Sunday, December 12, 2004
the apple pan
first, an open apology to reid and to the apple pan: dude, i did have a burger when i was in town, and an apple pan burger to boot. to forget is a crime--their burgers are so good.
the apple pan is small brick and wood cottage nestled amongst the anonymous fast food and coffee franchises that line pico blvd, across from the westside pavilion. open since 1947, it hasn't changed much during the years; when you walk inside, it's like stepping back into time, but not like in a johnny rockets/ed debevic's sort of way--it's shabby, it's badly lit, the counter men are grumpy as all get out, and whatever you do, don't look to closely at the floor behind the grill. having said that, i gotta say i love everything about it. when you walk in, you are faced with a u-shaped counter that surrounds the grill that dominates the space. there is only enough room behind one of the dozen and a half seats for person to stand behind you (and a person will, as there is always a wait), and only enough room between the counter and the grill for a counter man to slap down a menu. there's not much to order from the apple pan, but what there is is pretty darned good: burgers, hickory burgers (burgers with a slosh of really good barbecue sauce), burgers with tillamook cheddar, hickory burgers with tillamook cheddar. tuna, egg salad, or ham and swiss on rye. fries. pie. don't ask for anything not on the menu, 'cause yer just gonna get dead silence or a mouthing off, depending on how grumpy your counter man is. yeah, they are grumpy. eh. i don't mind (secretly, i get a thrill from trying to get them to soften up, but you have to approach it verrrry carefully. they don't like that).
i've been going here since my college days, but it was only recently that i started ordering the burgers--i am a big fan of their tuna and egg salad sandwiches, and i'm not the only one. but the reason why there's always a wait no matter what time of day it is is the burgers. so impressive they don't even come on a plate, and they stand up on their own. your burger comes to you minutes after you order it, cooked exactly as you want it, moist, flavourful, meaty and delicious. maybe a little too much lettuce, so ask them (nicely) to go easy on it. i got the hickory burger this time, with a (paper) plateful of their hot-from-the-fryer french fries. people will tell you not to bother as the burger is substantial enough, but the fries are so crispy and piping hot, they are worth loosening your belt for.
oh yeah. loosen that belt a little more for the pie. the night i went, they were all out of their so-impressive-the-joint-is-named-after-it apple pie, that is at least six inches tall, and filled with warm, cinnamony chunks of apple in the flakiest imaginable crust. if it's available, get a slice a la mode, as the vanilla ice cream will melt into the warm apple-y filling and create a gorgeous river of cream. i got a couple of slices of pie to go--the pecan, which is really good, and not cloyingly sweet as some can be, and my personal fave-rave from here, the coconut cream pie. it's a ginormous slice of fresh vanilla pudding, mounds of whipped cream, and toasted coconut on the thinnest, flakiest, butteriest crust imaginable. in fact, the apple pan embodies the word "crusty" in every possible way, but in every way it endears itself to me.
the apple pan
10801 w pico blvd
los angeles 90064