GARLAND – By Jessica Tanner – March 18, 2020
For nearly 100 years the Pie Dump restaurant in Garland has been treating customers to their famous hot rolls and gravy, as well as some of the best donuts around. The establishment recently got some much-deserved recognition that just might make them even more popular.
Last October television productions crews were at the Pie Dump for three days to gather footage that would be featured on Food Network’s television show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
It has taken months to put together but the episode, “Down-Home Flavor,” is finally ready to air.
On Friday, March 20, at 7 p.m., be sure to tune in to see Guy Fieri enjoy the “Rip and Dip” experience at the Pie Dump. Story continues below...
The Pie Dump has a long history of providing delicious food to the public, which was something Guy Fieri was very interested in. (For a full history visit the Pie Dump).
Mac and Cherie Munns began running the Pie Dump in 1982. Throughout the years they have had successes, faced challenges and made some changes, but they have always treated their customers like family and provided delicious staples that the community has grown to love.
As the Munns’ neared retirement, they began to wonder who would take over their beloved shop, giving it the same attention and care as they have - that’s when they noticed employee Maggie Fitzgerald.
In January 2019, they approached her about managing it for three to five years with the option to buy. Until then they are working together.
“It will be a seamless transition,” said Cherie. “Maggie has been here six years and is fully qualified. She loves the people and is good with our employees. Our million year-old recipes are not going to change. Monthly specials are added, but our basics will remain.”
One day in August of last year, Maggie was working at the Pie Dump when a call came through. The person on the other end claimed to be with Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and asked to speak to a manager.
Thinking it was just a scam she hung up. The next day one of their employees answered and with great excitement told Maggie to get on the phone. It led to a two-hour conversation to help producers determine if the Pie Dump would be a good candidate for their show.
“I was freaking out and called Cherie to tell her the news,” Maggie said.
More conversations were held, discussing their handmade goods from start to finish. After nearly 20 hours gathering information, producers told Maggie to compile a presentation. Guy Fieri, who hand picks the restaurants he wants to see, would review it.
“One reason they chose us is because we do everything from scratch,” said Maggie. “Guy would not accept anything that was not.”
After approval Cherie signed non-disclosures and little information about the production was given in order to keep it as secretive as possible.
“We could not tell people, which was hard,” said Cherie. “They set a lot of parameters and we followed them to a 'T' because we did not want to mess it up.”
Contacting the network for a television feature had been in the back of their minds for years, but they never got around to it. They began to question how producers had even heard about them.
As it turns out, Guy Fieri was in Logan getting ready for an elk hunting with his friend and Camp Chef. He decided while there he would do some filming. The Pie Dump, along with a few Logan businesses were suggested.
“They came to us, which is a big deal,” said Cherie.
When the time came, the Pie Dump was closed for a “special event” and 30 people were invited to be part of the production. A lot of prep work went into filming on their end.
Not only did the kitchen have to be TV clean, they had to prepare the food at several different stages. Recipes were prepped on a smaller scale and all the ingredients had to be ready. Since filming was spaced out, Maggie had to do the prep work twice. Story continues below...
It is standard that only one person can cook with Guy Fieri during filming, but he broke that rule in order to show the transition and allow both Mac and Maggie to have that experience.
“This was a dream come true,” said Maggie. “He is one of my favorite chefs—it was awesome to meet him. How he is on TV is how he is in real life. He is so authentic and real, but I had never been so nervous to cook.”
Guy Fieri, who chose what would be featured, selected the French dip and the maple bar, but asked about their signature item, “The Rip and Dip.”
“We got the hot roll and gravy and he ate the whole dang thing,” Mac said. “He typically eats one or two bite, but he ate the whole hot roll and maple bar, and 80% of the sandwich.”
“When he tasted “The Rip and Dip” he understood why that was our signature item,” Cherie said.
He chose the maple bar because it reminded him of a bakery in California where he grew up.
“He took that bite and his whole face lit up,” Cherie added.
They filmed for 20 hours over a three-day period.
“It was so fun, and we are excited to see the preview, but we were glad it was over,” said Cherie. “It was emotionally exhausting for all of us.”
The trio is not sure how this will benefit their business, but they are hopeful in what this could do. They now belong to a prestigious class as one of the restaurants Guy Fieri has visited. Their website shows a tour of the different places he has been, which many fans will make an effort to see.
Guy Fieri left his mark by signing a poster that hangs proudly in their shop. It says, “Old school, real deal.” Story continues below...
There is also a chance that Guy Fieri would come back to celebrate when Maggie becomes the new owner. She is hopeful that could happen during the Pie Dump’s centennial in 2022.
The Munns and Maggie attribute their success to their loyal customers, as well as past and present employees who have made the Pie Dump what it is today.
The Pie Dump’s episode “Down-Home Flavor” on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives will air on Food Network on Friday, March 20, at 7 p.m.
As an ongoing effort to keep their employees and customers safe during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) shutdown, the Pie Dump has decided to close their dining room for the time being.
They will still be taking orders. Call ahead and pick up your order or they can even bring it to your car. (435) 257-3947