if you know me, you know i like pie. i am not quite as crazy about it as these folks (barbara and bill windsor), but bless them for taking a trip all around america - no, not in an rv, but in a porsche convertible - to just eat pie and write about it! those are my people! yes! i can't wait to be retired... anyhoo, for someone like me, their site is a great resource - yup, i like road food as much as i like fancy food. click for lists of the best pie in america, the worst pie in america, unusual pies (no thanks to that cheddar cheese fudge!), and the complete list of pies - all ranked. love it.
...but somehow they missed my favorite pie in arizona, at the rock springs cafe and general store (tel. +623.374.5794) in black canyon city. it's a 30 - 45 minute drive from downtown scottsdale, at exit 242 off the I-17. it began as one of arizona's first 100 general stores, and they built some of the still standing brick buildings in the early 1920's. it's definitely a roadside stop - there's a gas station, and a saloon (um, for your non-designated drivers, i guess), and a bit of a general store selling arizona kitsch and tourist trinkets. the real draw, though, is the pie... the coconut cream pie, my favorite kind, is amazing, but they have plenty of other varieties to satisfy your pie lust - crumb fruit pies, cream pies, and their famous jack daniels pecan pie. it's a popular spot, though, so if you're worried about them being out of your pie, you can always call ahead and reserve one. if you are on your way to flagstaff, or up for a bit of a drive, this is a required stop. no, i mean it. you will thank me.
bill and barbara also missed the pie 'n burger (913 e. california blvd., pasadena, tel. +626.795.1123 ; picture via potatotomato) and apple pan (10801 w. pico, los angeles, tel.+310.475.3585; picture via sundown), two of los angeles' pie institutions. i'll let it slide for them, since california is such a big state and they had a lot of ground to cover. but that's no excuse for you! you're not on a round-the-country road trip! these are landmarks, people! so go!
and if you are planning a pie trip of your own, and bill and barbara's lead is not enough, consult american pie: slices of life (and pie) from america's back roads by pascale le draoulec for some extra insight. i haven't read the book yet, but i did hear this chat with her on the now-defunct npr show savvy traveler. she describes her own journey across america in search of great pie, and all of the characters she meets along the way.