The Best Pie Around
By Noel Daniel
He was a long way from Reno when he pulled into the driveway at Latif’s. He bought a pie, intending to eat it over the next few days, but it was just too good: He ate it all in one sitting.
“Best pie ever,” a customer from Reno wrote in a letter to Robert Stevens, Owner of Latif’s. “Thank you so much.”
From Turlock to Reno, and possibly even beyond, Latif’s has been baking pies to please the palate since 1947. Although the restaurant has juggled ownership since then, the consistent quality has made it a staple in the area.
There are pies in a plethora of flavors that depend on the season, including boysenberry, cherry, apple, rhubarb, pineapple, peach, and strawberry. There are also the holiday favorites, pumpkin, pecan, and mincemeat. Richest of all are the cream pies: Coconut, chocolate, and lemon, all topped with real whipped egg-white meringue – and made with local eggs.
Pies this delicious have to be reserved during busy seasons. For those looking to reserve, keep in mind that Thanksgiving is almost twice as busy as Christmas and they start taking orders around Nov. 1. Reservations cut off the Sunday before Thanksgiving in order to make all the fillings and dough.
“We’ll make well over 1,000 pies in two and a half days,” Stevens said. This includes extras they bake in order to ensure that last minute walk-ins get the option of taking home a Latif’s pie.
Kathie Larson is the main pie maker, and there are about six other staff that jump in and help, such as Paula Loomis, Jim Stevens, and Trini Garcia.
“She’s eighty,” said Stevens with a laugh, “but she’ll crank out pies faster than the young people.”
Among the many pies that Latif’s cranks out during the holidays are mincemeat, pumpkin, and Stevens’ favorite, pecan.
For More Information, or to Order a Pie of Your Own, call 209.634.5351 or visit the restaurant at 111 N. Golden State Blvd., Turlock.