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Nov 25, 2008 10:26 AM

Best Banana Cream Pie?

I plan on eating instead of shopping on Black Friday. I heard both Pie n Burger and Apple Pan have awesome banana cream pie. Is one better than the other? Any other choices?

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  1. i had the BCP from apple pan for the first time a couple weeks ago and will attest that it is pretty darn good.

    21 Replies
    1. re: wilafur

      I agree, the BCP at Apple Pan is the best I have ever had. Ditto for the egg salad sandwich. The cheese sandwich is also really good.

      I like the burgers at AP but I think PnB's are even better.

        1. re: ReelMike84

          I didn't like banana cream pie--- until I ate it at the Apple Pan. It is THE BEST.

          Oh, and way better than Pie n Burger's version. Theirs isn't covered in cream. It is covered in weird mereingue. Wrong.

          1. re: Lmo1823

            it is a banana meringue at pie n burger, what you can is have the scrap it off and then add fresh whipped cream but then it gets really messy, and maybe not that great in that case.

      1. re: wilafur

        OK, I'm no fan of the apple pan because of the ridiculously high prices ($5.75 for a slice of pie) but my wife and I were stuck at the Westside Pavilion last night... and with this thread echoing in my head, we decided to dig up this old fossil and turn it over to see if anything new crept out.

        Indeed the banana cream pie is awesome. Let's deconstruct it.... the apple pan's banana cream pie is alternatively layered. The bottom layer is a crisp, sweet cookie-like crust. Then there is a layer of vanilla pudding, about 1cm thick. Then there is a hollow cavity, about 2 inches tall, filled with chunks of bananas (slightly caramelized). Atop that is another layer (about 2cm) of vanilla pudding, and on top of that is about a 2cm later of the obscenely thick apple pan whipped cream. I still can't figure out how they make it so rigid-- you could stand a metal spoon up in it.

        You can compare this with Philippe's delicious (and at $3.25, much more affordable) version, but it really is a different animal altogether. Philippe's is basically whipped cream in a tasty but unspectacular crust with banana at the bottom. There's no revelatory discovery as there was with apple pan's banana pudding montrosity.

        So there you have it.... straight from an apple pan-hater's mouth. By the way, we had the hickory burger too, and I maintain that while tasty, it is still one of the greatest ripoffs (dollar for dollar, pound for pound) in Los Angeles. We're talking maybe 50 cents worth of 1/2 cm thick meat patty and about 2 inches of lettuce for $7.00. Come on.

        Mr Taster

        1. re: Mr Taster

          Mr. Taster, i think you are right on the money with this new post on the apple pan. right on the money.

          the only place i'd imagine to be able to get slices of pies this great would probably be somewhere in the midwest, and even over there, the environment is now littered with national chains.

          I still like the burger a lot. And I know a lot of people compare the Pan burger to in n out. but yesterday, i tried an in n out cheeseburger after a long time (usually i just order up the grilled cheese) but anyway the burger is pretty darn tasteless, not much better than other fast-food chain burgers. but at the apple pan the burger is really good now, it's a different story altoghether whether it is worth 7 dollars including the cheese, which i think you are sort of correct.

          Let's put it this way if I want a filling lunch and I don't want dessert, I'll have to order two of their cheesburgers and soda to wash it all down to be at least somewhat full or satiated.

          Last week, I had a cheeseburger, and then had lunch again less than an hour and a a half later.

          And a last question, do you think the slices of pie at $5.75 are worth it? (just you know they'll most likely raise by at least a quarter for the start of the new year).

          1. re: kevin

            Good question regarding whether the pie is worth it.... I think that if my wife and I found ourselves in a similar situation (stuck at the Westside Pavilion) we would go again, but wouldn't go out of our way for it. If the pie cost $2.50 and the Burgers were $4, we'd be there a helluva lot more often. (but then so would a lot of other people, and they already have a seating problem-- so there's no real incentive for them to do that now, is there?)

            Mr Taster

            1. re: Mr Taster

              not at all.

              which is why they can keep increasing their prices.

              1. re: kevin

                It makes one wonder what the maximum budgetary threshold for an Apple Pan meal will be... in the same way that people didn't change their driving habits at $2.00/gal, but did at $4.00.... will the $30 meal be the point where those red stools will start to be left vacant? Somehow I don't think so... perhaps $40? What's your opinion? I'm inclined to never go back just on principle.

                Mr Taster

                1. re: Mr Taster

                  Mr. Taster, you're an outlier. You have more will power than a lot of us. Priniciple is important, but sometimes some us just breakdown. I cannot get Pan pies anywhere else (except perhaps like I said before if i went to somwhere in the Midwest or South and even then I might not hit eureka to put the Apple Pan to shame) I actually succumb to the apple pan a hundred times more than you do. I'm in the area, and it is after all one of the few places in West LA (that is open until at least midnight).

                  The Apple Pan also has a lot of fans (non-chowhounds) who have been going there for years. I would like to say that the demand for the Apple Pan for it's fans and converts is Inelastic. So it would probably have to be at least $15 per burger, and $10 a slice and $5 bucks for an order of fries for people to seriously stop going there.

                  But they do have a great, I would call SHREWD system where the prices creep up every couple months just like clockwork, maybe 15 cents here, 40 cents there. They are never signficant bumps but they are bumps nevertheless, and if you add them all up over the course of a year or so, it is significant.

                  So in essence. now I don't think those red leather chairs will become vacant any time soon.

                  On a side note, I think I got fleeced when I went to Langer's, they do have some of the best pastrami but it seems like just a year ago, the pastrami sandwich topped out at 9.95 and now it's 11.95 add in a soda and tip and you're up to $20 per person minimum.

                  If the economy gets worse and people stop eating out in higher numbers will restaurants start discounting their prices. ???? Still probably not. At least not at the Apple Pan nor Langers, nor any other LA institutional establishments.

                  1. re: kevin

                    It's easier for me to justify Langer's for several reasons.

                    1. Making a really great pastrami takes time and skill. It's not just a matter of slapping a patty onto an admittedly well-seasoned grill.

                    2. Langer's price for a pastrami sandwich falls within the market range for an equivalent product... for example, what many consider to be the best pastrami in America is at Katz's in NYC, and their pastrami sandwich is around $13 (although they're a lot more generous with their meat). There's nowhere else to go in LA for the equivalent of such great pastrami. As such, they could command a premium-- and yet their sandwich falls comfortably within the market range of a Jewish deli pastrami sandwiches. Consider Apple Pan's fast food burger, which falls WAY out of line with the market price for a slim patty fast food burger.

                    Mr Taster

                    1. re: Mr Taster

                      Bad example on my part concerning Langer's but I guess I just feel that 20 bucks even for the paragon of a pastrami sandwich with a soda is just too much no matter where it is.

                      But I missed something on Langer's. since they're only from breakfast and close after a late lunch (4pm if i'm not mistaken). But they don't necessarily have to charger higher prices to make up for the fact that they're not open the rest of the day considering the highly possible factor that they own the site that they're situated on.

                    2. re: kevin

                      Guess we'll all have to wait and see what happens if the economy gets worse. Perhaps the wait staff behind the counter will be cut in half or that piece of pie will only be half the size. It really depends on how the owner wants to handle it...then the consumer makes the decision.

                      1. re: latindancer

                        Yes, but I honestly believe

                        THE APPLE PAN IS RECESSION PROOF.

                    3. re: Mr Taster

                      As Kevin alluded, AP nickles and dimes its way to high prices. People only adjusted their driving because gas skyrocketed to $4/gal. Had it crept up a penny a week over a few years, few of the frogs boiling in the water would notice.

                      For me, when AP hit $20, I was done. I wasn't an acolyte in the first place, so the decision was pretty easy...I just had to convince my friends that we needed to spend our money elsewhere when I was involved.

                      Apple Pan
                      10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                2. re: kevin

                  No! Not worth it at all. In fact, that oil taste left in my mouth after eating only the crust of that BBC at Apple Pan has made me decide that at any price I have had my last slice of pie there. I also agree that the Hickory Burger has a good flavor and that old time hickory sauce takes me back in time, but again, not worth it. It actually turns me off when the server delivers your burger without a plate and has to hold it / balance it on the counter top for a few seconds so that it don't fall over -- so tacky!

                  For my burger and pie money, time and desire for nice buns I will go to Bake & Broil in Long Beach . That Burger Special w/ a slice of pie and a soft drink for about $8 is a bargain. The BBP is best there starting with the crust and that whipped cream on top is not only perfect but there is so much more of it than the Apple Pan pie. I do go to Pie'N Burger in Pasadena sometimes for a burger and a slice of pecan but I go there more often, several times a month, for the best thin pancakes in L.A.. Those are even better than Original Pancake House 49'er FlapJacks.

                3. re: Mr Taster

                  Mr. Taster, their website says the Banana Cream Pie is not $5.75 but $3.50. Could that be wrong?

                  Whole pies are $12.75.

                  If they are $5.75, I'd buy a whole pie and take it to go.


                  1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                    This unofficial website and inaccurate menu are a constant source of confusion:


                    Here's a photo on Flickr uploaded in 2008 showing higher prices:


                    On this photo from 2005 (!), you can just make out that the price of the Hickory Burger and Steak Burger is $5.75 -- 75 cents more than on the "2009" menu:


                    It makes you wonder whether the website is intentionally deceptive.

                  2. re: Mr Taster

                    If price per bite is an issue, get the whole pie where practical - it's a comparative bargain. I forget the price per but I picked up three of their pies around July 4th for a get-together. Everyone gets their own slice sized to order, and everyone who loves pie is in heaven. A side benefit is your biceps get a workout carrying those bad boys to your car. :)

                    1. re: bulavinaka

                      is this in regards to the apple pan ? Sorry missed the earlier posts.

                4. Bake 'n Broil in Long Beach has an excellent banana cream pie. Very clean and fresh tasting. The topping is whipped cream which I much prefer to the hard meringue type topping at most other places

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Ernie

                    I second B&B in Long Beach and for several reasons. First, the pie crust. A crust is to a pie what bread is to a sandwich. B&B has the perfect crust for a banana cream pie. That crust is also perfect for their Lemeon Lush pie. Next, B&B prices are down to earth compared to Pie n Burger and Apple Pan. In fact, you can have a Burger Special at B&B (burger, drink and slice of pie) for about half of what they charge you at those other two places. Also, the bun on the burger at B&B is a real bakery bun rather than the Joe Average bun at P&B or AP. Finally, the ambiance and menu at B&B is much better. All of these places can draw a croud but at least B&B has more seating, including tables and booths, and the servers more people faster.

                    Bake 'n Broil
                    3697 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA
                    (562) 595-0396‎

                  2. Babalu in Santa fave...

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: coco puff

                        Babalu's Banana Cream Pie is so delicious, I have dreams about it. We're talking a crust that has a layer of chocolate, a sumptuous custard, just the right amount of bananas and fluffy whipped cream. In fact, all their pies are pretty good.

                        Negatives - crowded, noisy, you have to wait even if you made a reservation (you better make one), it's hard to just get a slice of pie and take it home and sometimes the service has a bad, "I'm cooler than you" attitudes.

                        But you know despite the service (I don't understand sometimes why owners let their service run amuck) the pie is so good it's worth it.

                        1002 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

                      2. House of Pies in Los Feliz!!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: rln

                          We love Patrick's Roadhouse in Santa Monica Canyon...Also, a vote for Babalu.

                        2. Definately Clementine but that's only if you like graham cracker crust.