Out at Shoofly Pie Co. last Saturday afternoon, an older lady with a tweed-and-leather hat ordered a slice of lemon meringue ($3.75), talking with someone else in line about her mother, who had 14 kids. "Did she make pies?" the someone else inquired. "She made everything—babies, pies." Laughter. (Later, across the room, eating her pie, in answer to a raising of the eyebrows, the older lady smiled and nodded once, emphatically.) Also in line: Two women with blond highlights and one baby, the baby being admired by a man in jogging tights who looked like a cross between Slade Gorton and Larry Craig. ("Let's give the pumpkin [$3.75 slice, $21 whole] a whirl!" he said.) Later: interracial gay couple, repeat customers, "I like cherry [$3.50/$20]. He's hard to please." They looked in the glass case, jammed gloriously full of pies. The hard-to-please one, the cherry-liker guessed, might be pleased by the chocolate tart ($4/$22).
If you are currently in the throes a pie-free diet, as I am, you can savor Ms. Clement's review as though it were a giant, buttery hunk of apple pie. Satisfying! Due to its greatness, this review was memorialized for all eternity in the Best American Food Writing 2008 compilation from Da Capo Books, which you can find at just about every independent bookstore in town. Congratulations to Ms. Clement, yay for Shoofly Pie Company, and pie for all! Except me.