Went to the Mother Earth News Fair at the Puyallup Fairgrounds yesterday to hear the "high priest of the pasture" Joel Salatin and, please don't string me up, I was underwhelmed. Oh, he's an entertaining speaker and the enthusiastic shouts of "Amen!" proved he was preaching to the choir. Maybe I was expecting too much, but he didn't bring anything new to the table in terms of serving up concrete advise about how individuals could make the planet a better place. ("We should plant fruit trees in the medians on interstates!" just didn't speak to me.)
Fortunately, a post-fair trip to Don's Drive In turned my frown upside down. This is just the kind of Mom-and-Pop shop I adore, the whole famdamily working hard on a Sunday to a packed house. Still, I didn't want to let my expectations soar before I tried a slice. Too often, those "homemade" pies are leaden with phony Crisco flavor and too-sweet, gloppy filling.
Praise the lard, not this time. The slice of marionberry was like time-traveling to my grandmother's kitchen. The crust was flaky and flavorful and wore a sprinkle of sugar on top, the filling was not sticky sweet, but tasted of that dark fruit. And it was ridiculously cheap at just $3. You can buy a whole pie for $13 and I sure was tempted. Guess I'll just have to make another trip. You can find Don's at 925 South Meridian, near the fairgrounds. Call 253-845-1790 to check on what pies are being served. (The sour cream lemon and chocolate cream pie were tempting, too.)