We begin this week's Food for Thought with a former low performer who took the health department's advice and turned things around. Ferlis Ellis says, "You have to apply the knowledge you're given and execute." Ellis owns Big E's BBQ at 1802 Buddy Holly. His open air facility caters to the bar crowd. He's open 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. and he's proud to say he came out on top. Ellis says, "I'm honored to be a top performer."
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Food for Thought 6.30
River Smith's mobile catering unit also earned a top score this week. River Smith's can serve 100 to 2,000 people off promises; anything from chicken and catfish to fajitas. Assistant General Manager Nathan Harrist says, "The health inspection and the health codes are very important to us here. I have to give all the credit to our kitchen staff and our kitchen managers. They're on top of it here."
Our Food for Thought travels also brought us to the top performing Queso's at 2102 19th Street, and a top performing McDonalds at 5010 Interstate 27, but the top performer that won our hearts this week was found inside a residential neighborhood at the Hollis House. We find Wanda Hollis inside. A grandmother, she holds the only permit in the city to make food out of her home. She spends about an hour a day making homemade pies. She says, "I'm making cherry now today."
For almost a decade Wanda has been whipping up about sixty pies a day, placing them on trays in one of several freezers, then boxing them up. Once she gets a few thousand in her garage she takes them to another facility and starts all over. This year she aims to make 16,000 pies for sale at the South Plains Fair. They sell out every year, even last year's rain couldn't keep people away from the delicacies. Wanda recalls.. "It didn't hurt pie sales a bit. People still eat pies whether it rains or not."
Wanda's pies are fry-o-lated at the fair, covered with glazing, and sold at a booth. When you ask her what's so special about the pies, she says, "I don't know. I really don't." She adds that maybe it's because you can only get her pies once a year, but we think it's that they're just plain good.