A few weeks ago, I wrote about the house-brined corned beef at the Rainier Room, the fine dining restaurant managed by the culinary arts students at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood. Today, I sing the praises for their pie. Key lime pie. Know who else makes great key lime pie? Edison City Diner on South Tacoma Way. Read on.
The Clover Park key lime pie tasted creamy, made from a base of sweetened condensed milk and key lime juice. The pie was a puckery intersection of sweet and sour, topped with an extra dose of cream, whipped extra stiff. Key lime pie can be tricky - too much lime can turn it sour, too little can mean a trip to dullsville. An extra grating of lime zest helped push that flavor along. At the base was a buttery graham cracker crust. The generous slice was $3.
Much of the menu at the Rainier Room is bargain priced - lunch won't run you more than $10. I delved into smoked sea scallops with a spicy hollandaise and snappy asparagus for $9. That's a third of what you'll pay at most seafood restaurants in town. The menu changes every quarter and fresh sheets change more often than that. Book lunch at the Rainier Room, served Wednesday-Friday only, here. Warning: The school isn't booking reservations until April 9.
The key lime pie here was prepared by the culinary arts students, but if you have not yet explored the sweets prepared by the pastry arts students at Clover Park, you need to fix that. When school is in session the patisserie Bon Sucre Bistro operates from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday at the school in Building 23. More information on Bon Sucre here.
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Over at Edison City Diner, a luncheonette style diner on South Tacoma Way that took up residence in September 2012 smack dab among a bunch of car dealerships, the key lime pie is a real find. The diner has a menu of the greatest hits of diner eating, but what keeps drawing me back is the house-made dessert of the day. Sometimes it's pie, sometimes its cobbler or a crumble. Whatever it is, it's delicious. Desserts come from owner Leian Susee, who got her entry into the diner world with an idea for a cobbler and pie company. She wound up a diner owner, with a great dessert list.
My most recent discovery at Edison City was key lime - a base heavy on the lime - in a good way - with a lighter-than-it-looked texture. This is a purist's key lime pie -no clouds of whipped cream or fancy add-ins. At the base was a graham cracker crust. A slice of pie will run you $3.99-$4.50.
Fun fact: The diner is named after the neighborhood - that particular area was once called Edison (Edison Elementary is about a dozen blocks from the diner).