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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.

                  http://www.applepan.com/

                  1. re: SilverlakeGirl

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

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7619...

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

                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaszeta/...

                    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:

                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tchatchk...

                    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 Monica...my 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.

                        -----
                        Babalu
                        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.

                          1. Last week at Merengue in Monrovia, I spotted a banana creme brulee pie!

                            1. Best BCP at Lawry's in Beverly Hills

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Deanna55

                                Bandera in Brentwood. You can go just for desert by eating at the bar. Easily a share for 2, though my friends and I all ate our own.

                                  1. re: Fru

                                    hoff's hut is depressing and just not that great. apple pan, and bake n broil are great, and yeah, i just tried bake n broil the other day and had a slice of banana cream and a pumpkin bread square with iceing and both together were under six bucks. at apple pan and pie n burger you'll barely get one slice for slice bucks.

                                1. re: Deanna55

                                  I agree--Bandera in Brentwood. Soooo yummy!

                                  1. The caramelized-banana cream pie at Ruth's Chris has long been my second-favorite restaurant pie (after the flamed and sometimes still flaming 'smores pie -- the only legal justification for a graham-cracker crust, IMHO -- at the Buckeye Roadhouse north of San Francisco). The RC BCP has a wonderfully flaky crust and deliciously creamy white-chocolate filling, and those caramelized bananas inject sugar directly into the soul. It ain't bad!

                                    Hint: Tell the waiter that you don't like pies that are refrigerator-cold, to avoid the occasional piece that needs more warmth and understanding from the Caramelizer with the butane torch.

                                    Hint #2: A google image search on "caramelized banana cream pie" "ruth's chris" finds numerous pictures.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: sbritchky

                                      " a wonderfully flaky crust and deliciously creamy white-chocolate filling, and those caramelized bananas inject sugar directly into the soul. It ain't bad!"

                                      sbritchky. that is a High-end post for a High-end BCP at a High-end restaurant. Now that is reason to go to Ruth's Chris. I just had ta cheeseburger, fries, coke and BCP again yesterday at The Apple Pan for lunch. With tip it was $20 and IMO it is not really worth it because the bun is no-big-deal and the pie crust leaves a bad after-taste -- fish oil?. I wonder what a cheeseburger/BCP lunch would cost at Ruth's Chris?

                                      edit, I thought I read once here that Ruth's Chris offered a burger for lunch, but from the menu it appears not to be so. I guess it would have to be a steak & BCP. That would be another way to feed the soul which ain't bad either.

                                      click on caramelized-banana cream pie
                                      http://ruthschris.com/Menu/Dessert

                                      1. re: JeetJet

                                        jj,

                                        ruth's chris is only open for dinner as far as i know. so maybe a steak is about 35 bucks for a new york strip, add in potatoes or creamed spinach, each at least 8 bucks, and the pie is at least 7.95 if not more, you're looking at least $50 per without tax tip or a drink. i don't know if the desserts are any good at Arnie Morton's of chicago but they have an amazing 10oz burger with all the fixins, cheese, carmalized onions, sauteed mushrooms, with french fries for about 14 bucks (not bad when you consider that apple pan doesn't have carmelized onions nor mushrooms nor tomatoes and a burger with cheese is 7 bucks plus the fries are another 2.25, and you're looking at 9.25 at least for a burger that is a third the weight of a Arnie Morton's burger)

                                        as for the oily aftertaste for a Pan pie, i've never experienced that. in my opinion the crust is great ans so is the filling, but thanks again for the note on the banana cream pie at Bake and Broil it was great. it helps that the apple pan is only 5 minutes away from me unlike pie n burger and bake n broil, if apple pan relocated to long beach or pasadena i would visit 99.99999999999999999999999999999999% less often.

                                        last note, the pie at ruth's chris shouldn't be that much more expensive than a slice at the pan, pan is 575 whereas at rhuth's it's at least 8, not that much more expensive when you taken everything else into account.

                                        1. re: kevin

                                          You hit the nail on the head. Arnie Mortin's Prime Sirloin Burger is the High-end steak house burger I read about here so often. I got that place confused with Ruth's Chris. It would take a true Chowhound to go Mortin's for that burger and then go to Ruth Chris for the BCP but it just mght be worth the extra effort and extra money. If it were only $10 to $20 more than the Apple Pan it would be well worth it "taken everything else into account," -- standing in line for a counter seat and gettng a paper wraped burger vs. fine dinning rooms, service, burger on a plate, fork, knife etc.

                                          Oh, about BB, your welcome and I am so glad you liked he BCP there. About that aftertaste I had with the AP BCP. I ate each part of the pie all by itself and let the flavor work in my mouth. Those bananas are very good. I am still "out-to-lunch" (pun intended) about bananas not mxed with the filling but I liked how fresh they were. I also liked the crust but after a little while it left a flavor not unlike cod oil, but just a hint. I also get that aftertaste at Knott's with the berry pie crust. The crust at BB seems to be more like the crust you might expect with a BCP and leaves no aftertase but only a desire for more.

                                          1. re: JeetJet

                                            I picked up a banana creme pie from Susina for a friend and they said it was really really good and emphasized that there was a chocolate crust. I personally did not try it but Ive had other pies there and they are definitely top notch. You can get a mini 4 1/2 inch for about $8 which is perfect for just a couple people or one person who loves it.

                                    2. I can't believe that nobody's mentiond the banana cream pie at Philippes..... at the price point of $3.25 (it's gone up recently) plus a $0.09 coffee, it's hard to beat.

                                      Mr Taster

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                        for the price it can't be beat, but both apple pan and pie n burger have better varieties. the whipped cream they use at phillipe's is not really the kind a like (makes me a little sick), sort of a little better than canned whipped cream but completely unlike the excellent fresh whipped cream at Apple Pan.

                                      2. i only had marie calenders banana cream pie

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: chef2chef

                                          I actually just had the "Marie Callender's" take on the "Banana Cream Pie" for the first time a couple weeks ago.

                                          If you'd never eaten the Apple Pan's version you'd probably be satisfied. But speaking as someone who has had Apple Pan's, and has yodeled from the mountains it's praises, it was like eating a canned hamburger. Yes, that is a real thing.

                                          I've included the photo I took at Marie's.

                                           
                                          1. re: ReelMike84

                                            As someone who thinks Marie Calender's serves the best banana cream pie (but I'm one of those odd people who prefer it with meringe topping) that I've had in OC, I can't wait to try Apple Pan's (or Philippes or Pie & Burger) when I'm up in the L.A. area soon. I hope it lives up to the hype!

                                        2. clementine's in century city

                                          1. My favorite is Susina's. There is a layer of chocolate in the crust. :)

                                            1. oh my oh my - bandera's is the best!! hello homemade caramel drizzles!

                                              1. Reviving an old post, but... with the recent proliferation of bake shop cafes around the city, there are a lot of new entries in this category.

                                                I can say that I have found the Banana Cream Pie at Magnolia on 3rd to be pretty spectacular, and I prefer the pie to their more talked about Banana Pudding.

                                                Anyone found any other great Banana Creams at any of the newer places...above and beyond the old venerable favorites already listed in this thread?

                                                11 Replies
                                                1. re: wutzizname

                                                  Hey, y'alls - OP here!! Just an update - my family and I absolutely loved Bake n' Broil's banana cream pie. Large chunks of banana, sweet custard-y filling, served really cold. Total yum. I regret to say we have not made it yet to Apple Pan simply because I go to restaurants with my elderly parents. I'm told Apple Pan has a bit of a "stand and wait until space available, then hurry up and eat cuz people are waiting" atmosphere. My folks move slowly, eat slowly, you know. I love Bake n' Broils homey, relaxed atmosphere!

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

                                                  1. re: hungryrunner

                                                    If you liked BnB's, you'll most likely be disappointed in Apple Pan's. BnB's is much superior in all aspects, honestly haven't found a better banana cream pie in LA though I am curious now to try Magnolia's since I do like their pudding...

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

                                                    1. re: baloney

                                                      The Apple Pan blows all others out of the water. I like Clementine's BCP (not as good as Apple Pan), I like Huckleberry's Banana Cream Tarts (not as good as Apple Pan). The Apple Pan Banana Cream Pie is the benchmark by which all other BCP's will always be measured by me and my family.

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

                                                      1. re: maudies5

                                                        Have you tried Bake n Broil's? Though it seems you are such a fan of Apple Pan's, I'm not sure you'd have an unbiased opinion going into BnB's.

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

                                                        1. re: baloney

                                                          I've tried both and I cast my vote for Apple Pan, hands down.

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

                                                          1. re: baloney

                                                            agree w/taiwaneseeats = apple pan is wayyyy better than b&b's.

                                                          2. re: baloney

                                                            I agree, Bake & Broil's banana cream pie is tops for me too. Very fresh tasting

                                                          3. re: hungryrunner

                                                            Re: Hungryrunner: If you get to the Apple Pan early, around 11:30 AM, no wait. (or after 2:00 PM) Have never been pressured to "hurry up and eat". Moreover, I find that the 2 servers are extremely kind and patient to their elderly customers as well as their toddler customers. My Father in law loved the Apple Pan, well into his 90's. I have to admit that his dessert of choice was the apple pie a la mode..:)

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

                                                            1. re: maudies5

                                                              Thanks so much for this info! I'm re-encouraged to give Apple Pan a try.

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

                                                              1. re: hungryrunner

                                                                Great. Hope you report back. I want to add this . if your folks aren't In the mood for a burger, the "PAN" makes a great tuna sandwich, egg salad sandwich and ham and cheese. Can't go wrong with any of the choices. Everything is so fresh. Also, no attitude about your folks splitting a sandwich. They are only too happy to split and no extra charge for splitting or extra pickles.

                                                        2. Polly's Pies... yum. Even better, their Banana Meringue pie (must give them a day's notice).

                                                          They have several locations. I have been to the one in the city of Orange the most often.

                                                          1. Gjelina's Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie. It has a layer of chocolate spread on the crust before the banana filling, etc.

                                                            -----
                                                            Gjelina
                                                            1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. The Apple Pan "Quality Forever"

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

                                                              1. Anyone tried the "Banana Cream Pie" ice cream at Handel's? (Shoppes in Redondo Beach and Upland)

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: HaroldandMaude

                                                                  It's great, really does taste like BCP surprisingly. But it certainly doesn't replace a real one.

                                                                  1. re: HaroldandMaude

                                                                    It's absolutely my favorite ice cream, not just at Handel's, but probably of all time. I love the banana flavor and the nuggets of pie crust are perfect.

                                                                    Baloney is right though... it's not going to replace the real thing but it is evocative of the real thing.

                                                                    Here's a thread I started a couple of years ago about banana-centric desserts/foods...
                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/608932