After a five hour morning ride, I eased into the town of Sully, Iowa with an appetite for a late breakfast or early lunch, depending on the mood of the cook. Massive steel grain bins marked the end of the street, and I circled the grassy town square before parking. With a population scarcely over 900 people, pulling up to the curb with Texas plates drew a couple of raised brows from the two old timers settled into a bench out front. Donned in faded denim overalls, they chatted back and forth about the weather, one of them cradling a tiny white West Highland Terrier, oddly out of place in this otherwise quintessential Midwestern archetype.

“Are you fellas the valet”? I chided, approaching the door.

“Sure. Toss me your keys.” One of them shot back with a grin.

Returning the sarcasm, I double clicked my alarm dramatically and proceeded on into the tiny café. Originally built in 1917, the Coffe Cup Café has been a staple in Sully for nearly a century. The location as it stands now was built in 1970 after a handful of different fires and owners throughout the years, but the attention to home made classics remains.

On the recommendation of the waitress, I ordered up their staple hot beef sandwich. It arrived a few moments later, a tower of tender, slow cooked beef piled between two extra thick slices of white bread. The whole creation smothered in savory brown gravy, this was a fork only event (no knife needed).

Between the Texas plates and curious picture taking, the owner made a special trip out of the kitchen to say hello and chat for a few minutes. Despite normally eschewing dessert, during our short conversation she did a remarkable job of selling me on a slice of their home made pies. Made daily, completely from scratch, the Coffee Cup has garnered national recognition for some of their pies. With strawberries in season, and a fresh batch acquired from a few miles away, I opted for the strawberry pie. Remarkably fresh and simple, the flaky crust gave way effortlessly and the pie soon disappeared.

Unfortunately for you, they don’t mail order their pies (and yes I asked). So if you want a slice for yourself, you’ll have to make the trip to Sully on your own. And it might be worth it for the pie alone…

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