Tom’s Original Fried Pies
I may be more in love with the concept of Tom’s Original Fried Pies (255 E. McDowell Rd., Jackson) than with the food itself, but then again you can’t go too far wrong with the food when the concept is “fried pies.” I even dragged my boyfriend on a forty-minute (each way) drive into the country one weekend because I found a listing for a fried-pies place in far, far south Richland, which turned out not to exist. So I was pretty gleeful when I got to Tom’s and saw that it existed, and was open.
Tom’s is a simple place with a few booths and a counter; the color scheme is a faded orange and the interior looks like it’s been home to quite a few years of other establishments without much of a decor update. The menu is neatly hand written on several old-fashioned-looking signs above the register, along with a few reminders that all pies are cheaper by the dozen. The man at the register (Tom, I assume) was very friendly, and chatted with me while we waited for my pies to fry (”The meat patties only fry for four minutes, but those are the longest four minutes of your life!”).
Maybe everyone else knew this already, but I didn’t until I got my pies home and opened the bag: “fried pies” are empanadas. I got one pie from each of the food groups on the menu: dessert, breakfast (served all day), and lunch/dinner.
For breakfast, I ordered the polish sausage and potato pie. It could have done with more spiciness, but otherwise it was comforting, cheesy, and pleasant. My favorite part of all of the pies was their rich, flaky crusts, which were very well fried (and fried to order).
My lunch/dinner pie was Tex-Mex, which I might not normally have ordered, but Tom said it was his favorite. I probably should have gone with my gut and gotten another flavor, because this was my least favorite of the pies I tried. It certainly was not bad, and, again, unhealthily comforting, but it mostly tasted of somewhat bland refried beans.
For dessert, there are cream pies and fruit pies. I got a cream pie: coconut. It was extremely sweet, maybe too much so, but there was still some good coconut flavor under the sugar, and the same great fried crust.
Tom’s has only been open for less than two months, but he says they are doing well, which I was glad to hear. They are open every day, 7am - 7pm, and they have a drive-thru for easy pick up if you call ahead (601-665-4030)