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Replacement for Marie Calendar's Thanksgiving Pies?

Original post made by Palo Parent, Greenmeadow, on Nov 19, 2012

Now that the local Marie Calendar's is gone, is there a close replacement for their convenient ordering of Thanksgiving pies from years past?

Comments (40)

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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm

I think Marie Calendar moved to Sunnyvale if I recall from the note they left on their door when they closed.

It's kind of amazing that they had to close. Every time I ever went there they were full of people.

I've noticed though that some, maybe most restaurants are really scrimping on ingredients, for example one of my favorite bakeries now sells turnovers with no real fruit inside them- no blueberries, no cherries just a smear of jelly or something inside.

Portions in most places are getting small, and prices are getting steep in many places.

I can't see a long term survival for places that have to compromise so badly that their product is basically dishonest or not worth buying. I imagine it really hurts the wait staff since people take those high prices out of their tipping.

And of course, rents are going down for businesses either.

Whole Foods sells pies. Maybe some of the bakeries in Palo Alto will try to pick up the demand, but not sure they can make pies as good as MC's.


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Posted by Bake it yourself
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Pumpkin pie is about the easiest pie on Earth to make. Just use Pillsbury pie crust, throw in a can of pumpkin pie and a few spices. Faster than driving to buy one and can bake ahead of time. Cannot go wrong with pumpkin pie (unless you buy it at Costco - barf).

Yes, there is still a Sunnyvale MC open. Take the Fair Oaks exit off 101, turn left onto El Camino Real and see on left.


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Posted by Blessing
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Yeah, just travel a little further down El Camino. Passed the Sunnyvale store the other day.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm

> And of course, rents are going down for businesses either.

Meant to say rents are NOT going down ... part of the problem, landlords are not helping anyone, even themselves by sorting only business that have to rip people off to survive instead of giving honest ones a break.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I wasn't impressed by Marie Calendar's pies. Supermarket pies are just as good (Mollie Stone, etc.).


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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm

The Creamery has great pies.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Marie Calendar's in the Hacienda Shopping Center across from the Acura dealership, Best Buy and Black Angus.


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Posted by Recommendation
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm

The bakery on California Avenue, if it still exists, has great pies. You'll pay more for them but order ahead of time.


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Posted by Thanksgiving
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm

I would rather have home cooked food than bought pies. If you are going to buy a pie from a restaurant, you might as well eat there too.

If you are taking it to someone else's home, then be careful. I would be insulted if someone brought me store bought food thinking they were doing something nice for me when I could have made dessert the day before myself.

I agree with the earlier poster. Make the food at home. It is healthier and cheaper.


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Posted by Blessing
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Homemade can taste awful too. I'm not sure I'd use that line as the division for quality. Also suggest accepting gifts, including food, a little more gracefully.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm

The Creamery gets a thumbs down because you have to prepay & parking sucks.

Prolific Oven's are good, reasonably priced & I think parking is easier.


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Posted by Thanksgiving
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2012 at 5:58 pm

OK

I admit, I went off the deep end a bit.

I am a pretty good cook and like to give my guests home cooked food if I invite them over for a meal. If they offer to bring dessert then I accept their kind offer, but I am quite happy making the food myself. If it is a store bought dessert, I will accept it gracefully to add to the bounty of the feast, and offer them the leftovers to take home.

It is just a shame that the average Palo Altan seems to have forgotten how to cook, I would not have a clue where to buy a pie apart from a supermarket.


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Posted by Ducatigirl
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 19, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Duarte's, the restaurant in San Gregorio (or is it Pescadero) known for its artichoke omelets and fruit pies, is now marketing frozen pies at Piazza's. They are terrific.

Also excellent is the Prolific Oven. Expensive, but worth it when you taste it. There is a new bakery on Santa Cruz Ave in MP that is very good, but its name escapes me.


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Posted by horselady
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 19, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Don't forget Palo Alto Bakery on Calif Ave, and the former Peninsula Creamery (although they charge a hefty deposit for their pie pans).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Nov 19, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Draeger's carries Duarte's pies....and their own bakery is fabulous.
I salivate just writing this.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 19, 2012 at 7:02 pm

I'm picky about pie due to the crust issue. I was unimpressed w/a pie from Susie Cakes, as we expected better.

Being snide about what the average Palo Altan does or doesn't cook is silly. People are busy. Pies can be tricky due to the pastry part & theyre often time-consuming to make. You work 30 hours in 3 days, rush home to prepare for a big holiday et voila! - it makes sense to outsource dessert. We sometimes make 2- use one immediately, freeze the other.

As for bakery bought, of course many of the good pie places around here aren't open on Thanksgiving, so you pick up on Wed & take care they don't get stale.

The Willows Market on Middlefield also carries Duarte's pies.

Remember a couple of years ago they declared pie was the new cupcake? Didn't really happen.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by pie lover
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm

I have to put in another vote for the creamery. Yes, it's a $7 deposit for the pie plate (a nice heavy Pyrex pie plate that's easily worth $7 if you end up keeping it). And the pies themselves are not cheap, either. But the pies! They're incredibly delicious. And being as they're in a pyrex pie plate, you can easily pass them off as homemade if you're so inclined!


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Posted by Gustine
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Palo Alto Bakery, MMM mmmMMM


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Posted by Thanksgiving
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2012 at 9:48 am

Sorry if my amusement at people who don't have 15 minutes to make a pie but seem to have time to drive around, find parking, stand in line, pay a deposit on a pie plate that needs to be driven back, find parking, stand in line to be returned, seems strange to some stressful individuals.

I will enjoy my own kitchen, listening to calm music, enjoy the aromas from my oven, teaching the next generation and putting my feet up being online while you save time buying pies.

:)

Happy Thanksgiving. Be joyful, enjoy the true meaning of the season, being grateful for what you have. Find some time to be with the ones you love, sharing the things that mean most. Find time to smell the roses, rake some leaves, and perhaps do some dishes in family harmony and bonding (no sarcasm or criticism intended).






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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 20, 2012 at 10:47 am

You have to pre-pay because of the volume and you're also taking up one of their glass/pyrex pie dishes. Return the dish and get your deposit back - looks much nicer than an aluminum dish any day.

Parking is easy - just show up in the morning before 9.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm

pie lover
> a nice heavy Pyrex pie plate that's easily worth $7 if you end up keeping it

Pure Palo Alto thinking. The cheapest pyrex pie plate on Amazon is $10 ... so you're just stealing and taking money from everyone else if you steal the plate. Not even a self-conscious thought about that, eh?

Happy Thanksgiving .... gimme, gimme, gimme!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sandy
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Make your own! If it does not turn out right blame yourself and just keep working n it to get better. Not rocket science.


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Posted by CAPilgrim
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Yes that recipe on the side of the can of pumpkin is easy and makes the most delicious of all the pumpkin pies I have ever tried. Of course a homemade crust makes it even better but store bought crusts are ok too. (I am a bigger fan of Native American pudding, as I believe it is called now. That is just the pumpkin filling served warm with ice cream). Apple pies are easy to make too, except the apples take a littld time to peel and slice (get those family members working!). Happy Thanksgiving!! If guests brings pies to my house, bless their hearts. Means more time to sit down and enjoy their company.


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Posted by San Antonio Mega Development
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 20, 2012 at 2:19 pm

This is what has been approved for San Antonio Shopping Center Web Link and MUCH MORE is bein considered. Property owners are pushing out smaller retailers because Moutain View has signaled a green to developers for higher density projects in areas in and around San Antonio Center.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Does anyone know if Trader Joe's holiday pies are any good?

15 minute to make a pie? Sure. Think about it: there's shopping involved, same as driving & finding parking, standing in line to pick up a pie. There's the pastry to make, then the innards. The only 15 min pies we used to make were in college - we called it Chemical Pie: make chocolate pudding from a box, mixed w/Cool Whip to a mousse-like consistency & put it in a pre-made chocolate crust, then chill & enjoy. It earned its name from its lack of natural ingredients ;-) Great on a budget when you have a lot of hungry people to feed.


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Posted by Thanksgiving
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm

15 minutes should be all it takes to assemble a pie, takes about an hour to cook while you do something else.

Here's a simple pumpkin pie recipe Web Link


There are some very good pie crusts available, whole wheat, organic, etc. in most of the supermarkets. Pilsbury and Pepperidge Farm have excellent pastry doughs too but they take a little more work.

Fruit pie fillings are available in the canned/jar section, mincemeat is a nice one that is a little more festive. Otherwise, apples, etc. can be peeled and prepared in advance and frozen. I have several pies worth of slightly cooked apples and other fruits in my freezer which I can defrost and put into a bought pie crust.

Combination of drained jar of peaches with a jar of applesauce makes a nice easy pie.

All ingredients can be purchased at all supermarkets at the same time you shop for ice cream, or whipped cream to go with them, or the full Thanksgiving meal shopping.

Each of these suggestions will take no more than 15 minutes to prepare and you can relax, or something, while it cooks and cools.

Maybe not from scratch, but definitely homemade.


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Posted by Thanksgiving
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Forgot to say that the fruit in the fozen pie shell pie can be topped with a crumb mixture of 1/2 stick butter melted in microwave, 1 cup flour mixed in and 1/4 cup sugar mixed in with some pumpkin pie spice to taste. Less than 5 minutes to prepare. Sprinkle over the fruit in a frozen (slightly defrosted) pie crust.

Happy Eating.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm

AH ha! So you take the time to prepare ahead (which can be done in small chunks of time). Which ready made crusts do you think are the best? That's where I get picky (unless it's the ready made cookie crusts).


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Posted by Anne
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Thanksgiving- not everyone has the time, talent, or ability to cook as well you apparently do. I would be thankful if you would stop judging others not as able as you.Everyone has different circumstances.

The Creamery pie crusts are tough, but the fillings are good. Prolific Oven would be my first choice if MC's in Sunnyvale is not an option.

Have heard very good things about Costco's pies...


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Posted by Thanksgiving
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Anne - sorry, my posts are trying to be helpful and show how quick and easy it is to make a pie at home rather than going somewhere special for just pies.

Hmm - I tend to choose frozen pie shells that do not contain corn syrup. Safeway own brand does one and there is one at Piazza's also. They also have a good wholewheat pie crust but it has corn syrup so I haven't tried it a second time. The best ones are the ones that have flour, butter, salt and water with as few other ingredients as possible, but they are harder to find.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cecilia
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Thanksgiving: you are so nice in trying to promote home cooking and family time. I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jake
a resident of Southgate
on Nov 20, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Plus it is really fun to cook at home with your family

PS
I am in 5th grade


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Posted by Christine
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 20, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Miki's (new store on Alma) grocery store put out a flyer/order form on pies the other day for the holidays. Pumpkin 9" 5.99, Pumpkin 6" 5,99, Pecan 9" 12.99, Pecan 6' 6.99, Sweet Potato 9" 7.99, Apple 9" 12.99, Dutch Apple 9" 14.99, Marion Berry 12.99, and Cherry 9" 12.99


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Posted by Bake It Yourself
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Pillsbury pie crust in the refrigerated section (red box near Pillsbury cookie dough) is highly rated by cooking magazines. Just take out one from the box, allow to sit at room temp for 15 minutes, then gently roll out into pie dish. If you can't shape the outside crust, simply use a fork and imprint. This crust is so much better than frozen crusts - tastes homemade.


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Posted by Dianne Davis
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2012 at 6:06 am

The Brand NEW !!Miki's Farm Fresh Grocery Store located on Alma in PALO ALTO, Has the most delicious and beautiful Pies and Desserts. They not only are decorated beautifully but they also taste absolutely delicious!! I found out that all the Holiday pies and Cakes of all kinds and other exquisite desserts are all freshly made in this beautiful new store... And the prices are so reasonable.... I was given a sample of both the Sweet potato pie and Pecan Pie and they were absolutely delicious. Creamy light and smooth pumpkin texture, and the Pecan pie was to die for!! If you haven't gone to this new store you are really missing a huge treat to our neighbor hood... And not too mention the produce alone will entice you, beautiful fresh organic and non organic produce... they have an abundance of variety in the produce section. you can google Miki's Farm Fresh Grocery for the address... Wonderful Cheeses and all the salads in the Deli use fresh ingredients from their own produce section... Exquisite Market... A MUST SEE!! Miki's Farm Fresh 3445 Alma St.
By the way they have underground parking I was told by very nice employees.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 21, 2012 at 11:20 am

Just a suggestion to support the local Marie Callendar's. They filed for bankruptcy and laid off 2500 last year according to the link below. They cited lack of demand and rising commodity prices.

Thank you all for so many other commercials! ;-) The Miki's recommendations appear to be ads. They may be good or they may be like most of the other mass produced store bought pies, which is mostly OK. Whole Foods, Safeway, etc ... mostly pretty mediocre.

If you know a little about how to make a nice pie, that's nice, and not too hard or time consuming, but it may not be what some people want.

Marie Callendar's makes pretty good pies that are reasonably priced and fill a certain niche. That is why they still exist in Sunnyvale. The pies I really like are their Chocolate Silk, Banana Cream, Blueberry, and others. They are hard to make so well at home, and it is easy to place an order and pick them up when ready. It was really nice to be able to go somewhere and buy and enjoy a just a slice of any kind of pie you wanted.

However it's anyone's guess how long Marie Callendar's will be open.

[Post removed due to copyright infringement.]

So, I would suggest that people think about how we support businesses like this to keep them around, and spend some money and keep some of these places alive or they will go, and then more and more, while prices continue to rise, until there is nothing left.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Toady
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 21, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Ick. If you're telling people that they should be cooking more, and then tell them to go Sandra Lee and used canned stuff, they might as well buy it from the store.


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Posted by Toady
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 21, 2012 at 1:27 pm

(in case you didn't get the sarcasm - there's always someone else who can be judgmental about you)


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Posted by Mayfield Child
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 21, 2012 at 5:37 pm

The pie I would like is no longer being made...My mother made THE BEST Lemon pie, so well everyone raved over them. She was told all her life she should have opened a pie store. The crust was flaky, the lemon filling with a small twist of peel was a delight to lick off the spoon when she was through, the egg whites were soft and high with just the right amount of browning on top. One lemon, one pumpkin, some times fresh apple....OH HOW I MISS THEM!!!!


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Posted by Mom
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 21, 2012 at 8:53 pm

I usually bake my own pies and rarely find anything from a restaurant or store acceptable. However, my opinion has been changed by ClaimJumpers frozen fruit pies. Awesome crust and you can serve warm. You can find them on sale for $5.99. This has been a very dangerous discovery for our household.


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