The allure of “Junk Berry Pie” prompted an unexpected trip off 290, east of Austin. Royers Pie Haven, I’m not sure which part of you charmed me most: the owner, the ambiance or the pies.
Owner Tara Royer Steele
Tara Royer Steele’s sweet voice carried a hint of southern drawl over the phone. The portrait of her that hangs on the wall of Royers Pie Haven in Round Top, Texas exudes vibrancy. A mile wide grin is enhanced by an outline of red lipstick, bangs are replaced by two swirls that resemble cinnamon rolls resting above her forehead and a vintage green and white gingham blouse is tied off by a red bandana apron.
The image is a classic nod to a time when bobby sox were the rage and pulsating hips caused a stir. Then, pies were made one way: from scratch.
Country Chic Ambiance
The entry’s white washed double doors might need an extra tug when entering. But make no mistake, all are welcome. Once inside, you’re immediately greeted by a few staffers who capture the cafe’s spirit. They’re unpretentious, happy and at ease with their surroundings.
This pint sized building makes worn burlap and rusty nails look chic. Once you’ve selected your delicacies at the counter, you’ll have a number of good options for seating. You can relax under shady oak trees, settle down on a vintage metal glider that reads “Eat Pie Love” or you can people watch from the front porch.
Too hot to be outside in July? No problem, just settle down at a bistro table indoors or sprawl out on the floral sofa tucked quietly away in the back of the bakery.
Sweet and Savory Pies and More
While Royers Pie Haven does sell savory items like Chicken Pot Pie, Hee Haw Pie (eggs, sausage, bacon, jalapenos, onions, cheddar) and Texas Veggie Pie, our family had a sweet tooth the day of our visit. We indulged in chocolate cream filled Ding Dongs that stood three inches tall, as well as Texas Trash Pie (trash never tasted so good!).
The Junk Berry Pie that lured me in was filled with a mixture of colorful summertime berries. My personal favorite ended up being Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, topped with a delicious warm granola. No one in our family left hungry!
Royers Pie Haven in Austin
Editor’s Note: Royers’ Austin location closed on Dec. 24, 2015. The Round Top location is still open.
I’m thankful I stumbled upon the quaint town of Round Top and a pie shop that offers a taste from a bygone era, while serving up a side of charm with a dash of nostalgia.
And while I look forward to returning, it isn’t necessary to drive outside of Austin to get a slice of Royers pie. For Austinites who like to stay close to home, the company has opened a bakery just off the UT campus. Their Austin location doesn’t have outdoor seating, but you do have the options of grabbing a slice of goodness and a bistro table, or curling up on a comfortable sofa that overlooks a chandelier made from metal wire hangers with paper luggage tags dangling from strings.
If you’re looking for happiness, head to either Royers Pie Haven location and let the joys that accompany contentment weasel into your heart, and stomach.
Stay tuned! I’ll soon introduce you to another place that was recently featured on Canada’s Food Network and happens to be where Tara Royer Steele and her apron’s story began 28 years ago…
190 Henkel Circle, Round Top, TX – Website
@theAustinot wants to know:
Have you visited Royers Pie Haven in Round Top or Austin? If so, what would you recommend off the menu?
We love Royer’s Pie Haven! Of course, the pie is amazing…I like the Chocolate Sweet and Salty, sometimes with ice cream. The latte’s and cookies make us smile!