Thursday, April 21, 2016

Pie from Ikeda's California Country Market

When I first moved to the Bay Area, one early lesson I learned was about rituals different folks have for driving to/from Tahoe in the winter.  And by rituals, I mostly mean coping mechanisms.  For many, the answer seems to be a stop at Ikeda's California Country Market (with locations in Davis and Auburn).

Ikeda's is a "country market"with gourmet food products including all the snacks you may need to survive the journey, plus a bakery, and a restaurant.  While all aspects of the business are well regarded, it is the bakery that people swoon over.  And, in particular the pies.  The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and serves basics like burgers, sandwiches, and shakes.  Plus, the pie.  Oh the pie.

Ikeda's has 17 different pies on the menu, mostly fruit pies (with a pumpkin thrown in there too).   Most of the pies are available with full top crusts or with crumble tops, which they call "cobbler pie" e.g., cherry pie or cherry cobbler pie.  Apple pies get special treatment, with 3 different varieties: regular, dutch, or french (do you know the difference of all of these?)

Ikeda's has been on my radar of places to visit when driving to/from Tahoe for years, but, I haven't actually done that trip in a long time, so somehow I still haven't ever made it, even though for dessert loving me, this was high on my list.  But, this season, one of my co-workers stopped on their way home one Sunday afternoon, and brought us a pie Monday morning.  For breakfast.  I didn't object.
Apple Pie.
"Fresh Granny Smith and Golden Delicious Apples picked from our own orchard a mile away from our Auburn location.  They are peeled, sliced, and baked to perfection in our in house bakery."

As I mentioned, Ikeda's has three varieties of apple pie, and it is the classic that my co-worker selected.

I'll be honest, apple pie is one of my least favorite pies.  I don’t really like apples.  And I’ll be honest, usually if my only option is apple pie, I’ll get the pie, and mostly eat just the crust.  I rarely bother finish the filling, as soggy apples just aren't my thing.

Enter Ikeda's apple pie.  The filling was clearly the appeal, sky high.  I started with the crust though, double crust.  It was … fine, but not remarkable.  Not particularly flaky or anything.

But the filling?  That WAS remarkable.  The apples were thinly sliced, and perfectly cooked, still a bit crisp.  I think the mushy quality of most apple pies is one of the reasons I rarely like it.  And the apples were still tart, granny smith was a great choice of apple for this pie.  The tart apples  complimented the sweet sauce they were in perfectly.  Now let’s talk about that sauce.  Sweet and cinnamon-y.  Thick and a bit gooey.  It totally coated the apples and was really, really tasty.

All together, this was a fabulous pie, and probably the best apple pie I've ever had.  I'd love to try another one of their pies, ideally, a variety that I would actually pick!
Ikeda's Tasty Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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