PIES ACROSS AMERICA!
Want to know where to find a great pie? Traveling to a new state and wondering where to fill that pie hole? Scroll down to find pie reviews submitted by our roving pie eating club members (click here to submit your own pie review!)
AL - AK - AZ - AR - CA - CO - CT - DE - FL - GA - HI - ID - IL - IN - IA - KS - KY - LA - ME - MD - MA -MI - MN - MS - MO - MT - NE - NV - NH - NJ - NY - NC - ND - OH - OK - OR - PA - RI - SC - SD - TN - TX - UT - VT - VA - WA - DC - WV - WI - WY
Pie 'n Burger
913 E. California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106
How could a roving pie maven *not* stop at a joint called Pie 'n Burger? A Pasadena landmark since 1963, the Pie 'n Burger still cranks out top-notch homemade pies that scream out to be savored (their website tells me that they have had the same pie baker since 1971!). We tried 4 kinds of pie, pecan, rhubarb, peanut butter, and coconut cream. All of these pies were extremely good. Alix loved the pecan... it was close to perfect. The rhubab was nicely sweet and tart, with a clear rhubarb flavor and not too much thickener. The crust was both flaky and flavorful. The cream pies were good, but the peanut butter filling was a little too thick and instense for our tastes... but it was very peanut buttery. The coconut cream was very good, but needed a little more coconut flavor for me to call it great. This was actually the best pie I found in the LA area... anyone care to fight me on that?
House of Pies
1869 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Hey, well I’d read nothing but rave reviews of this Los Feliz landmark (Silverlake District, just east of Hollywood), so I was excited to get out there to try the pie. Sadly, the pie didn’t live up to the hype. OK here’s the real low-down. It’s open late on the weekends. Like until 2 AM Friday and Saturday… so if you just got out of a show or film or whatever and you’re wanting a slice of pie… go. The pie was mediocre in comparison to some of the other pie joints in LA (pie n’ burger, for instance kicks the pie butt of the house of pie), but it’s not awful. The crust was weak, pale, too short, pop-tart like but greasier… if that is possible. The fillings were OK… we tried a lemon meringue and an egg custard. The custard was good, mellow, eggy, custardy… but the crust was terrible. The lemon filling was like canned lemon goop and the meringue was ok. Actually the crust on the lemon meringue was totally different than the crust on the custard pie. It was flakey but really hard and tasted greasy.
Anyway. Seriously. It was only OK. But I’d go there at 2 AM if I was jonesin’ for pie… dig?
The Apple Pan
10801 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064-2105
The Apple Pan has been in operation since 1947. A tiny old school burger joint famous for it’s pie. There are three types of pie on the menu, apple, cream and pecan.
The price “per cut” was 4.75-5.00, a la mode or whipped cream an extra 1.50.
We tried banana cream (they were out of the boysenberry cream, which is supposedly the way to go according to the woman next to us) and apple.
The banana cream was comprised of almost solid banana slices, with a thin pastry cream binding, and a very very thin layer of whipped cream on top. I typically am not a fan of all the fluff and goo, but in this case I wanted just a little more custard.
The apple slice we ordered a la mode, and almost couldn’t find the pie under the giant mountain of ice cream… the apple pie was a big drippy mess with melted ice cream and apple filling spilling out all over the counter. The filling lightly spiced, the apples soft and mushy, the crust was solid and flakey and dark, but not tender or particularly flavorful.
We kinda thought the pie here was good, but not great.
23701 Moulton Parkway
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Polly’s is a local chain in southern California… I think there are 13 (14?) locations currently. I was a little skeptical about Polly’s because I’m anti-chain, but since it’s local, and since it’s claim to fame is the pie, I thought we’d give it a fair shake.
So happy we did, because the pie here was GOOD. They have 50 (fifty!!) different pies listed on the menu, not all of them are available every day, but a good number of them are. Plus, they gave the kids pie balloons! How cool is that. Basically, it’s your everyday upscale diner (like the atmosphere of a Denny’s) but unlike Denny’s the food is good and homemade, the bakeries on premises churn out homemade pies and breads.
Overall, the crust was only OK, obviously rolled etc on a big machine, but more flakey and tasty than many crusts of that sort.
Here is what we tried:
Fresh Olallieberry. I’d never had an olallieberry, so I was extremely lucky and happy to find them in season. Normally I’m not crazy about fresh berry pies, being turned off by the goop holding them together… but this pie berries and goop and all was delicious. Seriously.
Pecan: This was a decent, standard pecan pie. The filling got no complaints from us, it was on the sweeter, softer side as far as pecan pies go, and the crust on this pie was the most “pop tart like” of the 4 pies we tried.
Apricot: very strong apricot flavor, so while there was a lot of goo, the goo was a good flavor and not too thick and pasty
Snickers Pie: this was like a tricked out chocolate cream pie, more delectable and interesting than a simple chocolate cream pie because of the nuts, caramel and chunks of candy bars.
Henry Moffett's Chicken Pies
16506 Lakewood Blvd
Bellflower, CA 90706
We stopped here because we figured if you’re cranking out tons of chicken pies a day, you might have a little savvy with a dessert pie.
The operative term here is “a little”. The dessert pies at Moffett’s were OK. You could eat them… but if you’re in the LA area… it’s not your best option.
I’ll include this note, especially for Jeff: The meat pies at Moffett’s are tasty. The chicken pies for which they are famous are exactly that and nothing else… a pie full of chicken. No veggies, just chicken in a delicious gravy in a flakey crust
Apricot Tree Restaurant
46272 Panoche Rd & I-5
Firebaugh CA 93622
The Apricot Tree is located in Firebaugh California . Diner-like, this little place on the side of I-5 is decorated with a huge collection of old metal lunchboxes and thermoses. A great place to stop for a break on your drive from LA to San Francisco (or the other way).
Besides their specialty, the apricot pie, they also feature several other apricot based desserts including an apricot milkshake that is really fantastic.
The apricot pie is fantastic. The top crust is exceptionally flaky, crispy and sprinkled with sugar crystals. The apricot filling is chock full of large, flavorful pieces of fruit, no cornstarchy slime. The apricot filling is lightly spiced, but not enough to overwhelm or detract from the fruit. Very fresh and homemade tasting.
The other pie offerings are more typical diner fare. They have cherry, apple and berry. I tried the cherry and was disappointed to find a soggy, pasty bottom crust although the top crust was sweet and crispy-flakey. It was filled with that insidious type of cherry pie goo that seemed to have come from a can (although can't tell you for sure if this is true… didn't seem bright red enough to be canned). Certainly not the worst pie I've had, and if you really hate apricots (for some unimaginable reason) you will do fine with the other pies… but the apricot pie is by far the star of the group.
202 Stage Rd
One of central California's lesser-known crops is the olallieberry (rhymes with "koala bear-y"), which tastes like a mix of blackberry and raspberry. It's great for pie, and the place to get it is Duarte's Tavern (202 Stage Rd., Pescadero; 650-879-0464; duartestavern.com), a fourth-generation family restaurant. The crust is light and flaky, and the deep-burgundy filling is rich and tart -- first rate! Take home a jar of olallieberry jam too. )
Apple Annie's Restaurant
Blackstone & Highway 99, Tulare CA
Henderson & Prospect – Porterville CA
The billboards for Apple Annies promise “we're peeling apples for you” so I was hopeful for a really fresh apple pie. Instead, the pie, though homemade, consisted of overcooked apples in an overspiced and oversweet filling… not much better tasting than your average canned apple pie filling. Still, it was at least not as gooey as a premade filling. The crust was quite pasty and tasted a little processed or chemically, like grocery store premade shells.
These guys also offer an apple dumpling… maybe that would've been the way to go? I wasn't brave enough to try it after this disappointing pie.
Ikeda's Tasty Burgers
Located right off the freeway Highway 80, at Bowman Rd in Auburn , next to
Lou LaBonte's. Auburn, CA. (530) 885-4243
6200 Folsom Blvd.,
26295 Mace Blvd. , (916) 750-3379
Crust not all that, but delicious fresh fruit fillings with (usually) locally grown fruit.
Just on your way out of the Sierra Nevada mountains from Lake Tahoe towards Sacramento, this is a great place to stop for pie.
Don’t pass up the Marionberry pie (or milkshakes for that matter). The apple pie filling was very good, but the crust was so tough that it didn’t sink with the filling in the oven (in other words, the crust stayed as big as the pre-cooked pile of apples, so that in the finished pie there was a big dome-shaped crust, but when you cut into it there was a 2 inch air space between the top of the crust and the filling… a more tender crust would’ve sunken with the apples as they cooked down and so you wouldn’t have that air space between crust and filling). The cherry cobbler pie got mixed reviews, half our group loved the filling and the crumble topping, the other half thought the filling was no better than the canned cherry pie filling you buy at the grocery and felt the crumble topping was too sweet and too crunchy… so you’ll have to stop by and try it for yourself.
But we unanimously agreed it was a worthwhile pie experience overall.
Ikeda's sells slices and whole pies at the Auburn location (on I-80 between Tahoe and Sacramento ). The Auburn Tasty Burgers spot has a burger joint atmosphere in one room (also make great milkshakes and (you guessed it) tasty burgers), and a fruit market in the other room where they also sell whole pies (baked or frozen) and fruits, jams, jellies, salsas etc.
They also sell pie (only whole, I think) at two market/fruitstand locations nearby in Sacramento and Davis
Julian Pie Company
21976 Highway 79, Santa Ysabel, California
The Julian Pie Company is a desert oasis at the base of Volcan Mountain , where the climate is perfect for growing apples. A sign on the front door advises, "Begin Smelling," which is no joke. The moment you walk in, you will be bowled over by the unbelievably appetizing aroma of cooking apples and spice and hot crust. Varieties include Dutch apple with a crumb top, boysenberry-apple crumb, natural strawberry-apple, and apple rhubarb. Julian also makes one of the greatest snack foods anywhere: bite-size pieces of pie crust sheathed in cinnamon sugar and baked into irresistibly delicious cookies that fall into flakes as you bite. ( Jane and Michael Stern, Epicurious.com's America's Top Ten Pies)
Marie Callender’s Restaurant and Pie Shop
2831 Meridian Avenue
San Jose, CA 95124
Phone # 408 265 7130
The fresh peach pie is now available. This pie,as well as the fresh strawberry pie, is so sweet and delicious.
They are piled high with the most delectable and fresh fruit. All of their pies are extremely tasty. The lemon
meringue and the coconut cream pies are to die for. Marie Callender’s has quite a few restaurants. Most are
corporate and others, like the one on Meridian Avenue, are franchises.
The pies are made on site at each restaurant.
Pour la France
Denver International Airport, concourse B
Pies available: Lots! Key Lime, Apple, Pecan, Cherry
Pies tried: Pecan, Chicken Pot Pie
French Pies? Crazy! The pies here are not made on site, but from a local bakery. The Pecan pie was very good. I am used to a lot more pecans than what was delivered to me in this pie, but it had a sufficient amount, the filling was good with a hint of bourbon far less sweet than I am used to, but that is what was good.
While this site is dedicated to sweet pies, the Chicken pot pie deserves mention. It was a bowl of stew similar to chicken pot pie filling with crunchy beans, carrots and potatoes as well as tender chicken. The crazy thing was the croissant like roll on top, when crumbled into the stew created a very delicious concoction. A very un-pie like pie but so pie like in so many ways.
Louie's Back Yard
Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean from the prettiest deck in the Florida Keys (and one of the most romantic restaurant settings anywhere in the U.S. ), you will eat many memorable things at Louie's Back Yard, including sophisticated, blue-ribbon desserts. But whatever else is on the dessert menu, you must have a slice of Key lime pie. Made from the uniquely vivid limes that grow wild only in the Florida Keys , pastry chef Niall Bowen's version of the local classic has a distinctive gingersnap crust and a creamy citrus essence that cools and refreshes the palate like a brisk ocean breeze. ( Jane and Michael Stern, Epicurious.com's America's Top Ten Pies)
700 Waddell Avenue, Key West , Florida
Blue Springs Café
3505 George St
Located 30 miles east of St Louis at the Pierron , IL exit on I-70, the Blue Springs Café (open 11 AM – 9 PM) touts “Foot Hi Pies” on their billboards. When you come around the corner into the dining area the pies are sitting out on the counter. Meringue piled so high that you gasp out loud in spite of yourself. According to our waitress, two older gentlemen came in just that week with tape measures and verified that these pies were actually 12” high. We tasted the coconut cream and banana cream pies. The fillings (especially the banana) were scrumptious. The meringue (did I mention 12 inches high?) was light, fluffy, and cooked perfectly. The crust was not as good as the crusts at Neimergs (see review below), both a little overcooked and soggy in parts on the banana especially.
So our consensus is this: if you are driving on I-70 though IL, and you really want a meringue pie stop at Blue Springs , but for a fruit pie hang on and go to Neimergs. Slice of pie $3.25 (not terrible considering the size of the slices).
Niemergs Family Restaurant
Effingham , IL
Traveling along I-70 in Illinois on the way to Saint Louis from Indiana… closer to IN than MO, as if not to be outdone by the “foot hi” pies at Blue Springs (see review above), you begin to see billboards for Neimergs advertising “mile high pies” with great little paintings of a pie piled high with meringue. By the time we got to the Effingham exit we were dying for a slice of pie.
I've stopped at Neimergs on two different trips and sampled a total of four pies: lemon meringue, blackberry, coconut cream and chocolate cream (both with meringue),. I got the coconut cream pie one morning around 9:30 AM . It was just baked, and still warm. I thought the filling was great. The custards are homemade, the coconut cream was full of coconut but not too sweet. The meringue was only OK taste-wise and was legitimately high… at least 5 inches high. (but... really, mile high? especially with Blue Springs just down the road boasting meringue twice as tall at least… see their review above). The lemon filling was only mediocre, as was the chocolate… we wouldn't get them again.
The crust, however… the crust was really fantastic. Probably one of the best crusts I've had lately. Flaky, tender, light, tasty. The blackberry pie was almost flawless. The crust was perfect. The filling was just the right combination of sweet and tart with big berries and not too much goo.
Slices of pie were $1.75 (a total steal for crust this good)
The Pie Pantry
310 E. Main Street, Belleville, IL 62220
Ph (618) 277.4140
Fax: (618) 277.1279
Tucked away on Main Street in Belleville, IL (about 20 minutes SW of St Louis MO). For some reason I felt skeptical about the legitimacy of the claim to homemade crusts... they just looked a lot like the frozen type... but I relent and after consuming these pies I am a believer.
I tried 4 pies from the Pie Pantry (but they had, I guess, about 30 types). The most unusual one on the menu was the C.P.R., which stands for coconut, pecan, raisin. This is like an amazing mix between a pecan pie and that frosting you'd get on a german chocolate cake... with some raisins thrown in for good measure. really yummy. This pie also got the highest marks the next day from susan and kevin, who scarfed down the leftovers.
I also tried their custard pie... the slice they gave me was old and so one edge was all dried up and nasty, and actually, even the "fresh" part of the slice was only OK.
The lemon meringue was good. Homemade lemon filling with a very nice, slightly runny texture (not too runny to hold it's shape though). I've had better meringue, but it was not terrible... sweet and fluffy. Maybe it too was just a little old and so the edges were getting chewy.
Finally i tried a slice of the peach, which was really nice, perfect kind of filling, mostly fruit, no sticky goo lightly spiced. Flaky, tender, tasty crust.
OK. Definitely worth a little detour off of I-255 or I-65.
Kickapoo-Edwards I-74 Exit 82
Edwards, IL 61528
Glen & War Memorial
Peoria, IL 61602
We have only been to the Kickapoo/Edwards location, which we think is the original and the site of the actual pie baker... Word on the street is that the menu and pie is the same at the Peoria location (because they bring the pies over from Kickapoo every day). The Jubilee features about 20 pies freshly made daily. We tried three pies from the Jubilee, a blackberry, a crumb-topped apple (forget what this pie was actually called) and an apricot. All three pies were fantastic. Unfortunately they were sold out of the gooseberry pie, which we heard was the one to die for. But we were not unhappy with the scrumptious pies we got.
1724 S Walnut Street
All pies at Wee Willies (on South Walnut, next to the train tracks, by
Night Moves) in Bloomington, IN, are excellent, particularly cherry,
apple, persimmon. They usually only have one pie available at a time,
sometimes 2, but it's a bit unpredictable. I've only tried a few kinds,
but all of the ones I've tried have been great! Very home-made taste.
Gray Brother's Cafeteria
Hwy 67 Mooresville, IN
As of this writing, i've personally tried 9 pies from Grey Brothers. in the double-crusted fruit category i've tried black raspberry, apricot, raisin, cherry. In the cream category i've tried butterscotch, peanut butter, coconut cream and in the chess/custard category i've tried the pecan and sugar cream. every one of these pies was delicious. The crust is superb at gray brothers. The fillings of the fruit pies are really a little too thick, but they are so intensely flavorful that i didn't think twice about it. The meringue is perfectly light, sweet and the creams and custards are homemade and delicious. The pecan pie was a little light, perhaps bordering on undercooked. The sugar cream was a little boring compared to the other options.
BUt overall, the 5 of us who sampled these pies give Gray Brothers the highest pie honors
Poe Bros. Cafeteria
Hwy 67 Mooresville, Indiana (just a little south of Gray Bros)
You know what? there is nothing wrong with these pies. They just aren't as good as Gray Brother's pies. The crust isn't quite as good, but they are admirable. The fillings are not as flavorful or fresh tasting, but they are still better than average. If I hadn't just eaten the pie at Gray Brothers (only a mile up the road) I'd give these guys a great review, but seriously... if you are in the neighborhood go straight to Gray Brothers... and perhaps if they are out of your favorite type, Poe Brother's can be your back up. or... maybe you are really starving for that piece of pie as you drive north towards Indy and you absolutely can't wait another 5 minutes until you get the Gray Bros... then you'll be quite happy with your pies at Poe's
Mayfield's MCL Cafeteria
2100 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
THe MCL just moved over to the space recently left vacant by the Bloomington location of Gray Bros Cafeteria. Like Grey Bros, the MCL makes homemade pies several varieties daily. This day our crew sampled 5 types of pie: apple, peach, pecan, sugar cream and butterscotch. So we all gave 2 thumbs up to the apple (tastes just like mom's), very appley and nice flavorful crust
THe peach was a good standard peach pie, good flavor and nice crust, but it wasn't anything special. Not bad, not earth shaking. like that.
THe pecan got rave reviews from me and kevin, so-so review from ted.
All 5 of us loved the sugar cream pie. I think this is the best sugar cream pie I've ever had, actually. It's amazingly creamy with a really subtle very sweet something goin' on.
Finally, the butterscotch pie was the worst any of us had ever had. It doesn't taste in the least like butterscotch, and had a dry, lumpy weird texture. with some odd (bad) 'things' in the custard... what they were I don't know. But the meringue was fine.
----here is another opinion on the MCL from potmc club member Sandy:
The MCL cafeteria cherry pie was so so. crust was bad, filling not very
tasty. Sue Childress has coconut cream - looked really good with a flaky
crust. I have pictures of both. The apple looked really homemade and the
peach looked processed like the cherry. The egg custard served in a little
custard cup was very very very delicious - fresh nutmeg, generous amount on top.
Puckett’s Pie Shop & Café
2130 W Sycamore St
Kokomo IN 46901
At Puckett’s you can either buy a whole pie to go, choosing from a mind-boggling array of flavors/types, or you can sit in the Café and order a slice of pie from the selection they have available by the slice that day (more limited selection of types).
We bought a whole sugar cream pie, and a whole black raspberry (in season at the time), and slices of coconut cream and butterscotch pie to go (from the café side).
Black Raspberry was great,
sugar cream pie was delectable.
The coconut cream and butterscotch were both weak. We thought the meringue was gross, totally fake, like thick sweet fluffy meringue product made from powder. The fillings did not taste particularly like coconut or butterscotch, sadly.
But there are so many pies to choose from at Puckett's, we suggest going, but steering clear of the cream pies.
Der Dutchman Essenhaus Restaurant
Das Dutchman Essenhaus
240 US 20
P.O. Box 1217
Middlebury, IN 46540
despite a MASSIVE selection of seemingly interesting pies... this was the most disappointing pie I've had in a long time. THe crust was not homemade and it stank. The fillings were awful, all basically the same crapola but with slight variations... so for example, the raisin pie, peanut butter pie and coconut cream pie all tasted the same except for the addition of raisins, peanut butter or coconut to the same vanilla pudding base.
Don't waste your time.
107 S. Main St.
P.O. Box 2018
Middlebury, IN 46540
Oh, my friends... this is some delectible pie. THis might well be the best pie i've had in Indiana. Not in any place easily accessible, unfortunately... it might be worth the little detour off the highway to get up to this little diner. It's in a little town predominantly Amish (you can feel this influence in the homemade pies... not sure if the pie bakers are Amish/Mennonites or not though). When we got there around 6 PM there was only one slice of pie left in the place. BUt how lucky for us that there was still one piece. We had a peanut butter cream pie (perhaps my least favorite type of pie, actually) but man. that was some serious pie. The tastiest, flakiest crust. The creamiest, peanuttiest, light fluffy filling. Absolutely perfect meringue. There was actually some very thin layer of peanut buttery crumbs between the filling and the bottom crust that kept the bottom crust crisp and flaky, and added an extra little "umph" to your pie experience. So awesome. Go friends, go to Middlebury and eat pie.
Uncle Al's Pecans Inc.
1616 Poplar Street
Terre Haute, IN 47807
I just wanted to let you know you have missed the best pies in the world. Not fancy, just the best homemade grandma type pies on earth.
These pies can be found at Uncle Al's Pecans Inc. located in Terre Haute, Indiana at 1616 Poplar St. 47807 812-232-4208
Hope you will give any of their great pies a try. They even bake them in my own dish, my family thinks there are no pies better than mine. Ha !Ha!
Sincerely, Donnie Mayes
100 Cherry Street
Winchester, IN 47394
Phone: (765) 584-7437
Nestled in small town USA, Winchester, IN, is a well known pie factory... Wick's. To those fortunate or maybe unlucky enough to be in the area, you can experience their famous sugar cream pie fresh. There is a small diner and you can buy pies whole, in slices, or even frozen to take home. The sugar cream pie is $4.25!! That's right- for a fresh whole pie, it's quite the bargain. I went at the end of the day (in Jan. 05) to take home a pie and there wasn't a whole pie I was interested in. They suggested I take 6 slices from different pies. I was able to try six different pies, which were all delicious. I don't even remember the names of the other five... I was so distracted finishing off the sugar cream before my husband, that I didn't pay that much attention to the others. Excellent pie, great price.
Farmhouse Pies by Rosemary
551 Beck Lane
Lafayette, Indiana 47909
One of my favorite types of places, this small shop sells and makes delectable hand-crafted pies. Pies are available in whole large (9") or baby (6"). Staffed, apparently, by Rosemary and one or two other bakers, they make about 20-30 different fresh pies daily. We tried baby pies in 3 flavors, sugar cream, glazed apple and mixed berry. All three pies were superb (and beautifu, incedentally ) The sugar cream pie was exactly perfect, creamy, soft, not too sweet (although of course a sugar cream pie is sweeter than most, by nature), flavorful. It was the first sugar cream that wayne and damon had tried and they gave it 2 thumbs up. I thought the apple was good, but not great. the thin sugar glaze on the top crust would have worked better if the filling were more tart..we kind of felt like it was too sweet overall. But seriously, it was a good, homemade apple pie, no gross thickener binding the apples, just yummy apple flavor. Finally the mixed berry pie was just lovely. beautiful, delicious, perfect. Really, the worst thing about Farmhouse pies is that you'll never be able to choose...
O'Rears Pastry Shop
321 N 9th St,
Lafayette, IN 47904
After suffering the nasty looks and curt assurances of the counterwoman that everything was homemade from scratch (in response to my under-the-breath comments that the pies looked “fake-o”), I don’t feel too bad making this pronouncement:
This little bakery in Lafayette made the absolute worst pie I have had in years.
Harsh, I know, but true. Worse than any crappy pie you might buy at the grocery store for $1.99. Worse than any pie you might get at the dormitory cafeteria. Plasticy tasting coat-your-mouth-with grease bland, tasteless crust. Thick, pasty, sticky almost fruitless and tasteless “cherry” filling, topped with a ridiculously thick layer of sugary greasy tasteless crumbs.
6 of us tried to eat it. 90% of it went into the dumpster behind the bakery within 5 minutes.
Seriously. Never go here for pie.
-Kevin Croxall, Official Pie of the Monh Astronomer
A Pocket Full of Rye
3803 State Road 26 East
Lafayette, Indiana 47905
Sing a song of six-pence
a pocket full of WHY!?!
Why must the world be subjected to awful pie? Note that this review is tempered by the fact that i had just eaten what might have been the worst pie of my life (across town at O'Rear's, see other review). Now one may think with such a caveat the pie flavor would be artificially inflated... i'll let you be the judge. We order the buttermilk pie and the strawberry rhubarb pie. The crust on both were salty and tasteless. The rhubarb was under cooked and crunchy. the buttermilk filling was runny like syrup, only sweeter... yes sweeter. My recommendation? Don't eat here. Try Farmhouse Pies. If you must eat here? I recommend having cajun peanuts on hand to remove the lingering flavor of bad pie.
-Kevin Croxall, Official Pie of the Month Astronomer
Stone's lemon chiffon pie is an amazing sight: When whole, it is literally taller than it is wide. Once a slice is cut, it rises so high off the plate that it looks more like some outrageous culinary monument than a familiar dessert. How a single slice stays upright as it is carried from the kitchen is an architectural mystery; the ethereal, bright-lemon triangle jiggles precariously as the plate hits the table. Amazing physical properties aside, this pie is a joy to eat. A fork slides effortlessly through its frothy sweetness, slowed momentarily by the fragile crust below. ( Jane and Michael Stern, Epicurious.com's America's Top Ten Pies)
507 South Third Avenue, Marshalltown , Iowa
Cattleman's Cafe 3:
Garden City KS
Pies available: Apple, Cherry, Pecan
Pie tried: Apple
All the pies here are homemade. While not the best apple pie in the world, pretty good for middle of nowhere KS. The apples were firm and the filling was very tasty. The bottom crust was a little mushy but the top crust was very flaky and delicious. It was half covered in large grain sugar in (as the waitress stated) an "old Mennonite style"
Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen
2525 Bardstown Road
Louisville, KY 40205
So we made a special trip 2 hours down to Louisville just to try the pie here at the Pie Kitchen... Totally worth it. I may have mentioned in other reviews my admiration and passion for places who obviously love and take pride in their pies. A good hand-crafted pie is a thing of beauty, and the Pie Kitchen in Louisville has hand -crafted pies up the wazoo. PLUS with the added bonus of being a homemade ice cream joint as well, you can get slices (or whole) ice cream pies, or your "regular" pies a la mode in ultra-style. We tried several pies on our visit: chocolate chess (which got 5 stars from us both), maine wild blueberry (as beautiful as it was delicious! man, those little wild blueberries are packed with flavor, aren't they?), lemon meringue (how often can you find a lemon meringue pie with lemon custard that is seriously made from scratch...? this earned it great brownie points with us, but I thought it needed to be a bit more lemony.. more zest? the meringue was incredibly soft and billowy and not too sweet), a caramel apple pie that was really cool... nice apple filling (soft cooked good flavored apples) then frosted on top with a penuche-like caramel frosting. The QCKing thought it was a little too sweet, but I couldn't stop eating it. The sugar cream pie was decent (not the *best * sugar cream I've had, but definitely true to form, creamy dense, sweet... i like mine with a little nutmeg, but this one was straight up. Finally we tried a key lime. I thought the texture was perfect but again wanted more citrus flavor.
One of the best things about this pie heaven is that it's open late (until 11 on the weekends!) so when you are actually craving pie, it might actually be open! The night we went there was a line out the door!
Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill KY
3501 Lexington Road
Harrodsburg, KY 40330
The restaurant associated with this historical site makes two kinds of traditional shaker pies: Shaker Lemon Pie and Shaker Chess Pie. On this trip we bought a lemon pie. There are few places in this world, actually, where you can buy and eat a real Shaker lemon pie.
If you haven’t, do. Paper thin slices of whole lemons (rinds included) macerated in sugar overnight, mixed with eggs and baked between two layers of crust.
This particular shaker lemon pie had a very strange crust that was super flakey but strangely soft and tender… kind of like a soda cracker that was out in the humidity until it lost it’s crisp… but it was actually quite tasty. Strange, but good. Really. Can’t really explain it. Good.
Lemony, sweet, tart, flakey, really really good.
We’ve had the chess pies here too, and they rock.
Strawn's Eat Shop
125 E. Kings Hwy.
Shreveport, LA 71104
Phone: (318) 868-0634
Strawn's Eat Shop Too
1643 E. 70th Street
Shreveport, LA 71105
Phone: (318) 798-7117
Strawn's Eat Shop Also
2335 Airline Drive
Bossier City, LA 71111
Phone: (318) 742-8484
Strawn's Eat Shop in Shreveport, Louisiana is one of the few great things in
the town (one of the others being david nelson's minecine). It is known for
it's icebox strawberry pie, which is basically a mound of real whipped cream
on a pile of fresh strawberries sitting in a graham cracker crust. If you
like strawberries and don't mind dairy, this is the pie for you. Besides the
pies, this is your basic diner food, nothing too exciting, esp. for veggies.
They supposedly have a great peach pie with (again) real whipped cream (and
chocolate, banana, and coconut), but it must not have been the season when i
was up there. As you can tell, Louisiana has a tendency for cream pies.. If
you do find yourself driving I20 and happen through shreveport, you should
stop and enjoy.
Lea's Lunchroom, Inc.
Hwy. 71 South,
Lecompte, LA 71346
Fax 318 777-5715
Lea's Lunchroom in Lecomte. This funky little "down home" diner is a
Louisiana political icon, having fed every Governor (except one) since the
twenties. Lea's is home to (supposedly) the best home made pies, and country
cooking between New Orleans and Shreveport. Just follow Interstate 49 north
from Ville Platte (about fifty miles, the pies alone are worth the trip) to
the Forest Hill/Lecomte exit, Lea's is at the intersection of La. Hwy 112
and U. S. Hwy 71. I'm not sure if this is the best pie, but it certainly is
hard to miss if you're going between new orleans and shreveport. They have
plenty of homemade pies and bill themselves as the pie capital of louisiana.
their pies include pecan, chocolate meringue, and cherry, Blueberry, apple,
coconut cream, and perhaps others. I had a blueberry when we passed through.
The crust was ok and the filling was pretty good, with real fruit, not too
sweet, and not too much goo. the rest of the food i hear is ok if you like
country cooking. again, very little for vegetarians.
Camellia Grill Inc
626 S Carrollton Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118
Camillia Grill in the riverbend of new orleans. I went to high school across
the street from this well known diner and i have always had the foresight
not to eat there.. for some reason, it's a big thing with tourists and some
locals, and eventually, somebody brought me an apple pie from the grill. it
was awful. the crust is some gooey but cohesive brown mess that encases a
glob of gross gelatinous canned apples in a sugary gaol. It was one of the
few pies i've ever thrown out. I hope to never eat anything from there
A great roadside diner open round the clock for the last seven decades, Moody's exemplifies Maine 's passion for pie — pie so good that many customers choose it for a morning pastry in lieu of the kitchen's excellent muffins. You can't go wrong selecting from the several varieties that are available any and all times of day. Of special interest is the classic Maine blueberry pie, which will likely stain your shirt if you're not extra-careful forking it up while sitting at the counter. The one pie that Moody's fans put into the hall of fame is walnut cream, a vividly sweet wedge of Yankee flavor that has the unique punch of local syrup. ( Jane and Michael Stern, Epicurious.com's America's Top Ten Pies)
Route 1, Waldoboro, Maine
Dangerously Delicious Pies (click here to view their web site)
2400 Fleet St.
Baltimore, Maryland 21224
Whilst in Charm City, a person of any sophistication should be sure not to miss a visit to Rodney "The Pie Man" Henry's bona-fide pie shoppe, located near Patterson Park in lovely Fell's Point.
A blustery pre-spring afternoon brought myself and two dear friends, Ted and Esha to Dangerously Delicious Pies for a pie tasting.
The clincher to this review is that steps before we entered the charming DDP storefront, I was informed by both my companions that they "DON'T REALLY LIKE PIE"....
I kid you not, fair pie fans. How could this be? Why admit something like that? Especially when we're about to enter an establishment DEVOTED TO WORSHIP OF THE PIE???!!! Luckily, both individuals could at least be reasoned with, and were able to fathom pies that they forgot they liked.
Rodney gave us a selection of available by the slice pies he had in store, and also offered a clue as to what exactly the "Chess" in Chess Pie means. His sources provide the addition of cornmeal to the pie filling constitutes a Chess addition to the pie name.
Esha -- Chocolate Chess Pie
Ted -- Pecan Pie
Me -- Lemon Chess Pie
Ted's Pecan Pie was subtle -- not as sweet as most Pecan Pies I've experienced in the past.
Ted's review? "I like it!"
Esha's Chocolate Chess Pie had a rich, chocolatey filling with a hint of a sugary crunch at the top of the slice. Her review? Her mouth was full of the stuff -- I couldn't understand her reaction. The slice disappeared and I heard no complaints, so I'm guessing it went over well. My sampling of the pie was really good.
My own Lemon Chess Pie was creamy and lemony, with the similar sugary crunch, which I'm now guessing was the cornmeal rising to the top of the pie filling during baking. This slice seemed like the sweetest of the three. It didn't leave me with the too-sweet aftertaste many pies do.
Which leads me to the common element to all of our pies -- the crust. You've got to have a solid foundation for a sweet filling and Dangerous Pies doesn't disappoint. This crust is not sweet -- not compared to what it's holding. It is the perfect flakiness. I wonder if Rodney uses lard, as so many old school crusts do. There will simply have to be more research done in the future to determine this.
The coffee was fresh and delicious. Dangerously so.
Go get a really cool t-shirt with the signature pie and crossbones logo, take home some slices of great pie, and plan to head over to the Ottobar May 1st of this year to celebrate DDP's one year anniversary. There's gonna be music and a pie eating contest.
Weaver's Bakery & Restaurant
77 West Main Street,
Hancock, MD 21750
One more great pie site to add is Weaver's Bakery & Restaurant on the main drag in Hancock, MD (just south of the PA line on I-70).
- Bruce L.
Pie in the Sky Bakery and Cafe
10 Water Street
Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543
The pies are scratch baked, $2.75/slice or $11.50/pie.
Key lime: The 1/4" thick graham cracker crust was crunchy, lightly sweetened
and very nice. It supported the somewhat cheesecake-like filling. There
seemed to be no true lime flavor to this pie; it was more of an egg
custard/cheesecake with a hint of citrus flavor. (The crust being the best
Apple Cranberry: Truly and without question the best of the three we ate.
Fresh, large slices of unpeeled apples blended with a scattering of
Massachusetts cranberries left us wishing we'd purchased the whole pie. The
locally grown cranberries hiding among the apple slices made each bite of this
pie interesting and exciting. The crust was VERY LIGHT, airy, sprinkled with
turbinado sugar and baked to a golden brown perfection. Not being a fan of
crust, I ate it all.
Blueberry: Same delicious crust as apple/cranberry. There was a generous
amount of filling but it was a little over-thickened.
Grand Traverse Pie Company
Traverse City is America 's cherry capital, and while fresh sweet ones are available from roadside stands throughout the summer, you can go to the Grand Traverse Pie Company any time of year for cherry pie that defines excellence. Most customers come for whole ones to take home, but there are a handful of tables where you can sit and dig into individual slices. Beyond the sweet-tart cherry in its brittle crust, the choice of fruit fillings includes blueberry, strawberry-peach, raspberry, rhubarb, and blackberry. Good news for people in pie-starved parts of the country: Grand Traverse Pie Company ships pies via FedEx. ( Jane and Michael Stern, Epicurious.com's America's Top Ten Pies)
525 West Front Street , Traverse City , Michigan
216 N. Michigan Ave.
Cherries are so endemic to Northern Michigan culture that the airfield in Traverse City is actually called Cherry Capital Airport. Judging strictly on the culinary merits, the nod for the region's best cherry pie goes to the Grand Traverse Pie Co., a gourmet-quality bakery that opened in 1996 and has quickly become the local gold standard. But my sentimental favorite is the Cherry Hut, a family-run restaurant dating back to 1922, where the excellent pie comes topped with a generous dollop of Americana. )
Woodland Farm Market
(1 mile west of US-31 Expressway)
5393 W. Shelby Rd.
Shelby MI 49455
Famous for their homemade pies, this Michigan farm market has an on-site bakery producing hand formed fruit pies (… although you can probably get a cream pie… better to go with the fruit). We tried the cherry pie on this trip since that is what was in season. The cherry pie was fantastic! We recommend a trip out of your way (it’ll only be a mile out of your way) when in the area!
The Blue Owl
6116 Second Street
This is the best pie ever (click here for evidence). So far. So many kinds of pie (like, 45 not including the sugar-free stuff). My husband actually snorted with pleasure while eating it. Pictured above is the Caramel Apple Pecan pie (the big one that looks like a pie created by Dr. Seuss) which was delicious, with a solid apple filling (no goo) and a chewy caramel-apple-on-a-stick type topping. The Lemon Meringue was fantastic (also pictured above)...obviously homemade lemon filling. And the Berry Pie was thick and full of berries with a perfectly golden flaky crust. Delicious! Delicious, I say! Ahhhh....pie heaven. You should definitely go out of your way for the Blue Owl.
More on the Blue Owl: the Blue Owl is located about 20 minutes south of St Louis in a little old town on the river full of quaint little local shops and beautiful old houses. This was seriously some of the best pie I've ever had, and I agree with SIC that it is definitely worth a special trip just for the pie
222 East First Street
Hermann, MO 65041
Located on the banks of the Missouri River in Hermann, the Rivertown boasts a large selection of homemade pies, including a handful of fairly unusual ones. The crust at the rivertown were super thin and almost nonexistent. I tried the cream cheese pineapple pie, not really sure what to expect. It consisted of a nice cream cheesy custard with a layer of crushed pineapple on the bottom and a layer of chopped pecans on top. Not really as rich as a cheesecake, but you know... i don't know how to describe it, but it was good. (Someone described it as "something you'd get at a church dinner, but not in a bad way").
The apple crunch pie was great. Still warm, it had big chunks of fresh apple, lightly spiced with a nutty crunchy crumb topping. The crush on this guy was so thin it was basically more like an apple crisp than a pie, but still delish! The coconut custard was my least favorite of the group. The meringue had a good consistency, but wasn't sweetened enough so it was a little too eggy with the pie. The custard was good and coconutty, but I thought overall this pie was weak because of the gross meringue (kevin had to spit it out). Hey, so if you are in Hermann (how likely is that?), check out the pie two doors down at the downtown deli & custard shoppe (see below), only one type of pie but I think it was better overall than the Rivertown's pie...
Downtown Deli & Custard Shoppe
216 East 1st Street
Hermann, MO 65041
This is really just a little frozen custard and ice cream shop (or should I say shoppe?) on the riverfront in Hermann, a cute little town in wine country (did you know there was a wine country in MO?). They only had one kind of pie ($1.75/slice) it was a peach crumb, homemade. We thought that, overall, it was very very good. The one criticism voiced was that there was an unfavorable ratio of peaches to crumb: there were some bites of pie with all crumb and no peaches. However, if you really like crumb topping (which I do) it was a-ok. And the peach filling was nicely spiced. yummmm....
Cookin' From Scratch
I-44, exit 179, Doolittle MO
I have a rule that I stop at any place along the highway that advertises "homemade pie" i figure if they are sticking it up on the billboard as a selling point, that they must be proud of their pie. Anyway. That is how I ended up at Cookin' from Scratch, which is really just a kind of dingy diner/truck stop. They only had coconut cream pie when i stopped in, but you know what? it was OK. good meringue and tasty coconut-filled cream filling. I was still full of delicious Foot-Hi pie from Blue Springs Cafe in IL (see above) to really appreciate this fairly standard pie at the time, but really it was an honest good pie.
2101 Regent st.
A local favorite. Me and my friend Joel. Weds afternoon, there were 5 dudes sitting there, waiting for their wives, and one by wives all showed up.
The classic old small town 50’s diner. Gigantic portions. “cup” of soup… really heaping bowl of soup… the bowl of soup is like a serving platter of soup.
So on to the pie.
They had about 7 different types, chocolate, banana, boysenberry, apple, cherry. I got the boysenberry. One slice of pie. Would you like a scoop of ice cream on the side?
¼ th of a pie and like 4 scoops of ice cream! And it was like 2 bucks.
It was perfect. Pie stew, big mess of gooey hot boysenberry.
It was homemade crust, but because it was microwaved, it got kinda pasty. Still liked it, but was a little soft.
But filling was lots of fruit. Just right amount of sweet and tart.
Like every boysenberry pie that was made in the 50s. Classic diner pie. Good.
Spruce Park Cafe
10045 Hwy. 2
Huckleberries -- wild relatives of blueberries with a sharper taste and toothier seeds -- have resisted commercial cultivation and grow only in mountainous regions like northwestern Montana, where roadside shops sell huckleberry jam, huckleberry ice cream and, of course, huckleberry pie. Amid hokey theme emporiums with names like the Huckleberry Patch and Huckland, the area's most sublime intersection of crust and filling comes from the Spruce Park Cafe, a nondescript diner attached to an Exxon station, whose topnotch pie makes a perfect capper to a day spent at nearby Glacier National Park. (By Paul Lukas, Money Magazine)
Stauffer's Cafe & Pie Shoppe
5600 S. 48th Street, Lincoln NE
JMT, our Quality Control King and Pie Guru sent me here. Man, it was so worth the trip. Although a substantial distance off I-80, Stauffer's is the real deal for pie lovers. At least 25 homemade pies were available today (2.25/slice, or 9.50/whole pie) from a list of potential daily pies of about 45 regular and 20 sugar free pies (you can call 24 hours ahead for special orders of whole pies).
I tried 6 pies on my visit. The sour cream raisin (which was killer! a northern midwest specialty, i might add) was my favorite. The sour cream raisin filling was superb, the crust flaky and tender and the meringue was fluffy, huge, and not too sweet.
The pecan pie was good, but fairly standard... get it only if you are a true pecan pie junkie, but this is not the best pie in the house.
I loved the gooseberry, tart, fruity with a flaky crust crunchy with sugar... mmm, sweet and sour...
The butterscotch pecan pie was really cool, a crunchy candied pecan layer on the bottom kept the crust flaky, then the nuts were topped with a generous layer of butterscotch filling, in turn topped with whipped cream and more pecans. YUM. (susan says "its like eating pie candy")
The Red raspberry, like the gooseberry had a nice tart fruity filling with a crunchy flaky sugar-topped crust. served slightly warm, this was a really truly delicious pie, filling pretty runny but I like that much better than gooey.
The only real disappointment of the day was the caramel apple. The apple filling seemed canned and had a terrible texture. Avoid it... even though the caramel baked into the top crust was pretty tasty.
Overall though, this is a pie-lovers paradise... and with some sugar-free pies always available, there is really no excuse for a 10 minute detour off I-80, is there?!
Just as a sidenote...the borscht didn't seem to have any beets in it...? what makes it borscht, i wonder? cabbage maybe... ?
The French Cafe
2202 Central Avenue
Kearney, NE 68847
Homemade pie at a "French" cafe? I'm suspicious... Hidden inside the Kaufmann center (a mini, main-street type of shopping mall), this quaint little cafe had several beautiful looking pies on display (check out the photos!). Unfortunately the fillings were not homemade. This was more miserable in the peach than in the caramel apple i tried, since the addition of some homemade caramel sauce masked the fake filling flavor somewhat. Anyway, if you are dying for pie and are visiting the arch in Kearney, stop on in... it is passable.
John Ascuaga's Nugget
Nevada is not exactly known for it's delicious pies. Amidst the flashy lights, jangling slot machines and vibrating beds, people seem to forget the pleasures of the humble pie.
I've decided this is because there isn't any good pie in Nevada. Perhaps I am overstepping my bounds. Any of you pie folk out there in the great Silver State, feel free to prove me wrong. I mean, my mom's pie is delicious, but the pie out in the public eating establishments seems to be lacking.
For example, take the pie at the Rotisserie Buffet at the Nugget. The crust was flaky. Good. However, everything, from crust to filling to whipped cream, was completely tasteless. Blah. Same with the fruit pies. Sugary, gooey, and tasteless.
So I need to know....is Nevada a lost cause? Is there any good pie out there? Are we forever dooooooomed????
I hope not.
Route 34 South
Colts Neck, NJ 07722
If you must visit central NJ, then stop by Delicious Orchards - http://www.deliciousorchardsnj.com/index.html - for some of the best apple pie ever. The apple cider donuts are great too. Actually, everything I've had there has been first quality and tasty. The market is a nice place to shop too.
Pie Town, New Mexico
For two days we looked forward to our arrival in Pie Town, New Mexico.
We spotted this tiny town on the map as we drove from Arizona to New
Mexico on Spring Break. Being dedicated pie eaters, we decided to make
a pilgrimage to this town in the middle of nowhere for my traditional
birthday pie. To our dismay, the first pie shop we saw in Pie Town,
The Pie-O-Neer Cafe, was closed, but just down the road was the Daily
Pie Cafe on the Great Divide. It was open and doing a bustling
business with a mix of locals and travelers.
In the pie display case were about a half dozen varieties of homemade
pie, including the pie of the month: New Mexico Apple Pie with green
chiles and piñon nuts. Alas, I opted for the traditional apple pie,
and now I regret that I didn't choose the special. The latter looked
more attractive, with a lattice crust and very deep filling, but I had
overdosed on Mexican food the previous several days, so a Mexican apple
pie was not appealing at the time.
The apple pie was good, but not excellent. The pie had the right ratio
of apple to crust, and the serving was moderate, but at a cost of $3.50
per slice, it could have been about a third larger. The crust was
solid and lacked the flakiness that, for me, is the touchstone of an
excellent pie. I was satisfied, but now I yearn to try the chile,
piñon nut, apple pie. Luckily, I'll be able to make one myself. The
recipe is currently posted on the Daily Pie Cafe website:
Embudo, NM, Hwy 68 between Taos and Santa Fe
We went to visit my brother who lives in Embudo, New Mexico, 20 miles
south of Taos. We went for dessert at Embudo Station, a restaurant
that sits on the Rio Grande River with mountain views. The
restaurant is on Hwy 68, the main road from Santa Fe to Taos. On
this trip, the river was at the highest it had been for 10 years,
however, we were still able to sit outside on the patio. This
restaurant had the best pecan pie I have ever tasted. Pecans are
layered on top and it was not too sugary like some pecan pies can
be. The pie had a nice rich filling and came with whipped cream on
top. The pie goes well with their aguave wine margaritas! Another
companion commented that it was one of the best pecan pies they have
tasted as well. If you are ever in the area, it is worth a stop.
Sola and Mark Millard
Little Pie Company of the Big Apple
14th or 43rd Street,
If you really love pie and visit New York City, you must try the Little Pie Company of the Big Apple - http://www.littlepiecompany.com/ - on 14th or 43rd streets.
Their Sour Cream Apple Walnut Pie is delish! They also have the best carrot cake I've ever tasted. Of course, this being Manhattan, they are a bit pricey, but worth every cent!
522 9th Avenue
(at 39th Street)
New York, NY 10018
During a recent trip to New York City, I had some excellent cherry pie at a
place called the 39th street Cupcake Cafe Bakery. Perhaps that's in the
bowery? I'm not sure why they choose to highlight cupcakes in their name,
which shows misplaced favoritism, but their pies looked very good. they do
have plenty of cupcakes, for those whose interests run to that kind of
marginaly fetish. the crust was flakey, the filling fruity and not too sweet
or gooey. yum. (see the enclosed collage by courtney)
northeast corner of E.8th street and University Place
Washington Square Park, The Village, NYC
This is New York City..., a land of many cultures, many foods, and many many
wise and experienced pie eaters.
There is a "pie heaven" at Lloyd's Carrot Cake Inc. where the BEST Bean Pie
is to be found. Thankfully Lloyd's is only 105 blocks north of the atrocious
BBQ restaurant that serves the "pie hell" that I am reviewing here now.
Knowing that Lloyd's delivers his pies to Delis, Caterers, etc. all around
NYC, I found it shocking to think that a Village restaurant trying to pass
itself off as "southern fried", would have the yankee balls to serve such a
culinary abomination in the midst of Lloyd's pies and cakes being served
elsewhere on the same, damn, block!
But alas, I had the recent misfortune to discover and sample the WORST Sweet
Potato Pie at BBQ, and only because I had to. Word at NYU is that BBQ is a
NO GO ZONE. But, I was working with with a Japanese film crew who all love
to eat hamburgers when they're in the US, and they all wanted to eat at BBQ.
Since they were paying for my lunch, I wanted to be polite and digressed.
Oh, and did I mention that it was 10am? I normally don't eat "lunch" at
10am!!! Do you? I thought that was kinda funny too.
Anyways, being that I am a vegetarian, there were only three things I could
order off the menu - Baked Potato, Corn-on-the-cob, and, Sweet Potato Pie.
Since it was still time for breakfast in my mind, ofcourse I decided - PIE !
Eeeeek! It was the worst pie! By the worst, I mean- nothing was freshly
made, nothing was even cooked! Not even the lame cold soggy store bought
crust. There were no cooked sweet potatoes, and no real dairy topping, and
there was NO FLAVOR! It was shocking to me that this "pie" could even exist!
It was, like, not even pie. What was it? Calling that thing on my plate
"pie"... is like calling that NASA Tang beverage... a fruit juice.
Am I insane? Was it all just a bad dream?
Go to BBQ and try it for yourself. But, if you don't make it outta there
alive- you have been warned!
ps. The coffee sucked too. Trying to wash down the BBQ "pie" with the BBQ
"coffee" only made things taste much worse! Ugh.
Sweet Traditions Bakery Inc.
329 N Harrison Ave.
Cary, NC 27511
I have had their Apple and Chocolate Cream pies and they were delicious. Every thing in this bakery is excellent and the prices are very reasonable.
Sanitary Fish Market & Restaurant
501 Evans Street,
Morehead City, NC 28557
rating: 5 stars
what kind of pie: Lemon
Comment: Although famous for it's seafood (which was good) this was the best lemon pie I ever tasted.
5525 N. High Street
Columbus, OH 43214
In June of 2004, my friend and I had many hours in the car traveling from Cleveland Ohio to Bloomington Indiana after a long business trip. We needed something to break up the drive and decided a pie stop would give us the necessary energy to drive all the way. As Columbus, Ohio is roughly a halfway point, we stopped at Just Pies, 5525 High Street, Columbus, OH 43162.
As the name implies, it is really JUST PIES!!! I was anticipating a pit stop, and was hoping for a restroom and a place to sit down and eat some pie, but no, Just Pies. Lots of pies. I believe they had over 30 pies in their selection. As strawberries were in season, we chose a fresh strawberry cream cheese pie. The strawberries were a beautiful bright red, and the cream cheese layer (under the beautiful strawberries) was barely sweet and light, but not too fluffy. All of this goodness was housed in an almost sugar cookie crust. My friend and I split a small 6 inch pie, but could have easily eaten and entire large pie. It was just that good.
Lucky for me, a gas station down the road had a restroom, and we found a picnic table behind the post office where we ate our pie. It turned into a lovely pie pit stop, well worth the little way off of the highway.
(editor's note: Ann also brought a couple of these little pies home for pie club members in Indiana to sample... i think we had a rhubarb and a bumbleberry... both of these were delicious... the bottom crusts didn't hold up to the several days transit and hold time as well as I'd have liked, but the fillings were superb! check it out when you are in Ohio!! )
6275 U.S. Route 40 SE
West Jefferson, OH
My good friend and potmc member Ann Stucki brought these delectable slices of Henry's pie all the way from West Jefferson, Ohio to Indiana, and altough we didn't eat them until the next day, they were very very good slices of pie. There was some debate over the crust, whether it was too flaky (is that possible?), it's a very crispy, flakey crust. I like that in a crust, personally, some present prefer a more tender crust. Hmm. But anyway the fillings, especially the fruit/berry fillings were outstanding. THis is really a great pie establishment, worth the little detour from I-70 near Columbus OH.
The Golden Lamb Inn
27 S. Broadway
Lebanon, OH 45036
The Golden Lamb promotes itself by talking about the many past (and current) presidents and notables who have come there, dined there, and also being the oldest inn in Ohio, slept there. 100 year old newspaper clipping adorn the walls in battered old wooden frames, a 200 year old stage coach bench sits in the lobby, while the large shiny display of George W's recent visit stands out, more then a little out of place over the mantle in the lobby. The majority of the things on display are true antiques, and most also are showing their true age. The paintings and nick nacks around the place are interesting, but not remarkable.
The trend of not being remarkable continues with the dinner menu, which is a bit more pricey then it should be. The menus are worn, and sometimes dirty, the silverware of questionable cleanliness. The general impression is that of a place that was once very nice, even classy, but has slipped a notch or two over the years. And in the end the food fits the same mold... It could have at one time been exceptional, but seems now to be average at best. Of note for some is the relish tray with pickled watermelon rind. Not for me, but I'm sure someone will like that.
We of course went for the stack pie, and were quite nicely told that they only have that once in a while. They had only two pies on the regular desert menu, so it was easy to make a choice and get both.
The peanut butter pie was quite good, with a very rich, creamy, almost liquid filling, and a good quality whip cream topping, but the oreo crumb lower crust was almost as out of place as the Bush display in the lobby. It was very evenly made making us suspect it might be brought in from elsewhere and not made there. The Shaker Sugar Pie was also fairly good, but certainly not exceptional.
In the end, the visit was good, not because of the Golden Lamb or it's pie, but because I had good company. If you happen for some unknown reason to be in Lebanon, Ohio and really like old things it might be worth your time, not otherwise. It can easily be said that the history of the place is more notable than the the reality of it.
Troyer's Dutch Heritage
720 SR 97 West
Bellville, OH 44813
Apparently the Amish really like buffets. At least if we are to believe the marketing of the many Amish themed restaurants one finds in this part of Ohio. They do seem quite serious about their pie though. The pies at Troyer's are baked fresh on the premises and the menu has a pretty broad selection of fruit pies and custard pies. I ordered the Blackberry Custard pie and my wife ordered the Rhubarb Crumb pie. She definitely chose more wisely than me, so I'll start with her's. The filling was a real winner. The rhubarb flavor was prominent, but tempered nicely with a carmelized glaze and the buttery crumb topping. The pastry was passable- a good flavor but not exceptional flake. The texture was a little short. My Blackberry custard would have been much easier to evaluate had I not unwisely opted for the "whipped cream" on top. I'm pretty sure that the technology required to produce whipped topping (AKA Coolwhip) is not cool with the Amish. Strike one. After I managed to scrape most of the offending lather from my slice, I could discern a reasonably good fruit topping and small layer of custard on a pretty sad crust. I think it was the same crust as my wife's slice, but it hadn't really reached the point of browning- pale and subsequently flavorless with a mealy texture. On the way out, I checked out the 2-crust fruit pies in the case. They looked rather more promising. If you do stop this way, I think their basic fruit pies would be a safe bet, and if you like rhubarb, the above mentioned pie was an overall winner. Just make sure to hold the "topping".
Brian Stucki POTMC Special Correspondent
The Lunch Box
413 West Sheridan Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
405 232 9409
In business for over 50 years, The Lunch Box offers a selection of homemade pies daily in their downtown Oklahoma City cafeteria-style establishment. I tried an egg custard and a cherry, but they all looked pretty good. The egg custard was generously filled and quite tasty, but pretty standard, i would have liked a little more nutmeg or something. Also the crust on this pie was a little biscuit-like, thick and bready rather than flaky like I prefer. The cherry was pretty good, tart and sweet filling with not too much goo with a flakey golden brown crust. All the pies at the Lunch Box were cooked rather dark, a nice change from pasty pale undercooked crusts you so often find in restaurants. This is certainly worth a visit if you're in Ok City!
Original Fried Pies
Exit 51 on I-35 (580) 369-7830
Oklahoma City (405) 946-0881
I stopped at the Original Fried Pies I-35 location and was surprised to find a small, fairly run-down looking gas station alone on the side of the highway. But walking in I was welcomed by the sight and smell of freshly fried pies. The crust of the "original fried pies" are tasty, but more cakelike than your standard short crust. I actually found this to be a pretty clever departure because the softer, less flakey crust is easier to eat on the go! I only tried sweet pies, but they do make several lunch/dinner pies. I tried an apricot and a pineapple. I chose these two because i saw that they were made with prefab pie fillings and these particular fillings are OK from a can. OK, well here is my feeling about fried pies (in general). They are basically junk food, and so while obviously they would be better with homemade fillings, the canned fillings in this case didn't really offend me. I thought the crust at this OKlahoma pit stop was worth the trip, and I thoroughly enjoyed my pies. mmmm. fried.
More on Original Fried Pies:
My name is J.C. Fulton, and the pie shop at Davis (exit 51 on I-35) is
I wanted to kindly let you know that her fillings are all
homemade. They make them there and put them into
simular containers to premade filling but that pie shop
has never used any canned fillings or any kind of premade
Thank you very much for putting my mom's shop on your
--- thanks for the correction J.C.! My apologies to your mother! The pies were indeed delicious!
Taylor Street Ovens
on 9th St in Corvallis, Oregon
We tasted: French Apple, Cherry, Peach
These pies were quite tasty! Not overly sweet, with good and flakey crusts.
You can by them by the slice, or a whole pie, or a 2-person mini-pie. Its
a bit pricey ($3.10 per slice), but a decent value. Recommended as "the
best pie in Corvallis" by my friend Mike, a man with good taste buds.
Lancaster's Central Market
King and Queen Sts
Amish country is the home of shoofly pie, which features a crumbly brown-sugar topping over a molasses filling. An Amish favorite because it doesn't require refrigeration -- ideal for people who shun electricity -- it supposedly got its name because farm wives were forever shooing the flies attracted to the molasses as the pies cooled. Many yummy versions can be sampled at Lancaster's Central Market (King and Queen Sts., Lancaster; 717-291-4723; open Tuesday, Friday and Saturday), the nation's oldest publicly owned farmers' market.
Gateway Restaurant and Truck Stop
Breezewood, PA... the "Traveler's oasis for the 21st century".
Pie eaters present: Hanna, Gretchen, and Jason
We started by ordering a slice of lemon meringue pie to split between the
3 of us (we had just finished our trough-feed at the Gateway buffet and really didn't need to overdo it). Our waitress, recommended that we NOT get lemon meringue as, in her humble opinion, "It looks real bad tonight." She instead recommended that we get some coconut cream pie. So, we ordered 1 slice to share. She came back with 2 slices because, "It just isn't piled as high as usual."
Unfortunately for everyone, 1 slice would have been bad enough. Trying to swallow down two slices of this awful pie (so as not to make our kindly waitress feel bad) was even more difficult. To make matters worse, Jason refused to eat any because, "It's hard to get past the coconut."
The filling was overly granular and pasty, the meringue was not fluffy at all (we likened the consistancy to laffy taffy), and the coconut pieces were, at best, chewy. The crust seemed good at the time, but in retrospect, I think it was only relative to the rest of the pie.
Gretchen, always the astute observer, proclaimed "This leaves you wondering how bad the lemon meringue must be."
I guess pie is American, because pie is everywhere in Phila! I tried pie at the following locations:
Silk City Diner
435 Spring Garden
Pies Available: Cherry, Pecan, Apple
Pie tried: Cherry
Silk City is named for one of the companies that manufactured diners back in the 30's, 40's and 50's. This is a real diner - real diner old time juke boxes at each booth and real diner waitresses who call you "hon" as they pour your coffee. It has exactly what you would expect from an old 50's diner in food, and that includes the homemade pies. The cherry pie was the pinnacle of comfort food. Standard crust handmade crust, standard sticky sweet filing. Just like mom used to make. Coming from someone whose parents had a pie cherry tree, I could tell the cherries were from a can, but it didn't take away from the piexperience. For more information, go here: http://www.hollyeats.com/SilkCity.htm
3 locations in downtown philadelphia
Pies available: Seasonal
Pie tried: Peach Plum
The story is that a pastry chef from a famous restaurant quit to open this bakery. It has the most amazing pastries, tarts, cakes and pies any where in the world. The best croissant in the universe.. but I digress. The pie was in a small 4 inch tin made for 2 good sized pieces of pie. It was amazing, the crust was perfect, the filling to die for. I don't have the words, just go eat here. =)
Pink Rose Pastry Shop
630 S 4th St (just off South St.)
Pies available: LOTS! Banana Cream, Apple, Sour Cream Apple, Cherry, Blueberry, pecan, plus seasonal pies.
Pie tried: Apple Sour Cream
This was a fun little place with a little cafe/bakery atmosphere. The pies and cakes were all behind a glass case and the first thing you see when walking in. All pies are made in right behind the counter and I am sure if you came at the right time you could see the creation take place. All the pies were beautiful, the Banana cream pie was about 5 inches thick in the center and a work of art. I tried the apple sour cream, which instead of using normal apple pie filling used a sour cream mixture. It was very creamy and delicious and held the apples together very well. The bottom crust was very very sweet, but didn't detract because the filling was not sugary. It was topped by a brown sugar/cinnamon/walnut mixture that added a lot of flavor and texture. The walls are covered with best dessert awards for a reason. yummie.
120 King St.
Although Georgia is the Peach State, peach production is significantly higher in neighboring South Carolina, where the Kudzu Bakery turns out the region's quintessential peach pie. The fruit filling sits in a huge scalloped shell of crust, which tastes like it was made with enough butter to keep a dairy farm working overtime. A crumble topping, heavy on the brown sugar, completes the single most delicious pie I sampled while researching this article. Unfortunately, peach season is over for this year but plan a stop next summer.
4972 Park Avenue, Memphis , Tennessee
Over many years and through a recent move to larger quarters, Buntyn has earned a reputation as one of the best lunch cafés in Memphis — a city with more than its fair share of great cafés. Here you'll have a real Southern-style meal: fried chicken or pork chops sided by a bevy of soulful vegetables, plus cornbread and yeast rolls and a tall glass of sweet tea, followed by a piece of superb pie. Several varieties are available, but two make our hearts go pitter-pat: coconut cream, which is rich and thick and toasty, crowned with absolutely weightless meringue; and lemon icebox pie that is way beyond excellent: very tart, very sweet, at once mellow and loud. ( Jane and Michael Stern, Epicurious.com's America's Top Ten Pies)
The Apple Barn
Opry Mills 433 Opry Mills Drive
Nashville, Tennessee 37214
This restaurant is located inside the Grand Ole Opry Mall.... really it is more of a store with a cafe in it. They do however make their own pies right there with their own fresh grown apples. We ordered the deep fried apple pie and the carmel apple pie. Frankly, if you are in Nashville and hunkering for tasty pie don't head here... personally i prefer Sylvan Park (see below). However, if you are waiting for a show at the Grand Ole Opry and feel like a decent pie, this will fit the bill. While nothing to go out of the way for it was tasty. Go for the carmel apple... much better than the deep fried pie, but i am a carmel fiend.
Kevin Croxall, Official Pie of the Month Astronomer
4502 Murphy Road
Nashville , Tennessee
Long known as one of Nashville 's best blue-plate cafés, Sylvan Park serves pies that aren't always pretty to look at. The meringue may slide off a slice of egg custard pie, or crumbs from the crust may be scattered over the chocolate pie. But if you are the kind of connoisseur who can pardon superficial flaws for a beautiful soul, these pies will make your heart sing. The custards are silk-smooth and egg-rich; sweet potato pie packs full yam flavor and sparkles with spice. And, after all, the falling-apart character of the filling and crust is only a result of supremely delicate texture — an imperfection that is easy to forgive. ( Jane and Michael Stern, Epicurious.com's America's Top Ten Pies)
more on Sylvan Park:
I sent roving pie experts Susan and Kevin to check on the pies at Sylvan Park... and i was appalled to hear back that the crusts are NOT homemade. How this made the Stern's top ten pies list (see above) is beyond me. I don't think a place that uses prefab crusts should even be in the running! Anyway, Kevin and Susan returned the report that the fillings (especially the chess pie) were indeed very yummy. I'm waiting for the official review from them but wanted to warn anyone traveling to Nashville not to get too excited... Here are some photos they took of the place and the pie:
Sylvan Park offers a classic southern comfort selection of food which causes the mouth to water just perusing the menu. Adding to the appeal is the white boards on the wall which list the pies being offered. We sampled the chess pie, chocolate cream, butterscotch cream, pecan pie, and coconut cream pie. We were informed that they are famous for their chocolate pies. We also learned that they do not make their own crust. While this might turn some off I don't think it enough an offense to write them off.
So onto the pies… The crusts as previously said were not homemade. As one might guess, they didn't have the best flavor. They were not flaky, but they did hold up as a crust. The special parts were the fillings. The chess pie was delectable. It was soft and delicious. The pecan pie was equally wonderful. Nice chunks of pecans accented a wonderful filling that blended just the right sweetness with the nutty topping. The butterscotch cream pie was our least favorite. It did not have a striking flavor at all. It was fairly bland, and a bit grainy. The meringue topping was wonderful (on this pie as well as the chocolate. It was wonderfully light and fluffy. The chocolate pie was a mixed enigma. While it was tasty, it was not the best chocolate cream pie any us had ever had. The previous comments about crust and meringue apply, which leaves the chocolate cream filling to be discussed. It was not overly sweet as might be expected but it did have a distinct chocolate flavor. Personally, I think this is why it is a favorite here. More than other chocolate pies I have had the filling in this one tasted chocolaty, not so much like pudding as I have experienced in eating pies. Finally, the coconut cream pie. This was a delightful rendition of a classic pie. Nice filling and great meringue topping.
The bottom line… Not in my list of top ten pies, however, it is an eating experience not to miss! Stop by, get a meat & 3 and then finish it off with pie. You shouldn't be disappointed.
Kevin Croxall, Official Pie of the Month Astronomer
Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken
310 S Front 527-GUSS (4877)
at gus's world famous fried chicken they have a chess pie that will make your face fall off its so good
Blue Bonnet Café
Prominently mounted on a dining room wall in the Blue Bonnet Café is a sign that subtly suggests: Try Some Pie. In this place, that is irresistible advice. We could smell just-out-of-the-oven pies when we walked in late one morning. Of the ten available kinds, we especially liked the pecan pie, made from Texas nuts, and peanut butter cream. The latter is silky-textured whipped peanut filling topped with a thick ribbon of ivory-white cream. In a stroke of confectionery genius, the Blue Bonnet pie makers send it from the kitchen accompanied by a tiny paper cup full of chocolate sauce. It's up to you to either pour it on the slice or use it as a dip for each and every forkful. ( Jane and Michael Stern, Epicurious.com's America's Top Ten Pies)
211 Highway 281, Marble Falls, Texas
Royer's Round Top Café
105 Main Street , Round Top, Texas
877-866-PIES (7437) or 979-249-3611
Hey, so my new pal Bud Royer sent us three pies from Royers Round Top Cafe... land of delicious pie and good times. So while I have never been to Round Top Texas, I have tried the pie. The three pies we tried were Pecan, Buttermilk and Chocolate chip. About 8 of us tried each pie and here's what we thought... Unanimously it was agreed that the Pecan pie had the best filling of any pecan pie anyone had tasted. Seriously. not too sweet, not too gooey, but still gooey and sweet like you want. The pecans were GI-NORMOUS, which is guess proves the old maxim: everything's bigger in Texas, and extremely tasty. The group was split between people who loved the crust and people who hated the crust. The crust haters were the anti-crisco folks that thought it was tasteless and greasy... while the crust lovers thought it was perfectly flakey and crisp and were shocked that it would arrive, in the mail, thousands of miles from it's origin in such lovely tender flakey condition. The chocolate chip pie was pronounced 'completely delicious'. The buttermillk pie was also controversial... some were turned off by the nutmeg, but everyone loved the texture... creamy and sweet, but not too sweet. The nutmeg seemed to me to be freshly ground.. is that possible in a pie-by-mail? awesome.
Overall consensus... worth a trip out of your way next time you're in Texas... or if you're not we give it 5 out of 5 stars for a mail ordered pie...
Another testimonial for Royer's Pies:
Hi Sue Anne,
I wanted to put in my two cents for Royer's Round Top in Round Top, Texas.
I have used them the past two years for our corporate Christmas gifts and
have been extremely happy with their product and their service. I love the
homey, personal touch they give to me as they work on my order and we have
gotten more thank you notes for our Christmas gifts than we ever did before.
I write a personal thank you to each of our clients and Bud includes them in
- Paula from Houston
And if you don't believe us... here's a review of Royer's Round Top by Jane and Michael Stern, of Road Food fame:
We like the warning on the menu at Royer's Round Top: "We reserve the right to charge you for pie and Häagen-Dazs even if you don't order it! It is a matter of principle: You don't drive all this way and not eat pie!" The moment you enter the small café in this tiny Texas town in the middle of nowhere, you'll see and smell that chef Bud Royer is serious. Lined up on the back counter of the dining room are several dozen ravishing pies with baked fruit oozing out over the edge of knobby crusts. This place is a pie-lover's paradise, with a range from classic pecan, made from local nuts, to butterscotch Toll house and coconut chess. ( Jane and Michael Stern, Epicurious.com's America's Top Ten Pies)
6416 North Lamar - Austin, Texas 78752 - (512) 451-5440
So we read that this was the best pie in Austin... i hope for all Austinians that this is not true. While the pies were not terrible, and were at least homemade, they were nothing to write home about. We tried a rhubarb and a chocolate icebox pie. First of all, the waiter didn't know what, if any pies they had available, and so we only knew what to get because we looked in the case on the way in... then the rhubarb pie tasted like it had been sitting around for several days, the crust was paste, basically. But the filling was pretty good. The icebox pie was better, but again, nothing to make me think "i bet this is the best pie in Austin!"
THe place is pretty cool though, so maybe it's worth a visit if you are in town, check out their website.
Fried Pie Company
202 West Main, Gainesville, Texas
Well, when a restaurant is NAMED for their pie, you know I'm going to stop and check them out. Unfortunately I just wasn't that crazy about the fried pies at the Fried Pie Co & Restaurant. First off I was crabby because I ordered a couple pies to go, an apricot and a coconut cream. The woman at the counter told me the apricot pies were cooking so did i mind waiting a few minutes. I didn't, especially for a hot pie. Sadly, when I got on the road and bit into the hot pie it was filled with canned apple pie filling and not delicious apricots. Oh well.
Anyway, I guess I preferred the coconut cream pie in this case, just because canned apple pie fillling is so gross and gooey. ick.
Further the crust tasted like french fries (old oil?) and so overall I wasn't impressed with the Fried Pie Co., they're cute though... very cute little pies.
Mindy Lu's Pies
721 E. LOOP 820
rating: 5 stars
what kind of pie: Apricot Fried Pie
Comment: It was very good. They make lots of them.
Croshaw's Gourmet Pies
900 So. Bluff St. George UT 84110
rating: 5 stars
what kind of pie: key lime, apple, chocolate, pecan
Comment: A little piece of pie heaven in southern Utah. If you are ANYWHERE NEAR St. George and you want to try the best pie in the world go here. They serve sandwiches and soup for lunch, but skip it and just order more pie!!! When I went I could clearly see Ron Lloyd the owner/manager in the back covered in flour, rolling out pie crusts. Every pie I tried was some of the best I had ever eaten. It was AWESOME!
St. George Cafe Rio
471 East St. George Blvd.
St. George , UT 84770
Cafe Rio has some of the best "fresh-mex" in Utah, and some great homemade desserts, Flan and Tres Leches. Tonight I thought I would try the pie.. they call it Yolanda's Fresh Key Lime Pie. A little history: Ever since 1992 when Camper Van Beethoven talked about losing 1 converse hi-top in the middle of the desert and searching for the perfect piece of Key Lime Pie, I decided it was a noble pursuit. First I asked 3 different people if it was home made and they all swore it was, so I thought that was a good sign.. I was less impressed when the cashier put more whipped cream on the pie then there was pie (it was real whipped cream, but please..) After scraping off the whipped cream I took my first bite and was very impressed. Just the right amount of tart, sweet, good consistency. My next bite with a little crust... and I nearly puked. I didn't think someone could screw up a graham cracker crust... but they did, it tasted salty and like lard.. I only ate the whole thing to give it a fair review, but it was all down hill.. ugh.. one of the worst pies I have ever eaten.
Hill High Country Store
Round Hill, VA 20141
I reccomend you add Hill High Orchards & Country Store, on Rt. 7 West in Round Hill, VA. They have dozens of pies baked fresh every day, sold whole or by the slice. I have personally tried their blackberry, key lime, and brambleberry pies. All are excellent, with fresh fruit and just the right amount of sugar to emphasize the pie's flavor without overpowering it.
- Kristen P.
but wait... here is a rebuttal from another pie fan:
Hill High Country Store
Round Hill, VA.
I lived in that area for over 20 years and have tasted the apple pie there. Although it wasn't bad, it was not something to get really excited over. Then I found out that their pies are not really fresh, they are frozen. Why bother to drive to Round Hill for something you could pick up in the freezer section of your local grocery store!!!!
103 Olga Road
Olga, WA 98279
We had the Blackberry pie from the menu as well as a Raspberry pie from the specials board. The Blackberry was good, crust was quite good and filling was fine, though it was possibly canned or frozen in some way. I think having the Blackberry on the menu means they need to make sure they have adequate supply. It was still good and would be worth getting. The Raspberry, however, was terrific, very fresh and sweet, not even tart like Raspberries can sometimes be. Note that this was lunch, though, and shortly after we got our pie we heard them announcing to people waiting in line that they no longer had any Raspberry left. Might want to get there for an early lunch if you're after whatever the pie special is that day.
137 W North Bend Way
North Bend, WA 98045
Twede's diner has an obvious appeal for any hard core (or even soft core) fans of Twin Peaks, as it was apparently used for location shooting on the show. As I did not follow Twin Peaks, I was able to judge their pie offerings without any preconceived notions. The menu makes big noise about the "Famous Twin Peaks" cherry pie, which was ordered by my wife. I opted for the Boysenberry- a la mode. After tasting both I concluded I had chosen well. The Cherry pie was pretty unexceptional- pretty weak flavor in the filling, possibly from a can. By contrast, the Boysenberry filling was quite good, with a real from fresh taste and consistency. It was not overly sweet, which I appreciated. As I am a self proclaimed pastry snob, I payed special attention to the crust. It was almost certainly homemade. The flavor scored well- buttery with little or no sweetness. The texture let me down a bit. If you like a short, more crumblike crust, you would love it. As I am obsessed with tender, fine layered flaky pastry, it didn't quite get the job done. I will say that we dined at Twede's nowhere near Cherry season. I imagine that the Cherry pie might live up to its name more convincingly when the fruit is fresh from the orchard.
-Brian Stucki- POTMC Special Correspondent
Boston Harbor Pies
513 Capitol Way South
Olympia , WA 98501
Tues-Sat 10am -5:30 pm
While all the locals in Olympia may tell you to go to Wagners for delicious pie, don't believe them! While the pastries at Wagners are delicious, they do not do pie. However, Boston Harbor Pies is just down the road, near the center of town and a delightful park in which to eat pie. While there is quite a selection of pies to choose from, you must be wary there are special order pies. While the pies are all made right there from fresh ingredients, they are then frozen and baked later (you can buy them frozen or baked). This does not work for all pies. Accordingly, if you have a hankering for a lemon meringue pie, a pecan pie, custard pie, pumpkin pie, cream pie, etc. you need to special order it. They don't have them just lying around every day.
Which brings us to the pies we did get. There is quite a selection of pot pies and fruit pies, which can be bought whole or by the slice. We got the Blackberry, Cherry, and Strawberry-Rhubarb. The crust while not incredibly flaky was very delicious! The bottom crust existed and was not enveloped by the filling as often happens in pies which have been frozen (at least in my experience).
Having mentioned the filling… it was incredibly delicious! The pies were loaded with real fruit and seasoned wonderfully! They were fantastic both for dinner and the next day for breakfast. Criticism? The pies were incredibly sweet (even for sweet pies)! Some liked this, others in the group thought it was a bit too much (we still ate ~12 slices). Also the Strawberry-Rhubarb pie did not seem to have much rhubarb at all, more a strawberry pie. In the Pacific Northwest ? Want good pie? This one is recommended
Kevin Croxall, Official Pie of the Month Astronomer
1545 Main Street , Highways ES & J, Mukwonago, Wisconsin
The Elegant Farmer bakes each of its apple pies in a brown paper bag. The result is fruit filling that is smooth and mellow, and crust that has the fine-flake crunch of a sugar cookie. At this sizable farmstand and market in Wisconsin 's countryside, you can take home an amazing pie creation still inside its bag, or buy a slice to eat at a table. In addition to apple, the gifted bakers produce berry and rhubarb pies and an over-the-top version of apple pie blanketed with caramel sauce. ( Jane and Michael Stern, Epicurious.com's America's Top Ten Pies)
Elegant Farmer note:
Mars Cheese Castle
The Mars Cheese Castle (where I *know* you want to stop every time you drive from Chicago to Milwaukee or vice versa) bakes and sells apple pies baked in brown bags (still in the bag), which are made by the Elegant Farmer (see above review my the Sterns). The mini pie we bought was steaming hot fresh from the oven and was completely delicious. Crunch caramelized sugary top crust was out of sight. Gilling was spicey apple with a lovely texture. We were a little disappointed in the bottom crust, but it didn't hinder my enjoyment of the pie in the least... delicious.
13804 Seventh St.
Most of Wisconsin was settled by Germans, but there are also pockets of Scandinavian heritage, most notably at the Norske Nook, an outstanding Norwegian bakery that makes scores of pies from scratch daily. The Nook's signature item is sour cream raisin pie, whose tangy custard filling is studded with plump raisins and topped with a mountain of meringue that defies gravity like a greaser's pompadour. )