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Good Pies In The East Bay?

j
JojoA Nov 21, 2005 10:43 AM

Hey everyone - I know I could grab a supermarket or chain-restaurant pie for Thanksgiving and my family would be fine with that, but I was wondering if there are local bakeries in the East Bay with some chow-worthy pies.

I guess the only caveats are:
1) the place would have to be open after 4:30 pm (I'd have to pick it up after work)
2) it is located fairly close to either the El Cerrito or Concord/Pleasant Hill/Walnut Creek area
3) the pie doesn't have to be pumpkin

Thanks!

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  1. t
    theSauce RE: JojoA Nov 21, 2005 11:01 AM

    Fat Apples in El Cerrito, at the very top of Fairmount Ave. Good pies with very good crust.

    6 Replies
    1. re: theSauce
      r
      rworange RE: theSauce Nov 21, 2005 11:55 AM

      Yeah, Fat Apples has a nice pie. However, that late on the day before Thanksgiving, wherever you choose, I would call and reserve a pie.

      My pie is from Lola's on Solano. Don't know if they are still taking orders. Lola's is open till 8. You would definately need to call and reserve. $14.

      Berkeley Bowl has Sconehenge pies which I really like. Don't know the reservation policy.

      Closer to you, but you need to call and reserve is Bear Claw Bakery on San Pablo in Pinole. I haven't tried these yet because you have to commit to a whole pie, but I like their other baked goods. Not sure about hours though.

      So far this year, Crixa's pie has been my favorite, but you really need to reserve and the hours would be close.

      If you get stuck and cannot organize this, Walker's on Solano has ok pies. Better than supermarkets. Then there is always Nations as the ulitmate fallback. Not a bad pie and there's one in Vallejo.

      1. re: rworange
        j
        Jennifer RE: rworange Nov 21, 2005 12:05 PM

        There is also a Nation's in El Cerrito, on Central and San Pablo. Open 24 hours.

        1. re: Jennifer
          r
          rworange RE: Jennifer Nov 21, 2005 12:08 PM

          Very true. And one in Beneicia if Vallejo and El Cerrito are sold out.

        2. re: rworange
          r
          Robert Lauriston RE: rworange Nov 21, 2005 12:45 PM

          Berkeley Bowl has some local bakery's pies that look better than Walker's or Nation's.

          1. re: rworange
            t
            theSauce RE: rworange Nov 21, 2005 01:08 PM

            I would pick Nations before Walker's Pie Shop. If you're thinking about buying pies from Walker might as well head to Safeway or Albertsons.

            1. re: rworange
              m
              Melanie Wong RE: rworange Nov 21, 2005 04:09 PM

              Here's my post from last year on Nation's pie for Thanksgiving.

              Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          2. d
            Dr. Biggles RE: JojoA Nov 21, 2005 11:09 AM

            If you could sneak through Albany to Toot Sweets at 1277 Gilman. Little bakery with great treats. Pies too.

            Biggles

            1. j
              jim m RE: JojoA Nov 21, 2005 11:23 AM

              Walnut Creek Baking Company, on Locust, does great baked goods in general, including pies and tarts. Among others, they have a great pumpkin tart and a great pear/frangipane tart that are a little lighter than a traditional pie.

              Link: http://www.walnutcreekbakingcompany.c...

              2 Replies
              1. re: jim m
                t
                Tanny RE: jim m Nov 21, 2005 12:09 PM

                I wish I could agree with this post as I work across the street - BUT - I can't. The owner's strength is in cake, that's her background and she does them well. But all the rest suffers and is not good. She really needs to rethink that idea of doing anything else but cake OR get a good baker in there to do the rest. That's an ego issue I'm sure. The name of the business in my opinion should be the Walnut Creek Cake Company........and don't get me started on the display cases.

                1. re: jim m
                  t
                  Tanny RE: jim m Nov 21, 2005 12:10 PM

                  I wish I could agree with this post as I work across the street - BUT - I can't. The owner's strength is in cake, that's her background and she does them well. But all the rest suffers and is not good. She really needs to rethink that idea of doing anything else but cake OR get a good baker in there to do the rest. That's an ego issue I'm sure. The name of the business in my opinion should be the Walnut Creek Cake Company........and don't get me started on the display cases.

                2. j
                  JojoA RE: JojoA Nov 21, 2005 05:11 PM

                  Thanks all for the suggestions everyone - you guys are great!

                  Of course, my family surprised me at the last minute by requesting I bring pies (this is definitely going to be a carb lover's heaven, considering there will be four birthdays celebrated with all the requisite cake and ice cream as well.)

                  I ended up calling Fatapples and they said I just made the deadline for reserving a pie. Thus, it'll be apple and ollalieberry pie for the family get together on Thanksgiving :)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: JojoA
                    r
                    rworange RE: JojoA Nov 21, 2005 05:25 PM

                    OMG, that Ollieberry pie is amazing. Much, much better that the sainted Duarte's version. Hope you will report back. Great choice.

                  2. j
                    JojoA RE: JojoA Nov 25, 2005 10:30 PM

                    Just wanted to report back on the pies I bought for my Thanksgiving get-together - the Fatapple's pie crust was definitely as advertised. I don't recall ever having such a "clean-tasting" pie; that is, one that left no aftertaste in my mouth. I definitely loved them both.

                    The apple pie (nice tinge of spice in the filling) was gone within an hour; the olallieberry, which was nicely tart, was more of a mystery to the attendees, which was good for me because that meant leftovers for today *grin*...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: JojoA
                      r
                      rworange RE: JojoA Nov 26, 2005 01:44 AM

                      Glad the pies worked out. The Fatapple's pie was the best out of all apple pies I tried this year.

                      Crixa wins for pumpkin. Lola's was very homey but almost devoid of spice.

                      Lola's had some individual pecan bourbin pies which were good. Nice layer of pecans with a sweet, but not teeth-aching sweet filling. The only nit was that like Lola’s calzones, the crust is uber-thin which had some spots where the filling saturated the crust. Still very tasty.

                    2. p
                      precipice RE: JojoA Nov 26, 2005 03:27 AM

                      For the record, we bought a pecan and a pumpkin pie from Bakesale Betty's, and our very picky T-day crew proclaimed that none of them have ever had better pies. They were amazing -- best pie crust I've ever tasted, and delicious filling. On Wednesday, Betty's wasn't doing sandwiches at all, and had nine(ish) people rolling out crust at every station. I'd say reserve yours early next year.

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