Note: It has been reported that the Sarasota, Florida Trader Joe's store will open September 7, 2012. (How about adding a Tampa Bay store, Trader Joe's?)
If you are a regular reader of Lily On The Lam, you will know that Chef Floyd Cardoz is my arch nemesis. And if you're not a regular reader, you can read about this blood feud in my blog post review of Chef Floyd's fantastic North End Grill restaurant. However Chef Floyd can breathe a sigh of relief, because I have a new arch nemesis! There is a new villain on my culinary scene ... who or what could it be?
It is the mile high coconut cream pie at Mel's Diner in Bonita Springs, Florida!
LM and I did a road trip from Tampa, FL to Naples, FL to visit the first ever Trader Joe's in Florida. Before heading home, we decided to grab dinner - but didn't know where to go. We decided to drive down the street until we found something. With an ear-shattering "STOP THE CAR!" I screamed when I saw Mel's Diner. The fates were dictating that we have our late lunch/early dinner (Linner?) here!
Now I'll blog about our entire meal at Mel's Diner another time, but for this blog post I am focusing on my arch nemesis ... the aforementioned coconut cream pie. The menu stated that its "mile high pie" was suitable for up to four people. Uh huh - that just sounds like a gastronomical challenge. Don't set boundaries and rules on me, PIE!
The waitress looked at LM and I skeptically with a "Honey, you can't handle this pie" look when she took our order. Seriously lady? Are you mocking my dessert eating abilities?
Well when she arrived with the pie, I understood her earlier skeptical look ... Here it is ... my arch nemesis.
I took a picture with the pepper shaker next to it to give some sort of perspective of how big this darn pie is!
This pie was beyond amazing - and get this, only $3.99 for this MONSTER SLICE. The "biscuit-like pie crust" (thanks LM for the quote) holds mounds and mounds of this incredibly dense but yet fluffy amazing thick vanilla-y pastry cream-like filling filled with an avalanche full of toasted coconut, then topped with more toasted coconut, whipped cream and a buttery caramel sauce. The filling just melted on my tongue with this "oh my this is supreme bliss" feeling. I knew I had met my dessert match when I took my first forkful of this amazing pie.
Now my favorite coconut cream pie in the world is from the Capital Grille restaurant chain, but Mel's Diner mile high coconut cream pie is now officially my 2nd favorite one and it's a heck of a lot cheaper than Capital Grille's.
I ate and ate and ate this gi-normous pie and LM had a few bites too - but we could barely make a dent in it!
I was not going to be defeated by this pie! I ate more and more and more ...
Until my stomach screamed "STOP!" Look how much was still left!! I decided it would be best for my waistline if I did not take the remaining pie home. Now of course today I wish I had ... I'll be having dreams of this most wonderful mile high coconut cream pie.
Shortly after this picture was taken, the remainder of the pie fell over. I had told LM that I had been eating this mile high pie in a non-architecturally sound manner. Meaning that I was eating too much at the base and not compensating by also eating at the top too. LM was impressed that I could refer to my dessert's architectural integrity. Hello, I'm not your average food and travel blogger!
My arch nemesis toppled over due to my careless pie eating technique. Not surprising ... anyone who knows me, knows that I have careless pie eating technique. It's a burden I bear. ;-)
If you're in Cape Coral, Naples or Bonita Springs Florida area, check out any one of the several Mel's Diner locations in those areas. If you're elsewhere in Florida, trust me it's worth the road trip to check out this amazing pie. (Plus visit the new Trader Joe's in Naples, Florida!) So go visit Mel's Diner and tell my arch nemesis I said "hello."