Sunday, February 22, 2009

Candlewyck Diner, East Rutherford

179 Patterson Ave.
East Rutherford, New Jersey, 07073
Cherry Pie, $3.50
Coffee, $1.50

The Candlewyck Diner may have heard that going green is a hot trend. They have a new green! carpet, green! fabric wall covering, green! upholstered seats, and green! window shades. And when the light there catches the patrons just right, they too seem to boast a greenish hue. Or was that an unfortunate reaction to the pie?

We rolled into the Candlewyck parking lot about 2:30 on Sunday just as the after-church crowd was sitting down to eat. The Candlewyck was just down the road from the Williams Center Cinema in Rutherford, one of the few places this side of the Hudson where Milk was showing. We were immediately fond of the church crowd. As we perused our menus a large group of well-dressed diners picked apart a cheesecake available at a local bakery. The one who was doing most of the talking said that it was almost as good his mother's. One of their party missed her mussels but was assured by the waiter that her plate had been enhanced by an extra stuffed clam and an extra shrimp. She looked skeptical, but we found it reassuring that in a Rutherford Diner with so much damn green!, at least one patron trusted the seafood. Another woman at their table, the one having hot chocolate instead of a meal, looked the happiest in the whole restaurant.

We needed to eat, so we set our menus down and ordered burgers. We weren't surprised; it was an average diner meal. The veggie burger was expected to be disappointing, because it seems like everyone is serving those frozen-veggies-mushed-together kinds of burgers instead of the multi-grain patties that we prefer. And if this were a turkey burger blog we'd be explaining how the delicate seasoning of this one more than made up for the deadbeat veggie burger. But this, dear reader, is a pie blog. New Jersey, correct your pie!

It seems so very little to ask that a slice of cherry pie should have a minimum of one measly cherry per bite. But this pie could barely be called cherry. Bite after bite of this particularly miserable slice had matrix, but no cherry. Forkful after forkful yielded only refrigerator thickened goo balanced on the brink of our tines, and was rejected - splat! - on the side of the plate. The crust, we admitted, might once, long ago have been flaky, and somehow, miraculously, it did not carry the taste of the refrigerator that had burned the edges of the filling. The occasional cherry was adequate - firm enough and fairly tart, but we had to dissect and probe to find it. By the time we were done the pie plate looked more like an autopsy scene than fodder for a decent pie blog. Yeah, the coffee was alright.

As we picked apart our own dessert a couple we identified as us in forty years was seated at the table behind us. We had the curious feeling of being observed by ourselves from the future. Were we still out here looking for a good piece of cherry pie? (Fade in Twilight Zone theme.) There is a mystical notion that the application of attention is all that is needed to resolve a problem, no matter how deep, no matter how long the problem has been allowed to fester in the shadows of inattention. It remains to be seen whether our future selves represent an acceptance of jersey pie, or a steady determination to right an outrageous wrong, in the PieLight Zone.


Mia said...

Becki and I saw what looked like a delicious cherry pie yesterday at Two Little Red Hens, but we were there for the cupcakes, so deferred the pie-tasting for that moment.

We are now in the mood for a big slice of cherry pie, however, and will have to seek one out today. Of course, we're in Manhattan where the pickins seem a bit less sparse.

By the way - had you only looked a bit to the left, you'd have seen Future-Becki and Future-Mia at the Candlewyck. We were/will be trying to give you a message about the fate of the quest, which turns out to be much more complicated and multi-layered that you now expect, and involves quarks and wormholes and cosmic string.

Kendal and Jennifer said...

Ha Ha. Thanks for joining us in the PieLight Zone!

Becki said...

Now I feel that I have another excuse to return over the pond...... I will wait with baited breath until you find the perfect pie, then consider my flights well and truly booked!

Kendal and Jennifer said...

Sorry we missed you this time. We'll keep working on it and treat you to a slice next time. Thanks for the visit here. Much appreciated.

Unknown said...

Oh every where green in color even carpet fabric wall covering then it's a green diner!!!
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