Next to mincemeat, coconut cream is my favorite pie, but it's almost like I have to luck upon a good one. A lot of times, the meringue is tough or the coconut is scant.
I recently discovered I can get a great coconut cream pie at The Germantown Commissary.
It was about a quarter to 9 one night when I rushed in to try a slice of the pie. As I was being served a hefty slice, Peter Prado and Kyle Mulvey from New Hampshire were leaving. They'd already eaten some of The Germantown Commissary's Memphis-style barbecue, but I asked them if they'd also try some of my coconut cream pie to see what they thought.
"Hearty" was Prado's description. "It's a hearty pie -- in a good way," he said. "Filling. Delicious."
"Rich?" suggested Julie Jimenez, who works at The Commissary.
"Rich. That's a good word for it," Prado said.
Mulvey thought it was "fantastic."
I thought I'd better take a bite. "If you don't like it, pass it my way," Prado said. "I'll finish it for you."
They didn't get any more. The toasted coconut on top along with the meringue melted in my mouth. The cream and the crust also are delectable.
Lilly Salguero and Darlene Fuller at The Germantown Commissary make the coconut cream pies. They put their own take on a recipe from a woman who used to work at the restaurant.
Fuller said her "taste buds" told her something was missing when she tried the original recipe. "I kind of added a little of that and took away a little of that, mixed it all together and it came out right."
I asked the restaurant's owner, Walker Taylor, about the combination of barbecue with pie and banana pudding, which they also sell. He said the vinegar-based sauce and the sweetness of the desserts might simply just appeal to the taste palette.
But, he added, "I think the real deal is you've ... had this big plate of barbecue all the health-conscious people don't want you to eat. You say, 'What the hell.'
"And you go ahead and eat a slice of pie or some pudding. It's like a shot of tequila before you go home at night."
The Germantown Commissary is at 2290 Germantown Road S.; (901) 754-5540.
-- Michael Donahue: (901) 529-2797. email@example.com