'A Few Good Pie Places'
(DVD / NR / 2015 / PBS)
Overview: There's something tasty, often sweet, fruity and all-American about a really good piece of pie. In this delicious documentary, travel across the country to visit shops, restaurants, cafes, and even a few homes in search of some excellent crusts, crimping, fillings and flavors. PBS producer Rick Sebak (A Hot Dog Program and A Ride Along The Lincoln Highway) and his crew travel from Portland, Maine for blueberry pie to Seattle, Washington for an original Blue Hawaii pie.
DVD Verdict: PBS has hit it out of the park again, with Rick Sebak as creator, director and narrator of this very fine show. Indeed, this is a show to make your mouth water. And what is funny is that so many of the pie makers interviewed say some variation of “it’s easy as pie”. As someone who’s made my share of mediocre pies, I think this is pretty funny.
I actually took notes while watching 'A Few Good Pie Places', because there’s a bunch of pie-making tips. But even if you’re an expert pie maker, I bet you’ll enjoy watching this show. It isn’t really about recipes, it’s about why people love making pies and why people love buying pies. The places visited range from a woman with a roadside seasonal stand to bakers who’ve been in business for decades. These are pie specialists, not more general bakeries and the show runs 56 minutes without commercials.
“Portage Pies” (Westfield, NY) They MOUND their 2-crust apple pie and bake them for more than an hour. The insides, they say, have to boil.
“Ikeda’s” (Northern CA, Placer County) I’ve been in this place. They sell 80-100,000 pies a year, all using fruit from their own 45 acre farm.
“Two Fat Cats” (Portland, Maine) They also specialize in Whoopie Pies – not technically a pie.
“Grant Bar & Restaurant” (Milliville, PA) Famed for his coconut cream, made with arrowroot thickener.
“Woodruff’s Store and Pie Shop” (Elon, Virginia) “People really feel loved when they’re eating pie. I hear it all the time.”
“Poorhouse Pies” (Underhill, VT) Uses a brush to brush off excess flour after rolling out a pie crust. Why didn’t I think of that?
“A La Mode Pies” (Seattle, WA) Uses Frequent Pie Buyer Cards, buy 10 slices get one free. Loyal customer, Marilyn, is “on card #75. This [she points to her slice of pie] is 752!”
“The Pie Lady” (Bartlett, NH) This roadside seller has regular customers who can’t get enough.
“Nick’s Kitchen” (Huntington, Indiana) Get one recipe for Indiana’s Official State Pie, the Sugar Cream Pie.
“Rolling Pin Bakehouse” (Roanoake, Indiana) This was very interesting. No shop, but out of her house. Order on-line and arrange pick-up outside. Home-based vendor laws vary by state.
“LouLa’s Café” (Whitefish, MT) The huckleberry local speciality looked wonderful.
“Rose” (Golden Valley, MN) Another home-based pie shop, her favorite is sweet potato pie from scratch.
Last, but not least, you visit Braham, MN, for its annual Braham Pie Day. Queens, carnival and, above all, a pie contest and then, an auction of the winners! You can also catch the sister show about bakeries, also created by Rick Sebak. I enjoyed it and I know you will too! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Visit a few more good pie places! From Alaska to Chicago to Indiana and Virginia, there's plenty more pie to go around! Also, go behind the making of the music for A Few Good Pie Places in the featurette, Rick and Read.