It’s what’s inside the glass display case that you see first when you enter the Urban Farmhouse Eatery & Pie Co.
Row upon row of oversized pies. Strawberry-rhubarb, coconut cream, Snickers and more. Oh, and that 14-pound, multi-layered carrot cake.
“I make 30 to 50 pies daily,” said Alyssa Edwards, 23. Her dad, Steve, of Pocahontas, owns the place, as well as a variety of other metro-east restaurants, including Fire-N-Smoke in Troy.
Alyssa, a Cordon Bleu culinary school graduate, does all her baking from scratch.
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“All hand-crafted and using local ingredients when we can,” she said.
That philosophy goes beyond the dessert counter. The restaurant, owned by the family for 12 years, recently got a complete makeover, from name (previously Farmers Restaurant & Bakery) to interior decor to menus in both the restaurant and bar.
The interior has gotten, well, a little hipper, in an urban farmhouse way: Corrugated metal wainscoting lines the walls, wood trim is emphasized and vivid red metal chairs sit under Amish-made, reclaimed barnwood tables. A chalkboard announces specials in nice calligraphy and the bar stocks a good supply of local beer (Excel from Breese, for example) and specialty sodas.
Emphasis is also placed on using meat from area farms that contains no preservatives, hormones and are antibiotic-free. Gluten-free and vegan items are easily identified on the menu.
Of course, that doesn’t preclude keeping some of the restaurant’s longtime faves, including fried chicken made in a pressure-cooker — “keeps it moist on the inside and crispy on the outside,” said Alyssa of the method. It’s on the menu in a variety of places, including among the dozen Farmhouse Platter choices, which include two sides and a homemade roll. You get to mix and match your favorite chicken parts, with two-piece dinners $8 to $10 and four-piece meals $8 to $14.
Then there is an array of burgers and sandwiches, such as the Pig & Egg (pulled pork, crisp bacon, Cheddar cheese, fried egg, barbecue sauce on a bun, $8 with a side), and a trio of Urban Tacos for $7 to $10 with a side.
Something else that’s new: The smoker and outdoor grill are always going, said Alyssa of how the restaurant prepares the pulled pork, peppered turkey breasts, marinated grilled chicken breasts and quarter-pound burgers.
Pick from six salads, some in two sizes. You can add grilled chicken to five of them for $3.
Sunday breakfast is from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., when you can order classics like waffles, omelettes and biscuits and gravy. But wait, you have to try the fried doughnuts with chocolate sauce ($4), Chorizo & Egg Taco ($7) and Farmhouse Hash: potatoes, onions, peppers, Cheddar cheese, scrambled eggs, cilantro cream and salsa for $6. Add chorizo, Southwest chicken, smoked pork, bacon or smoked sausage and fill your tummy for $8.
And, about dessert: You can have a slice of pie for $4; cake for $5. Want to take home the whole thing? Pies are $25, and those giant cakes are $40. You may need help carrying one out.
Alyssa grinned. “We’re comfort food with a little twist.”
Urban Farmhouse Eatery & Pie Co.
Where: 15 Central Blvd., Highland
What: Full-service breakfast (Sunday only), lunch, dinner, catering
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays
Handicapped accessible: Yes
Information: 618-651-0007 and dineurbanfarmhouse.com