Walker's Pie Shop 1491 Solano Ave., Albany, 510-525-4647
Let's do the time warp again. Walker's keeps alive an American tradition close to extinction: good pie making. For only $11.50 to $12.50 you can buy a whole pie. The shop sells a wide variety of fruit and cream pies, and the choices vary slightly over the course of the year. The key to good pie, of course, is the crust, and Walker's gets it just right: crispy, flaky, and buttery, with just a touch of salt to offset the sweet fillings. The cherry pie is a classic, and the coconut cream, banana cream, and pecan pies would pass muster with Southerners. Each spring, Walker's makes perfectly tart rhubarb and strawberry-rhubarb pies, and every fall its pumpkin pie has a smooth texture and just the right note of spice. Try making a pie at home sometime. When it turns out like a lead puck, head over to Walker's and appreciate its bakers' craft.