Along with barbecued pork ribs, egg foo young, and fried catfish, blueberry pie deserves pride of place on the menu of classic American dishes. Pie settled this country along with the Pilgrims, who adapted their recipes to incorporate the fruits and berries of their adopted home. And while American Pie Council statistics say that one out of five Americans prefers apple pie, “blueberry” is synonymous with summer, when the fruit is in season and needs only minimal embellishment to create a spectacular dessert. The blueberry pie served at Westville and Westville East has gained a loyal following over the years, and so we decided to pre-emptively celebrate July Fourth by scarfing down a slice.
When people talk about a slab of pie, Westville’s blueberry pie ($6) is what they’re talking about. It’s as muscular and unyielding as the Sphinx — no stray berries tumble out of its filling, and no juices puddle winsomely around its bottom crust. Unlike certain people, we actually prefer our pie to be a bit messy, and were, to be honest, initially put off by the Westville pie’s appearance, which reminded us of the fake-food displays you sometimes see in the windows of Asian restaurants.
Still, it’s unwise to judge a pie solely by its appearance, and in this case, we’re glad we didn’t. Because the filling, though ostensibly immobile, was delicious — sweet but not too sweet, and comprised almost solely of luscious berries. The crust, though not particularly flaky, was incredibly tender, and buttery and a bit toasty in flavor.
Eating it, we could see how it would make an excellent complement to the scoop of ice cream that Westville serves with the pie when you order it in the restaurant. We (foolishly) opted out of the à la mode option because we had to transport the pie some distance, but won’t make this mistake the next time we find ourselves at the restaurant. Because the only thing better than a slice of blueberry pie is the way it tastes as it slowly disintegrates beneath a rapidly melting scoop of ice cream.
210 West 10th Street
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 1, 2011