We certainly ate plenty of great pie in 2017. Before we get to the list a few notes:
A big thanks to ChiTownDiner
who seemingly crisscrossed eastern Iowa picking up pies and kolaches before meeting us in Des Moines. It is only fair that my list is of restaurants we actually visited ourselves otherwise this lovely sour cream raisin pie
from Ox Yoke Inn
in Amana, IA would be on the list.
And I will be forever grateful that Mark and Charlene Johnson gifted us one of her amazing sour cream raisin pies
when we met them for dinner. Even though it is also not eligible for this list, I still consider Charlene's pies the best I have ever had.
And another thanks goes to PieDiva
for bringing pies to a Contingent get together in June.
I can't remember what kind of pie it was (it was something I had never heard of before, which is always exciting), but everything that comes out of PieDiva's
kitchen is exceptional. Best Pies
16. Coconut Cream Pie - Pop Pie
(San Diego, CA)
I usually do thorough research looking for the best pie stops in a city before going, but I completely whiffed on Pop Pie. The only way we found it was we happened to be driving by. Almost like it was meant to be! Pop Pie is a charming little shop that makes mini pies. The best of the ones we tried was a coconut cream in a warm, buttery crust. Unfortunately, the photo didn't turn out, but other flavors like apple crumb, strawberry milkshake and London Fog, with a subtle earl gray tea flavor were also hits.
15. Bumbleberry Pie - Hillsboro General Store
It was a major disappointment to read that my favorite New Mexico pie shop
shut it's doors permanently in 2017, but we still found some great pie in the southern part of the state. How can you not love a mixed berry pie with blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and rhubarb? I'm not a fan of a la mode, but Mariton is. And it often makes for a better photo.
14. Chocolate Pie - Blanco Bowling Club
The pies aren't quite as tall as I remember on a previous visit, but this is still a Texas-sized slice of pie. Deep, dark fudgy flavor and a light as air meringue make for a memorable slice of pie.
13. Idleberry Pie - Idle Isle Café
(Brigham City, UT)
The young waitress apologized when she brought out this slice of idleberry pie, but it sure looked good to me. Unique to Idle Isle Café, idelberry pie is another mixed fruit combination with blueberries, blackberries and boysenberries in a soft crust.
12. Chocolate Cream Pie - The Colonnade
(Atlanta, GA)The Colonnade
has won my heart in the past with some unusual pies (I still fondly remember trying their Do-Si-Do pie), but on a Labor Day visit, the roster of pies was rather ordinary. Still, we couldn't turn down a slice of their chocolate topped with made in house cream in a tender, fragile crust.
11. Blueberry Pie - Maine Diner
The problem with the Maine Diner
is they offer so many great desserts, including regional ones like grapenuts pudding and Indian pudding, it makes it almost impossible to choose. But Maine is known for making the best blueberry pies and this version is a beaut! Rugged crusted, this pie is more fresh, sweet berries than anything else.
10. Peanut Butter Pie - Bright Star
My usual order here is the excellent lemon ice box pie, on a graham cracker crust. Luckily for us, will_work_4_bbq
was kind enough to join us. She has been eating here since she was a little girl and knows the menu inside and out. When she ordered the peanut butter pie, saying it was their best, I was a little skeptical, but she was 100% right. Not overly rich like most peanut butter pies, this was much more smooth and creamy. Looks like on our next visit to Bright Star
, it will be a multiple pie meal.
9. Mexican Chocolate Pie - Pie Hole
We ate at two different locations of Pie Hole
, the original store in the Arts District of Los Angeles and the one in Shinjuku Station in Tokyo. The Mexican Chocolate is dark, rich, but not overly sweet and tastes as chocolate is intended to. And I am a sucker for pies in a graham cracker crust. The other pie shown is a maple custard that has right to be this good so far away from where maple comes from.
8. Sour Cream Raisin Pie - Crystal Café
(South Sioux City, NE)
The food at this truck stop is generally average, but I could never visit Siouxland without a stop here just because of those pies. The filling is a nice balance between sweet and sour with an impressively tall, frothy meringue, this is a pie that takes multiple diners to conquer.
7. Banana Cream Pie - Apple Pan
(Los Angeles, CA)
The burgers here are really good and the old fashioned atmosphere is incredibly fun, but I will always think of the banana cream pie as the main reason for a visit. Fresh custard and a generous amount of sliced fruit, this is like the world's best banana pudding inside a pie crust.
6. Peppermint Patty Pie - Texan Café
Who could resist a restaurant that has their own pie room? Not me, that's for sure. There are so many varieties of pie I tend to overthink what to do. Being an unabashed mint lover, the Peppermint Patty pie usually is the top choice. Love those big chunks of the candy mixed in with the soft, bright pink filling.
5. Honey Pie - Bang Bang Pie Shop
Now we are getting into the truly great pies. I was brought here by the living legend ChiTownDiner
, which means just about every pie on the menu will get ordered. That is not a complaint! The best of our pie flight was the honey pie, a sweet custard pie topped with homemade whipped cream, raspberry coulit in a shortbread crust. Other highlights included the Strawberries and Cream Pie and the Coffee Blondie, which is a coffee chess pie.
4. Banana Cream Pie - Coffee Cup Café
I have been told that Coffee Cup Café
makes a sour cream raisin pie, but I have never had the pleasure. In the meantime, we will have to settle for the best banana cream pie. Once again the ChiTownDiner
was with us, so six different flavors of pies were ordered. The Reese's peanut butter pie and fresh peach a la mode were both standouts, but that banana cream pie is a showstopper. Fresh from the oven and still slightly warm, it is a smooth banana custard topped by the ideal, airy meringue.
3. Snowball Pie - Emporium Pies
One visit in February and one in December meant that we only got to try the cold weather seasonal favorites. The blueberries in the Blue Steel Pie weren't fresh, but that buttery, rugged crust is terrific. And the tall apple pie known as Lord Of the Pies is always on the menu. This was the first time we got to try the Snowball Pie, which is a light coconut custard pie, with a cream topping and a generous amount of toasted coconut. This might be their best pie yet.
2. Brown Butter Coconut Chess Pie - Livin The Pie Life
Right up front, I have to tell you that this place is expensive. An 8" pie comes in at about $24.00 dollars, while the 4" inch mini pie will set you back $6.00. But for this quality, I will gladly pay for it. These people are masters of the crusts and every one we tried was perfectly flaky. We mostly bought mini pies so we could try as many as we could. Some of the highlights were a peanut butter in a Oreo cookie crust, a light, creamy pumpkin chiffon in a gingersnap crust, a gooey salted caramel chocolate chess and a brown butter coconut chess, with bits of coconut sprinkled on top. MetroplexJim
, you are going to love this place!
1. Sour Cream Raisin Pie - Lange's Café
Did not see this one coming at all. On a previous visit here, the sour cream raisin tasted old. Gummy filling, droopy disintegrating meringue, it was a major disappointment. This time the custard filling struck that perfect balance between sweet and sour, maybe even leaning a little bit more to the sour, which is my preference. And look at that meringue! Just a magnificent slice of pie.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2018/02/05 10:58:19