Pi(e) Day Revisited

Pi(e) Day Revisited

Three years ago we celebrated Pi Day (on March 14, 2015 precisely at 9:26:53). Pi is a constant. Pie should not be. That is what I wrote about on that momentous day. Regardless of time passing, and upon review, I stand by my endorsements in that post, entitled “Pi(e) Day is Coming – a Celebration of the Ages.” I stand by them, and sure wish I could also stand closer to them.

Granted, pie may not be the most salubrious ingredient to aging. Yet, it might be essential to the ‘Pizzazz’ part. So, I figure I’ll go with that, and recognize that we occasionally get enjoyment in places that a self-controlled disciplinarian may criticize. For pie, I’ll stick to moderation.

A couple of the suggestions below are not my own. One person can’t visit all the best U.S. pie shops. Can she? [I’d love to hear from anyone opposing that view and who wants to encourage a “yes, she can” position.] Somewhere on this list, or the previous, I hope that either you share a favorite, or make plans to contemplate one after sufficient data gathering.

Here are my 10 additions. I admit that sometimes it is the travel to the place, or perhaps its ambiance that makes the pie cut.

  1. Beckie’s Café. Starting with the one closest to me, it’s located on Hwy 62 in Union Creek, Oregon near Crater Lake National Park. Established in 1926 and having hosted a slew of celebrities and politicians, it is an unassuming café with cabins and accommodations. The road is not the best in the winter, but then that might not be the appropriate season to order their best Huckleberry pie. They have seasonal specials and focus on fruit pastries.
  2. In Arcata, California, not far from coastal Eureka, you can find a Slice of Humboldt Pie. Go hungry, because aside from sweet pies, they serve savory ‘food’ pies – such as the Veggie Curry. [You are close to a Cider Bar as well.] If you are looking for a dessert pie recommendation, how about the Raspberry Chocolate Silk. Elvis fans might choose ‘The King’, which has a unique combo of ingredients.
  3. Woodbury Connecticut has a restaurant, under the guidance of Carol Peck, that I desperately miss – the Good News Café. Food and dessert here are tantalizing just to consider, the actual epitome of ‘mouth-watering.’ On the food front, you can no longer get my favorite ever mac-n-cheese (the Shirley McClain 5 cheese dish), but I hear they have a wonderful substitute of lobster mac-n-cheese. The pies (and all the desserts) are unusual and yummy.  We used to stick to basics (like pecan), but whether on the food or dessert menu, their fare is creative.
  4. Key Lime in Key West.  In my original post, I mentioned first learning of (I should say ‘experiencing’) key lime pie in Hilton Head, SC. Terrific. But to be fair, I need to add the key lime destination of Key West. Multiple choices here. I had it at Matthessin’s. Not bad, but not as memorable as others. My husband, Michael ordered key lime at the Roof Top Café. Perhaps, it was no better.  But since we enjoyed it on the warm balcony along with a magnificent sunset, soon after a late afternoon shower left shiny raindrops still hanging on plants, it was more memorable. Key West has 3 other key spots for key lime that we failed to unlock the secrets of: Kermit’s, Key West Key Lime Pie Shop and Blue Heaven.

  5. Pie Town in New Mexico (established in 1920) went years without having a pie shop. Now it has 2 or 3; meaning there is one open every day. The town name was born from a famous dried apple pie, which I confide does not create a savory longing in my taste buds. Times now are different; the selections are astonishing. Located off Rt 60, out of Show Low Arizona, or turning off Rt. 25 between Albuquerque and Las Cruses, it’s rather in the middle of nowhere (north of Gila National Forest). CBS Sunday Morning did a ‘pie piece’ on this (unincorporated) town a couple years ago. If you can watch this video and not drool, perhaps you need read no further.
  6. In Fox Valley, Wisconsin, find 3 locations for Manderfield’s Home Bakery. I am including this from someone else’s suggestion. However, since Boston Cream pie is one of my favorites, and they have a desert called “Suzy-Q-Cake” that is basically two Boston Creams together, how bad could it be?
  7. Ohana Hawaiian Café in Portland Oregon has a changing selection of pies and not your usual menu. I included this entry (not my own recommendation) due to the claim that they serve one of the best sweet potato pies ever.
  8. Not very far from Front Royal, VA and the Shenandoah National Park, in lovely Piedmont County, you’ll find a treasure in Red Truck Bakery. While they have a new location in Marshall, the original (converted from an old Esso gas station) is in Warrenton VA, off Rt. 66 and near Awing. Like #8 on my original list (Central Market in Lancaster, PA), they have Shoofly pie.  I didn’t get it.  [Why not? Were they out of it? Memory doesn’t serve.]  They also have real mincemeat pie. I didn’t get it. [Sweeny Todd will always be too fresh for me.] Perhaps non-experimentally, I got strawberry-rhubarb. Do remember that this is generally a pie never as good as childhood memories. This was. I understand this bakery has recently gotten famous fans and lots of attention (only 50 miles or so from DC). You’ll enjoy the drive through this area, and it will be worth going out of your way to hit this spot if you are near the national park.
  9. The Orchard House is another place kind of ‘out there.’ Located in Caldwell, Idaho, it’s not far from Boise, or too far from the Oregon Border. Near the beautiful Snake River, scenic drives abound. You can enjoy a casual stop for (let’s say) Triple Cream Coconut pie.
  10. I am cheating on my last entry for 2 reasons. I haven’t been there and I am pushing the boundaries of the “pie” category. But if you visit Santa Fe, NM consider stopping at Clafoutis. That names also happens to be the name of this French pastry (pie…….?) I asked a friend who recently visited the Napa County renowned French Laundry, in hopes they had served a pie or clafoutis as part of their lavish dessert presentation. No luck. [Although I’m told they have a lemon tart to crave ever-after, and little pieces of candy that can make you swoon.] Since the French Laundry is a Bucket List item for our pocket books and experience, it would be nice if clafoutis were on the menu there (although I wouldn’t want to ask for it and stumble over the pronunciation). In the meantime, I’ve got my eyes on Santa Fe, and my money-manger would happily agree. [For clarification, that’s not two separate entities.]

Complaint Before I Finish

Off Rt 5 in Southern Oregon between Roseburg and Grants Pass, actually ‘nestled’ in the little town of Azalea is The Heaven on Earth Restaurant and Bakery. Acting as a visual mecca on the drive between several desolate areas headed to more populated locales, the bakery truly performs like a beacon – no, a siren – to stop and enjoy the delights of the rustic barn. And it has delights in its typical American style menu and lovely deserts. However, it’s known for its pies. YET…..you can’t buy a piece of pie. Whole pies only. A bakery specializing in pie that won’t serve a piece? Really? Granted, their cobbler was quite nice, but I will just have to take the word of others that they have outstanding pies. What a disappointment.


Perhaps in another 3 years, we will discover more locations – unhealthy and dastardly temptresses. [Honestly, I don’t know the male version of a word for “temptress”, which seems unfair in this particular scenario, since men I know certainly carry their weight in the pie-eating arena.]

For now, we have notable new entries to add gastronomic pizzazz. Hope you can agree that it’s not time to say Bye, Bye to our American Pie.

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3 thoughts on “Pi(e) Day Revisited

    • It took me at least 5 minutes before I finally laughed out loud at this. As math challenged as I tend to be, we can only assume that I got the joke. I am certain others are quicker.

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