Great Food Search: Pie a la Whatever

Apr 27, 2024 | 2024 Articles, Food Fun, Reedley News, Terrance V. Mc Arthur, The Great Food Search

by Terrance Mc Arthur

In March, we (Well, some of us…) celebrated March 14 as Pi Day (3/14 is the date; the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter is about 3.14). It was celebrated with pies…pizza, apple, Key lime, and more. Since I really like pi and pie, I have decided to unilaterally declare April Pi/Pie Month. Let’s dig in and see what I dug up.

A French Apple pie from Marie Callender’s–Ice cream from Walmart

Marie Callender’s—1781 E. Shaw Ave., Fresno—for much of my life, Marie Callender’s has been embedded in my mind as a place for pie. The entry area has display cases stocked with enticing examples of the pie-maker’s art. From the possibilities, I chose a to-go order of a full French Apple, a fondly remembered taste of my childhood. Once I got it home, I could not resist the temptation to add a scoop of ice cream to a la mode my first slice. The solidly baked layer of apples squeezed between piles of streusel-style crumble topping—a flavorful treat.

Apple pie from Red Caboose. Ice cream added, because I like ice cream

Red Caboose Cafe—5054 N. Academy Ave., Clovis—After stuffing myself with a Deuce Caboose (Egg Salad Sandwich), I took home a slice of Apple Pie. Flaky crust, firm apple chunks, and a juicy saucy caress of liquid, sugary love—Wouldn’t you top it with ice cream? I did.

Strawberry pie from Main Street Cafe–Whipped Cream ahoy!

Main Street Café—1052 G St., Reedley—I don’t know how long this restaurant has been in Reedley, but I’m always glad it’s there. The pie display cases always beckon, promising delight. We chose slices to eat there–Apple Pie and Strawberry Pie. My Apple Pie was filled with big apple pieces and sinful cinnamony goodness. My wife’s mammoth slice of Strawberry Pie had a gooey glaze that made my eyes glaze over, piles of sweet strawberries, and a whipped cream topping that reached dizzying heights! WOW!

Lemon Supreme from Taho Joe’s-Mountain peaks on a golden plateau

Tahoe Joe’s—7006 N. Cedar, Fresno—This is one of those restaurants where you’ll spend a lot of money but smile as you wave it goodbye. A small lighted display suggests pies for your dining pleasure, but what you get is more than you’ll expect. The Apple Pie’s crust is fork-ready, and the apples stand up for themselves. the Lemon Supreme is supreme—rich and thick, topped with peaks and swirls that evoke the power of the Himalayas.

Black Bear Diner—3602 W. Shaw Ave., Fresno—This chain is a traveler’s delight. You know you’ll get good food, and lots of it. The pies are personal size in aluminum pie plates. We took ours home for feasting. My wife found the Banana Cream Pie would remind you of Mom’s best Banana Pudding. The Chocolate Cream Pie, studded with semi-sweet morsels, packs a freight train punch that makes you go slow and savor every bite. Bear-y Good!

Banana Cream and Chocolate Cream from Black Bear Diner–Cream on Cream on flavor overload

Apple pie from Main Street Cafe–Ice cream? Not needed

The Verdict—There’s a lot of good eating on this list, but the down-home atmosphere and how each kind of pie is a standout, makes Reedley’s Main Street Café the top of the bunch.

BONUS!—For a place you wouldn’t expect to have great pies, Fresno Ag (4590 N. First St., Fresno) is a surprise. In a freezer by the exit, there are frozen take-and-bake pies. The one that captured my heart is the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Cook it up in your oven, and let the food magic begin!

Happy Eating!

Check out more food articles and more of Terrance’s Great Food Search column in our Food Fun section. And check out a KRL staff profile this week on Terrance!

Terrance V. Mc Arthur worked for the Fresno County Public Library for three decades. He is retired, but not retiring. A storyteller, puppeteer, writer, actor, magician, basketmaker, and all-around interesting person, his goal is to make life more unusual for everyone he meets.


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