Ask Mr. Gold
QUESTION: Tiresome, I know, but I need to know where I can find the best banana cream pie. My marriage may depend on it.
ANSWER: There are two schools of thought when it comes to banana cream pie in Los Angeles. The version at Jar is justly renowned, made with acid yet ripe bananas, filled with loose, rich custard that barely holds together, topped with dense yet pliant whipped cream. It is a delicious thing. But it is not, strictly speaking a pie — it is more of a tart, an individual-serve, short-crusted creation that is distinctly a product of the professional pastry kitchen instead of somebody’s mom.
This brings us to the illustrious Pie n’ Burger in Pasadena, which strictly speaking doesn’t serve a banana cream pie either — it is a banana meringue pie, which is not the same thing. But most of the waitresses at Pie n’ Burger are happy to remove the offending meringue, and whisk it someplace where you’ll never be bothered with it again. And for a small fee, they’ll replace it with freshly whipped cream. Voilá! Happiness can be yours. 913 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 795-1123.
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