You don't have to be Adam Carolla to prefer pie to cake. (He tells a story about loving pie so much, that he once entered a pie-eating contest at North Hollywood High and, with his hands behind his back, nibbled and licked at the side of the pie until the contest ended, whereupon he took his mostly uneaten pie home and wolfed it down with a jug of milk.) If, like the radio host, pie's your thing, then Sunday is your day. January 23 is National Pie Day, and we've got a few ideas for how to enjoy it. Turn the page for our Top 10 Places to Celebrate National Pie Day.
9. Sweet Lady Jane: Now with two locations, a newly opened one in Santa Monica and its longstanding one on Melrose Ave., SLJ isn't known for its customer service but it does offers half a dozen pies including a deep-dish pecan and a classic apple so stuffed with fruit yearning to breathe free, it looks like it came down with the mumps.
8. The Cobbler Lady: Despite her name, "Cobbler Lady" Pam Wright dishes out more than cobbler. She also dishes out 7-Up cake, red velvet and one helluva sweet potato pie.
7. Pie & Burger: It's not the brief two-and-a-half week window in the middle of summer when they offer olallieberry pie. It's not Christmas time, when they make mincemeat pie. But it is a day, like every other day, when you can buy a slice of classic Dutch apple pie. At this frozen-in-time Pasadena diner, it's made from scratch off the same recipe they've been using for decades.
6. Simplethings: Big pies, small pies. Sweet pies, savory pies. This recently opened bakery, spawned from a successful farmers' market business, has them all. We adore the mint-chocolate whoopie pie, but if you want a "traditional" pie, may we recommend the key lime?
5. Du-Par's: How many lost weekends have you spent holed up with a bottle of Jack Daniel's and one of Du-Par's cheese-bottomed cherry pies watching "Three's Company" reruns on your neighbor's bootlegged cable? Oh... that was just us? Well, we highly recommend it.
4. Flying Pie Man: In the vanguard of the savory pie trend, the man who won Best In Show at the KCRW's 2nd annual pie contest will bring some of his popular savory pies -- and a few sweet ones too -- to Cheese Cave in Claremont. Car-pie diem.
3. I Heart Pies: These budding bakers with the to-die-for Peanut Butter S'more Pie, are popping up (again) at Eagle Rock Brewery on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. They're bringing more sweet and savory samples meant to be paired with Eagle Rock's brews: Sausage hand pies, some new seasonal pies including Meyer lemon meringue, pear with clover honey crumb and persimmon gingersnap, and a few surprises.
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2. Mommie Helen's: If Colton seems like an awfully long haul for a pie, you haven't tried Mommie Helen's majestic Rose Berry Cobbler. Baker Dorothy Pryor Rose somehow combines five berries with magic to create one of, if not the, best berry cobbler we have ever tasted. Look for her pies at far-flung farmers markets including the Saturday morning one in old town Temecula.
1. Polly's: Yes, there is a place where it feels like the 1970s never ended, where diner food is still served without fanfare or inflated prices, without the sheen of irony. That place is Polly's, a Southern California-based diner chain known for its Banberry, a banana cream pie topped with a crown of glazed red strawberries. Not decadent enough? Get a slice of pie (we recommend blueberry) blended into one of Polly's infamous pie shakes.