Big Apple (Colborne) Report
Okay, so I tried the Big Apple for the first time, on my drive from Toronto to Ottawa.
Give it a miss. In the end, I did.
First of all, it's billed as a "theme park" and boasts having sold "2,540,255 pies". I drove in, past the rabbit-petting park and the mini-golf, and went inside. It is set up to receive tourists (you enter through turnstiles) but there was only one lone man eating a slice of pie, off in the corner.
The Big Apple sold 4 things: pie, caramel apples, tuna sandwiches (sad, on white bread, squished into saran wrap), and egg salad sandwiches (recall the tuna sandwiches). There were dozens of them lined up in the refrigerator, waiting for the tour buses.
I surveyed the pie slices (dozens of slices laid out) and they looked okay -- the crust appeared crumbly and flaky, if slightly too light in colour. The apple pie had a brownish centre -- maybe corn syrup in the apples? It appeared sticky.
It was early though (10:00 or 10:30 a.m.) and I didn't yet want a slice of pie, so I thought I would purchase a whole pie and take it to Ottawa with me to have later.
I selected the strawberry apple pie (again, it appeared very light in colour, slightly undercooked). Took it to the cash. The young cashier said it was $10.00. Good price.
So, I took out my $10 and asked for 4 forks (staying at a hotel in Ottawa, friends joining us, we'd dive into the stawberry apple pie later that day!). Behind the cashier were huge boxes of plastic forks (waiting for the busloads). She said "no, you can't have any forks, we don't charge tax on the whole pies." I said "Sorry??" "You can't have any forks." I said "Oh, I don't mind paying for the forks." She said "you can't have any forks". "What are those forks for?" I said. "They are for people buying slices of pie." It appeared not to be _economical_ to the Big Apple to sell a pie and give a customer 6 forks to go along with the pie. Better to sell 6 slices at $3.25 each and make $19.25 rather than $10.00 for a whole pie. I offered to buy the 4 forks for $5.00. A flat out "No" from the cashier.
Needless to say, I left the pie at the Big Apple.
My only experience with BA is with an apple pie a guy brought into work. It tasted pretty good but there were a few things wrong with it. First of all, they didn't peel the apples. Secondly, they just cut them up. Didn't even bother to core them. Or at least, did a lousy job of it. Very disappointing.
I wouldn't go there.
As someone who has visited just about every bakery in Southern Ontario and tried many, many pies, I can't recommend the Big Apple. Its pies are far too gummy and artifical tasting. And, I wasn't crazy about the atmosphere.
For a slice of real, old fashioned pie, go to Kawartha Coffee Company, a charming cafe in Bobcageon, Ont. It sells tasty Fair Trade coffee, panini sandwhiches, etc. Pies and other baked goodies are supplied by a new cater/baker out of Gooderham. Pies sell for $15.
DD, I just read your original post -- I probably would not have stopped in if I had seen it before I took off. At least I didn't actually have to eat the pie.
The rest of the trip was great. Some excellent poutine in Gatineau and good oysters at Whalebone in Ottawa.
Also hit a couple wineries on the way home in Prince Edward County.