Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Off the Map: Sleeping on the Job in New Jersey

Triple Coconut Cream Pie -- Ritz Seafood, Voorhees, NJ
Ritz Seafood

Somehow, for people who don't like coconut, we sure seem to be consuming a lot of it lately.

This time, Vodka found the triple coconut cream pie with which Delilah Winder is obsessed at Ritz Seafood in Voorhees, NJ.  Well, Vodka didn't so much find it, as her enabling mother did.  It seems mildly telling that said pie was featured on the OBSESSIONS episode of Best Thing I Ever Ate, as the mission of this blog has taken on a family-wide monomania in Vodka's household.
New Jersey Pies Can Withstand the Meanest of Heatwaves
Anyway, Vodka, nearly dead from carting her dog down from New York in 100-degree temperatures, is presented with a slice of coconut pie by her mother.  The slice has been packaged in a styrofoam container, yet it is sadly still ten times more attractive-looking than the slab of coconut cake presented to us on actual tableware at Smith and Wollensky.
Mostly Because It Does Not Feature Mystery Goo
A thin crust holds together two thick layers of sumptuous cream, one coconut and the other whipped.  Sprinkled on top of the slice are white chocolate curls and toasted coconut shavings.
Gotta Love a Pie Doo-Dad
The pie is rather lovely.
Especially When It Is Accessorized with Some Fine China
As we dig in, my mother relates that upon arriving at Ritz Seafood to try to procure this slice of pie to-go, she found no one at the hostess stand despite the packed house in the dining room.  Wedged in the back booth, a figure could be found bent over an appointment book in deep concentration.  With no other worker in sight, my mom approached this person, only to discover that she was not hard at work scheduling reservations, but rather, she was fast asleep.

SHE WAS FAST ASLEEP.
Who Was In Charge of the Pies?!
"Excuse me," my mom said.  Nothing.

"EXCUSE ME," she repeated.  The figure popped awake and groggily instructed another suddenly-available staff member to fetch a piece of triple coconut cream pie to-go.  When paying for the $8 slice, my mom discovered, via newspaper clippings hanging at the entrance, that Rip Van Winkle is none other than the owner of Ritz Seafood.
Who Happens to Think The Title of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" is "The Best Of" - See Website
Needless to say, if Ginger and I had encountered such a sleepy scenario in our Best Thing I Ever Ate travels, we would still not have recovered from fits of laughter.
And Vodka Probably Would Have Procured a Discount
Anyway, regarding the pie: it is presumably called "triple coconut" because the substance can be found in the outer shavings, in the coconut cream, and baked within the crust itself (though it is not visible in the last component).
Close-Up of Coconut in the Cream Fail
Considering not one member of my family likes coconut, and we all find this pie rather enjoyable, I'm sure it would be delectable to a true coconut lover.  The coconut cream is particularly surprising in its sturdy deliciousness, though truth be told, the flavor of the pie slice as a whole is not particularly strong (the white chocolate curls especially lack the usual white chocolate sweetness).

But is this coconut cream pie worth waking up for each day?  Yes, Owner of Ritz Seafood.  Yes, it is.

Ritz Seafood's Triple Coconut Cream Pie: 4 stars

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