Date visited: 12 November 2010
I am working through this meal backwards, but so embedded is the idea of American pie in my consciousness that once we had agreed to visit an American restaurant, I immediately checked that the restaurant had pie on its menu. While many corners of the earth are famous for their pie – Cornish pasty in Britain, meat pie in Australia and New Zealand, none screams pie at me quite like this particular corner of the world. Pumpkin pie at a Thanksgiving meal, pieing as an act of political protest or for some good-old-fashioned fun and scenes in Hollywood movies of characters gorging themselves on larger-than-life slices of pie topped with dollops of ice cream and whipped cream. Pie seems to be a quintessential American food icon.
So, when we came to ordering our dessert, we asked our waitress which of the pies she reckoned was the most delicious and American of them all. She suggested the pecan pie, and Clinton ordered some. I chose a slice of the key lime pie as a tribute to the memory of a family holiday to the States, which took in New York, Washington DC, Florida and Key West (and all those limes!). The key lime pie was lip-smackingly delicious, but the look of astonishment on my face and our waitress’s ‘I know!’ can only but hint at how heavenly that slice of pecan pie was.
Let me start at the beginning
Since my arrival in London, Clinton had been bugging me to have dinner at Bodean’s, an all-American barbecue Smoke House with branches in Soho, Clapham, Fulham and Tower Hill. I finally capitulated, for the sake of Global Mood – and for his. How much longer could I deny him his full of smoked and barbecued cuts of meat (despite having already experienced this and this)?
We were seated in a leather studded booth, surrounded by oak panel walls with stag antlers providing dim lighting. The early-dinner crowd provided a pleasant background din as we sipped on our beers and through back a pre-dinner shot. Shortly, a platter was unceremoniously deposited on our place-mats – pulled pork, burnt ends, baby back ribs, spare ribs, buffalo wings, fries and coleslaw. All the meat was tenderly cooked, and it turned into an interesting exercise as I tried to determine one type of meat from another. But soon enough, I set my platter aside avoiding the fries and coleslaw and determinedly saved some space for a piece of that pie!
Verdict: Another one for the lover-of-meat. This is definitely a restaurant to enjoy a meal with a difference with a group of friends. I know that there is a lot more to American food than Bodean’s and all that meat – the influx of immigrants from all over the world has meant that American cuisine is rich in diversity and has regional specialities.
But how awesome would it be to find a cafe/diner selling only American slices of pie in London? I’d definitely have a slice of that pie – and eat it, too!
P.S. Read this if you’d like to finally learn why buffalo wings are called buffalo wings. And no, it has nothing to do with buffaloes.