Sunday, March 15, 2009
When it comes to pie's place in pop culture, one reference seems to stand out above any other: Agent Dale Cooper's love of good cherry pie and a "damn fine cup of coffee" in the strange little hamlet called Twin Peaks.
Twin Peaks, of course, is a fictional town. But many of the show's exterior locations--including the diner in which said pie and coffee were consumed--were filmed in the very real towns of Snoqualmie and North Bend, about a half-hour outside of Seattle. And so it seemed appropriate for a posse of Cake Gumshoes to venture out and sample some of the immortal pie on March 14 (aka "the other pie day").
Twede's Cafe is very aware of its status as cult destination: the tee shirts and exterior proudly proclaim it as the home of the "Twin Peaks Pie". As a dining destination it's not especially memorable (though their Tweetie-bird heavy decor might give you David Lynch-esque nightmares) but their typical diner fare (burgers, sandwiches, fries) is satisfyingly salty and greasy. Of course, anything savory you might order is really just foreplay.
The main event really occurs when they bring out the pie.
The double crusted cherry pie is served warm in a dish, topped with whipped cream (or, if you'd like, a la mode). We ordered ours with coffee (naturally).
The pie itself is...fine. It's not a bad pie, but it's not really an above average pie either. The filling is syrup-sweet, the crust a little too chewy. But somehow, this is not the point. After all, while Agent Dale Cooper rhapsodized about the pie and coffee, it somehow seems clear that the quality is also beside the point: it's more about the ritual, the act of giving oneself a treat--a moment of sweet respite, if you will. And on that point, the pie delivered. After all, taking an adventure with friends and seeking out this sweet treasure on a rainy Saturday--the real reward was the journey itself.
Of course, if all of this rambling about the journey strikes you as a little bit new agey-- we hear you. So if you're seeking a damn good pastry, why not head two doors down, to George's Bakery & Deli. Though we hear mixed reviews about their deli fare, the bakery is a gem: we picked up a most delicious frosted cookie, spied some mazurkas, and discovered a cake we'd never seen--the Fyrstekake. And yes--they even had cherry pie.
Twede's Cafe, 137 W. North Bend Way, North Bend, WA, (425) 831-5511; online at twedescafe.com.
Also mentioned: George's Bakery & Deli, 127 W. North Bend Way, North Bend, WA, (425) 888-0632; online at UrbanSpoon.