody was hurt. I hope they manage to rebuild quickly.

Damn, now I want a lemon pie. I wonder if I could find one. I'm going to have to try.
posted by Scientist at 9:36 AM on July 27, 2012


Apparently there were runs on the gas stations and groceries this morning. Lines at Rouses like a storm was in the gulf.

I stupidly looked at the ingredients last year and found that, as a vegetarian, I could no longer in good conscience partake. I recall with fondness finding the elusive, hidden in the back of the display, just one left sweet potato.
posted by gordie at 9:36 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I bought all the Hubig's in my small town this morning. Dozens. Don't you judge me.
posted by ColdChef at 9:53 AM on July 27, 2012 [19 favorites]


mrbill, I made my first visit this spring and have been thinking of the place on and off ever since. GO!
posted by wenestvedt at 9:53 AM on July 27, 2012


I just rode past there yesterday on my way to visit a friend at Piety Street Studios. Sad times.

On the other hand, I tried one earlier this week--I think it must be something you had to grow up with. Either that, or the peach flavor is just not the choice I should have made.
posted by mollymayhem at 9:54 AM on July 27, 2012


This is awful. I don't think they'll be able to rebuild before my next visit.
posted by asperity at 9:58 AM on July 27, 2012


I had to check 5 gas stations here in Baton Rouge before finding an apple Hubigs. Now I have one and am eating it very slowly.
posted by a hat out of hell at 10:02 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


What kind of gas station? I'm making a run. They also have them at Associated Grocery Stores.
posted by ColdChef at 10:13 AM on July 27, 2012


Waiting out a rainstorm in a bar in the quarter. The bartender is wearing a Hubigs t-shirt. :(
posted by mollymayhem at 10:20 AM on July 27, 2012


Guys I think this is a historic moment here. The first ever community liveblogging of a pie shortage.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:21 AM on July 27, 2012 [21 favorites]


/em cries.

I woke up to this news today. This is sad, sad news.
posted by Night_owl at 10:23 AM on July 27, 2012


I still have a custom Hubig's pie from a friend's wedding, uneaten, in my dresser drawer.

I just. What? Pie in your dresser drawers? I demand an explanation!
posted by elizardbits at 10:25 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sigh, yet another famous thing I'd never heard of until it was too late.

Wonder why they never expanded again, after the Depression? Just not popular enough?
posted by Malor at 10:26 AM on July 27, 2012


I worked on a complicated project in New Orleans last year, and survived thanks to Hubig's pies. I brought back a pile of them to give to friends in NYC, which I then ate all by myself. I thought about posting this when I saw the news, but I'm glad a real New Orleans resident did it instead!

p.s. lemon is best.
posted by moonmilk at 10:42 AM on July 27, 2012


ColdChef, I am judging you. Verdict: I find the defendant to be a wise man.
posted by mollymayhem at 10:47 AM on July 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


When good old samofidelis was rocking a much younger buck mode than he is today, there was a fire at the apple packing plant in Winchester, Virginia. If you've never seen a couple or four hundred apple crates burn -- the big ones, like 8'x6'x4' or something -- it is an amazing sight. And the north end of town smelled like apple pie for days.
posted by samofidelis at 10:57 AM on July 27, 2012


Some one is going to take a pie hostage.
posted by The Whelk at 11:02 AM on July 27, 2012


I really hope they're back in time for the big MeFi15 party there. They sound delicious and I would like to try some (coconut sounds effing divine).
posted by rtha at 11:02 AM on July 27, 2012


How I wish the convenience stores in Central TX had access to those delicious pies, cause all I see are those Hostess pies.

ColdChef, I can only assume you have a hiding place for all these pies as you drive around S. La adding to your hoard.
posted by freakinloon at 11:06 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I also learned about them from Treme, and was hoping to try one on my upcoming trip. There are so few truly local things anymore.
posted by JoanArkham at 11:06 AM on July 27, 2012


One of the many competing crowdfunding sites should ink a deal with them. NOLA doesn't want to lose Hubig's:

http://smallknot.com
htto://kickstarter.com

Etc. etc.
posted by subpixel at 11:08 AM on July 27, 2012


I read the news on my phone this morning while still in bed, and hopped up to get ready early. Starting at 8AM I went to three stores looking for pies and called a fourth and everyone was out. Some (like Terranova's) were out within fifteen minutes of the open of business.

People here take these Hubig's pies seriously.

I arrived at work, dejected and honestly sad, and on my desk was waiting for me an apple Hubig's that an early-rising co-worker had picked up for me.

That 100% absolutely made my day.
posted by komara at 11:09 AM on July 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


p.s. that same co-worker also said there are now at least two pies on eBay. I don't have the heart to go see if he's telling the truth.
posted by komara at 11:23 AM on July 27, 2012


Note to people who are stocking up: They freeze ok. Freeze them, then put in something airtight. Nuke for 45 seconds or so on a plate when it's time to eat.
posted by Night_owl at 11:32 AM on July 27, 2012


The place I board my dog is offering a grooming or an overnight stay in exchange for pies. It's getting serious up in here.
posted by gordie at 11:33 AM on July 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


I see from the video that these are deep-fried pies, not baked ones. Is that a common Southern US thing? (I associate deep-frying everything with Scotland, the home of the fried Mars bar.)
posted by Azara at 11:34 AM on July 27, 2012


A short history.

Also: they're not only deep fried--they're fried in beef tallow for extra flavor and flakiness.

I'm not ashamed to admit I just drove to two grocery stores and six gas stations. Scored nine more pies. Now I know how crack addiction must feel.
posted by ColdChef at 11:37 AM on July 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Neighbor compares Hubig's Pies in New Orleans to the Sphinx in Egypt (WARNING: Heavy Yat accident)
posted by ColdChef at 11:41 AM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


'It's like a neighbor died'
posted by ColdChef at 11:46 AM on July 27, 2012


Im guessing (as a Marylander) this is how I would feel if I heard the Berger Cookie factory burned down

...shutters at that thought

My pie flavored thoughts go out to ya
posted by ShawnString at 11:58 AM on July 27, 2012


I'm not ashamed to admit I just drove to two grocery stores and six gas stations.

We're gonna need a picture of the hoard. For science.
posted by mrbill at 12:16 PM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine texted me an image of an empty Hubig's pie rack with the words "BEHOLD! THE FUTURE!"
posted by komara at 12:18 PM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


For SCIENCE!
posted by ColdChef at 12:24 PM on July 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


There are indeed a couple of Hubig's Pies on eBay. The lemon one is up to $5.51 and the apple to north of $3 with real bids.
posted by localroger at 12:42 PM on July 27, 2012


I was just discussing Hubigs with my daughter a few days ago. She is NOLA born and Hubigs pies were one of her first sweet tooth addictions. I go for lemon myself, but it is the crust that counts. And I love the Yat lady on the "Sphinx" link.
Man, I miss that place.
posted by Isadorady at 1:01 PM on July 27, 2012


My wife and I visited the Hubig's bakery last summer to bring back a couple dozen pies. They aren't used to visitors and don't normally sell out of the bakery, but they were nice enough to make it happen. We got a variety of flavors straight off the racks, along with a t-shirt for our neighbor's daughter. We'll be buying a couple more, I think.
posted by me3dia at 1:32 PM on July 27, 2012






I see from the video that these are deep-fried pies, not baked ones. Is that a common Southern US thing?

Well, at least one other spot in the south does deep-fried pies -- The Varsity, a small hamburger chain in Atlanta and Athens, GA. They're quite good.
posted by Malor at 3:50 PM on July 27, 2012


Huh. Wonder if Walgreens is out, too.
posted by liketitanic at 3:57 PM on July 27, 2012


Neighbor compares Hubig's Pies in New Orleans to the Sphinx in Egypt (WARNING: Heavy Yat accident)
posted by ColdChef


Thanks for posting this. I was directing at WWL-TV this morning and this call has to be my favorite moment of my nearly 20 years working there. Unfortunately, since we were covering the event wall-to-wall, all the stores in the French Quarter nearby were sold out by the time I left work, so now I have to wait for them to rebuild.
posted by tvgraphicsguy at 3:58 PM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have been obsessively combing all the Ask info on NOLA lately, (dreaming of a second honeymoon at Jazzfest' 2013 or '14) and I have not seen Hubig's Pies mentioned, not once.

Which confirms my suspicions that you crafty locals are keeping the Good Stuff to yourselves, and laughing down your sleeves at the Tourists - "get a Muffuletta, seriously! It has bread in it!".


*glare*
posted by Catch at 4:34 PM on July 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Catch: the Hubig's pie is such a part of life that thinking to recommend it to a tourist would be akin to saying, "Oh, while you're down here you ought to try breathing the air. It's fantastic."
posted by komara at 4:54 PM on July 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


Also, I framed my Hubig's wrapper from today. I know it's not K&B, I know it won't fall into the "ain't dere no more" but this day has been really fascinating. It's such a symbol of how New Orleans works; by the time I got up all the fat little fried pies were gone and loud lamenting shook the internets.

I'm just glad that Hubig's won't go the way of Ojen or the pepper wiener.
posted by komara at 4:59 PM on July 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


(sorry - for non-New Orleanans: Ojen, pepper wiener)
posted by komara at 5:02 PM on July 27, 2012


I was in New Orleans for the night and was awaken by sirens. So sad to learn later this morning the cause. I know they'll rebuild. They're not only a New Orleans treasure, but they've supported New Orleans many times. Come on people, go to their website and buy a t-shirt or two. A good cause I promise.
posted by justgary at 6:16 PM on July 27, 2012


elizardbits, they are wrapped in a well-sealed wax-paper-like covering. Due to the frying and the sugar and the fat, I'm not entirely sure they ever go bad. I'll probably end up taking it out and putting the wrapping in my box of special things.
posted by manimimi at 6:43 PM on July 27, 2012


Oh man that's terrible. Very glad no one was hurt, the last fire I heard about in New Orleans killed 8 people in the Upper 9th Ward. Hubig's pies, in addition to being good as hell, have been an amazing reminder for me that it's actually possible to have an emotional relationship with a product, with something that comes off an assembly line. I regarded them with skepticism as some kind of weird gas-station-type junk food early on during the 18 months I lived in that city, and was so surprised when I actually tried one. I'll be wearing my Hu-Dat t-shirt around for a bit I guess, which is mostly good for drawing confused looks here in NC.
posted by geneva uswazi at 10:19 PM on July 27, 2012


"it's so oll it's like da Sphinx"

oh Caroline, why dey fade ya out?

:(
posted by eustatic at 1:34 PM on July 28, 2012


"It's Carolyn (Yat drawl which I won't even attempt to transcript), not Caroline"
posted by Catch at 2:00 PM on July 28, 2012


oh Caroline, why dey fade ya out?

Because she could have gone on like that all day. I've just now finally listened to that clip and LOL, that is actual New Orleans culture for you.

It's been awhile but back when I was a mere technician and not yet designing whole control systems I did a bit of work in the Hubig plant. Funky old buildings are cool and all but they're not all that much fun when they were built and wired before 3-prong receptacles were standard and there's a 90 year running mix of equipment and a lot of the documentation exists only in the heads of aging maintenance guys.

If the insurance kicks in and they reboot to a more modern facility, especially if the mayor can keep them in the neighborhood (the pols are already angling on that score) it will be a win in the longer run.
posted by localroger at 3:41 PM on July 28, 2012


manimini, Hubig's pies can go bad. There are no preservatives in them, so they have a shelf life of about a week. This is why the company had a very limited sales area.

I'm still stunned that Hubig's burned down. It's a part of my childhood, my youth, my life gone. Katrina destroyed so much of it; losing Hubig's would be too much to take. I hope they will rebuild it, because to lose them would be tragic.
posted by Not The Stig at 8:45 PM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


On their website they are selling Angel Investor cases of 12 for $50, to be shipped when they reopen. I have hope.
posted by Night_owl at 11:32 PM on July 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


The fruit pie is in my hand.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:05 PM on July 29, 2012


blog of new orleans: Pining for pies
The fire that destroyed the Hubig’s Pie facility last month has inspired a profusion of new T-shirts benefiting the bakery’s rebuilding efforts (see entries from Fleuty Girl and Dirty Coast), it’s triggered a run on other official Hubig’s merchandise and it’s even brought us a tribute cocktail from Chris Hannah, bartender at Arnaud’s French 75.
Links in that paragraph of linked story.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:41 PM on August 7, 2012


« Older Trying to drink wine while Hula-Hooping   |   I'm lonely. Is that so odd? Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post