Pies in Passing: Arizona’s oldest restaurant serves up tradition for travelers

Arizona's oldest restaurant serves up pies

BLACK CANYON CITY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - By now you’re probably preparing for Thanksgiving dinner, getting the turkey ready and making sure you’ve got pie for dessert.

Some stop at the grocery store to pick one up; others order and wait for them to arrive on their doorstep.

A couple hours north of Tucson - you’ll find a cafe in their busiest time of year, making and shipping those pies by the thousand.

It’s on your way to Flagstaff, inside the walls of Arizona’s oldest restaurant. There, you’ll find Gaylyn Scott. She’s been serving at the Rock Springs Cafe for 28 years and is always eager to help the next traveling customer.

"We've been traveling I-17, drove by and we always see all the cars. Today we decided to stop," said Scott.

A common conversation she has at the 100-year-old restaurant weekly. The restaurant draws in hundreds of travelers each day.

"They're heading north. Some to catch the Polar Express. Many ... most ... picking up pies," she said.

That's including Mike Ough, in town from Omaha, stopping in for a slice of pie after spending a few days in Tucson.

"It's better. Better than pies you get other places. Just like grandmother made it," said Ough.

(Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now)

Rock Springs Cafe has become part of his annual family tradition.

"I get to visit with my brother and I only get to see him two or three times a year," he said.

This place’s popularity grew over time, a favorite with travelers worldwide.

"We've had world travelers from Europe, New Zealand, and Australia come in and enjoy our pies," said Augie Perry, who has owned the restaurant for a decade. He said the pie is so popular, they felt they had to begin shipping it.

There's a flavor for everyone, made in house from scratch.

"They're made with a lot of love, care, and dedication," said Perry.

During Thanksgiving, they sell what they normally would within a month... in seven days.

It becomes a 24-hour operation. 7,000 pies are made and overflow into a whole separate room.

"The pie is great." The massive process all to continue serving customers like Ough, always savoring each bite. "This is probably the only time I get it."

“It’s tradition for a lot of people,” said Scott. A tradition that Scott will continue to be a part of, helping each new guest as they come in to make their own memories over a holiday meal.

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