Am I Lovin' It?
No. Problem 1: What McDonald's calls "apple pie" is
actually a turnover. It's a travesty how they're besmirching
the good Pie name. Problem 2: They tout the fact that
it's baked as somehow making it a health food. Don't be
fooled. ONE serving of their skinny little sticks they call
"pie" has 250 calories, and almost half of that is from fat.
But they put 2 of those in a box, and it's unclear whether the
nutrition information is per stick or per box. Since it's
McDonald's and they already put me into cynicism mode with their pie
lie, I'm going to assume it's per stick. Problem 3: They
aren't even that good. Granted, if you really need an
emergency pie fix it's not a bad deal for a dollar, but that's about
it. The apples are too mushy and fruit:pastry ratio is too
heavy on the pastry. If you really need a fast-food fruit
turnover, go to Arby's instead.
Must Be Heaven - Bryan, TX
Of course there's pie in Heaven... but is it any good?
The Must Be Heaven located on Main Street in downtown Bryan, TX
(each location is franchisee-owned) is a quaint little eatery that
seems right at home in the tiny town. This place just lures
you in with its siren call of ice cream, pie, and sandwiches.
We tried 2 variations of apple pie - dutch and traditional.
The slices were enormous, the crust was buttery and flaky, and the
apples were soft and cinnamony. And they were way underpriced. What more could you ask for in
an apple pie? The pie was very sweet (almost too sweet,
really), and considering their
other claim-to-fame is ice cream, that sweetness would be divine
a-la-mode (and if the weather wasn't freakishly arctic that day, we
would've a-la-moded the hell out of that pie).
And for those who want to impress others with their pie skills, but
don't have the time (or the skills), Must Be Heaven offers "we make
it, you bake it" service. But even with all that pie goodness,
the best part of Must Be Heaven is the restroom - The sign over the
door calls it a "privy".
A childhood staple
The problem with Hostess Pies is the same problem with most
fast-food pies. They're not pie! They're turnovers.
Actually, even that's a stretch. They're closer to
jelly-filled doughnuts. I wouldn't really have a problem with
them trying to piggyback on the awesomeness of pie, but they're not
even doing it well. Pie isn't generally a health food, but the
extreme way these p- (I can't even call them pie) are very much NOT
healthy is ridiculous. They're basically just a concoction of
high-fructose and artificial coloring and flavoring encased in lard
and sugar, deep-fried, and covered in even more sugar.
Oh, and don't forget all the chemicals used to make production
cheaper and shelf-life longer. Do these things have any actual
FRUIT in the "fruit" filling?
Majestic Deli - 200 West 50th St., NYC
Would you expect a New York deli to NOT have great cheesecake?
Obviously, if you want great cheesecake, New York is the place to
be. And that's especially true if you find yourself jonesing
for New York cheesecake at 1am, a situation I recently found myself
in. Luckily, the Majestic Deli was right around the corner,
and it didn't disappoint. Just an ordinary,
non-descript, basic diner. But for all they're missing in
flash and ambience, they make up for in the food. The slice
was huge, the strawberry sauce was the perfect sweet counterpoint to
the tang, the crust was buttery and flaky, and the cheesecake...wow.
Light and fluffy yet still smooth and creamy. Maybe it was the
fatigue (it was 1am after all), but this was definitely on the list
of Top 3 Cheesecakes Ever Eaten. Possibly even a contender for
the top spot.
Rock Center Cafe - Rockefeller Center, NYC
As a general rule, if the pastry chef is credited on the menu, it's
going to be good
In the mood for a fancy price fixe brunch in the shadow of a New
York City icon? Try the
Rock Center Cafe
at Rockefeller Center. And sit outside by
the golden Prometheus statue. I could go on and on raving
about the food, but all that really matters is the pie. We had
the Key Lime Pie (with blackberry puree) and Cheesecake (with
raspberry sauce). The first thing I noticed was that the Key
Lime Pie wasn't green. (Being not green doesn't necessarily
mean it's good, but being green usually means it's inauthentic and
artificial.) I cold throw a bunch of fancy adjectives at it,
talk about the perfect muted balance of tart and sweet, but the
bottom line is it was divine. The blackberry puree was
unexpected and inspired - the perfect accent. And the
cheesecake! Scrumptious. (If I had to rank it, I'd put
it slightly behind the cheesecake the Majestic Deli, though.)
Definitely food fit for a god.
Cheesecake with raspberry sauce
Key Lime Pie with blackberry puree