Hubig's Pies has now been re-opened and has been baking their in-demand deep fried turnovers for a few months now. Not without their huge share of problems getting back up to speed, of course. I got to talk to Drew Ramsey, Operations Manager, at length (he's a really passionate guy and has an awful lot to say about his company's Katrina ordeal) and he gave me a tour of the facilities. And we got to eat some Hubigs right off the line, which has been a dream of mine for some time and its now been fulfilled. I also have some videos of the production process (click!)
The old neon sign.
The dough extruder/roller machine.
Cake flour is used to make the turnover dough.
The pie filling is made in big steam kettles, where it is cooked and mixed up. Hubig's uses local ingredients when at all possible, such as real Louisiana Strawberries and Blueberries. Today they were doing a run of Apple and Lemon Pies.
A rotating die punch sandwiches the dough together and cuts it out into turnovers, just after the dough gets folded in with the pie filling.
After being filled and stamped into turnovers, they are sent down the conveyor into the deep frier.
Turnovers emerging from the deep frier conveyor.
After going thru the deep fry, the turnovers are hit with an enrobement of sugar glaze.
Drew Ramsey, in front of the cooler carousel, where the pies cool down for about two hours before hitting the wrapping and packaging machine. Sometimes you have to force this guy to smile, he and his company have been through an awful lot.
After cooling down, the turnovers fall thru a chute and a staging area where they are placed on the packaging and wrapping conveyor. The red tray you see there is the rejects/damaged pies box. We spent a lot of time there helping Hubigs do quality control. Don't want customers getting beat up pies, you know.
Placing the turnovers on the wrapping conveyor.
Boxing up the pies.
One of the new Ford delivery trucks. Hubig's old delivery fleet was wiped out by Katrina.
After eating a few pies, we decided we needed some excercise so we walked around the Bywater and looked at some of the pretty houses. Quite a number are for sale at majorly reduced prices.
This is a peek inside one of the the Mardi Gras parade storage houses. Apparently this is one of the lewder parades, as you can see.
We walked past Dr. Bob's studio, a local artist which is heavily featured in Jack Leonardi's restaurants (Jacques-Imos and Crabby Jack's).
I guess you are not supposed to walk into the studio thru that door.
After walking about 15 blocks in the heat, we were hungry and thirsty, so we stopped into Elizabeth's for lunch.
The iced tea at Elizabeth's is great, and like all iced tea in New Orleans, unlimited refills.
Rachel got a seafood soup.
We shared an order of the famous Praline Bacon.
Shrimp Salad for Rachel.
"Big Ass Hamburger" for me.
All in all, a great morning and lunch.