When you enter the Apple Pan, you have to understand you are entering a totalitarian state. This joint has been around, almost untouched, since 1947 and nothing you say or do will change how they do business. This is true on any day. This is doubly true on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eves when they make tons of extra pies and all of us die-hards line up to get them. (My husband loves the chocolate cream.) You’ll wait and if you are like me, you’ll enjoy the wait because the wait is great theater.
With all the extra people coming to buy pies on the same days every year, you would think they might put on a special person simply to sell pies and keep the crowds moving. No, no they won’t. Why? Because we are the Apple Pan and because f**k you. You don’t like it? Go buy pies at that tramp Marie Callendar’s place. The guy who takes your pie order is the same guy servicing his side of the counter (which of course is full of lunch eating peeps) and he’ll get to you when he gets to you.
During my 35 minute wait, I was lucky to stand next to a nice woman who had the same attitude as I did, in fact she was going to be late for a doctors appointment, but damned if she was going to miss picking up the apple pie for her boyfriend’s family! We chatted a bit between shows.
The first was the one-woman play called “Bossy Pants” (not Tina Fey, alas): the Woman walked up, looked at the line situation, went inside, came back out and announced to all that there are two lines, the one on the left is for pies, the one on the right is for food. But nobody moved from their lines because we knew that she was wrong. How did we know? We’d already been there 15 minutes and knew the drill. (FYI, there are two lines, but both provide food to-go and pie.)
The second show was a two-character story: A guy four people ahead of me in line finally got his turn.
Man: “I’d like a banana cream pie and two slices of pecan.”
CounterMan (as he walks away): “NO SLICES! do you want a whole pie?”
CounterMan disappears around the corner, our Man is waiting, flummoxed because he didn’t hear him.
CounterMan (returning, looking at our Man): “Banana cream and ???”
Man: “Two slices Pecan.”
CounterMan: “NO SLICES TODAY! You want a whole Pecan?”
Man (rifling through the soggy bills in his fist): “I don’t have enough for two pies! I only got 38!”
CounterMan: “It’s 42!”
CounterMan disappears in the back room then returns with two boxes.
CounterMan: “Banana Cream and Pecan. $42!”
Man: “I only have $38.”
CounterMan: “Okay, you owe me $4 next time. NEXT!”
Our Man exits with two pies to the warm applause from those of us in line behind him.
Lesson learned: while the Apple Pan is a totalitarian state, there are grey areas, but you can not go in expecting to find them. They just have to happen.
Oh and bring cash. Lots and lots of cash. $21/pie. They are open until 12 tonight.