Friday, June 1, 2007

Apple Pan...musicians(and mere mortals) unite at the counter

10801 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Tue-Thu 11AM-12AM
Fri-Sat 11AM-1AM
Sun 11AM-12AM

Rarely does one find a place that can so quickly become a favorite. Apple Pan has been around since LA had orchards (1947) and not much more in the area. A business that has stood the test of time and stuck to it's guns with a straight forward menu. They make burgers (mostly), fries, and pies. That's it. I'm reminded of a scene in "Coffee and Cigarettes" (see at the end of the post) where Iggy Pop and Tom Waits are talking to each other at a diner about how back in the old days in movies that's what people ordered, "Coffee and Pie...Coffee and Pie" and how now people just have coffee and cigarettes. Times back then were simpler and yet the Apple Pan tries to keep you in that era where things are simpler. The place looks like an old restaurant you would find in the middle of nowhere on a single lane highway in old country America. Gosh I love this place.

The staff (as many have said before me) all look like they're some of the original waiters (all in their late 50's and up) and seem kind of gruff. I've heard that it seems like they're waiters who have gone to Hell and this is their sentencing, waiting on people that don't care about them till they're about 100 years old. I personally think they have this persona that they've all been trained in so that you get this slightly weird experience. That and they move so fast so they don't have time for chit chat. In all honesty though, if you engage them on a not so busy time, which can be rare, they'll crack a smile and heck even tell you a joke or two. Funny thing, last time we went there we went around 6 PM when parking in the area is scarce thanks to rush hour traffic and the smallest back parking area, sat at their counter (only place to sit), ordered two hickory burgers, one steak burger, 2 orders of fries, coffee, cream soda (they alone rock for the fact they carry cream soda) and ice tea. My friend asked for the sauce on the side for her hickory burger. The waiter brings out the fries and chugs some ketchup on a small cardboard plate and about 2 minutes later(the entire ordering process from giving your order to getting your food takes about 7 minutes... maybe a tad longer on super heavy days) brings out the burgers and says "here's the sauce on the side which is good with the has less poison then the ketchup" and grins real sly. Now me, I enjoy dark humor so this made me crack up (thankfully we all cracked up). To me, it was just great seeing him break character.

The burgers are juicy and I mean succulent pieces of meat that drip with purebred flavor. They have tillamook cheese typically on it when you ask for cheese. This cheese rocks with these burgers, but especially when you get a hickory burger as it helps balance out the rich (for some) hickory sauce. Their fries are fries. Nothing spectacular but a good way to fill up the rest of your stomach. Here's a hickory burger:

The fries and might I mention that I love the wayyyy old school cone cups they give you for the soda. It's the little things you know.

Their coffee is a solid cup that my wife no matter how many times she stops drinking coffee will always break that fast to drink some of theirs. Their pies (of which they have more than just apple) are good. Not transcendent but when you're sitting there smelling them, they're very hard to turn down.

Some nitty gritty: Apple Pan is closed on Mondays...never ever forget this. I have forgotten this well over ten times after I made the trek across town. They only take cash...again adding to their old school charm and having to go the ATM right after our meals were ordered. Though it's packed very often, the wait is usually minimal due to the super fast service and super fast wait staff. Apple Pan is one of those places you'll bring your kids to cause you were brought here when you were little. Chances are it'll be around when your kids have kids too.

Free Drink Refills: only on coffee
Entree Price Range: Burgers are about $6.50 or so

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