Pie Review: Otis Cafe – Strawberry Rhubarb

The Otis Cafe has been around for ages and any person from the Portland area who visits Lincoln City is most certainly familiar with it. It’s about the only thing, besides a gas station & a post office in the town. Otis has been in the national news in the past because the “town” was supposedly offered up for sale.

But the Otis Cafe has gotten a lot of props, it’s one of those ultimate Mom & Pop roadside joints, the kind of place where you wouldn’t be surprised if the waitress is named “Myrtle”. It has excellent reviews on Yelp, and has been featured in the New York Times & USA Today in the past.

I was on my way into Lincoln City for Mother’s Day weekend at the coast with my family, so I figured I’d buy a whole pie to share. I stopped in and grabbed a strawberry rhubarb pie, figuring it’d be a good choice since rhubarb is in season.

I made the mistake of reheating this pie in the oven, though, and the crust did not hold up well to that. Unfortunately, the crust got a little soggy from it, so this may have skewed my experience.

Visually speaking, the pie looked very nice whole. Nothing fancy, but looked like a good homemade pie. It didn’t slice very cleanly, but that may have been a result of the reheating.

I enjoyed the crust. It wasn’t incredibly flaky or anything, but the parts that weren’t soggy from the reheating were good. I thought the top crust could have been a little thicker, though, it was not a very substantial crust. Had it been thicker, it might have stood up to the reheating better. Overall, though, this was a decent pie crust.

The filling was a bit of a disappointment, however. The rhubarb was good, and I am assume they used fresh rhubarb, but the strawberry flavor in it was kind of fake-ish… like they used frozen strawberries or something. The strawberry flavor was reminiscent of the flavoring used in a Red Robin strawberry lemonade. I think it would have been a lot better if they used fresh strawberry (and if they used Oregon strawberries when they are in season… OMG).

Overall Rating: 3 out 5 slices. Otis Cafe is definitely worth stopping at and having some down-home food while you’re on the road, and I suspect their other pies would receive up to a 4 out of 5 slice rating, but the strawberry flavoring in this pie was a bit of a turn off.

Other Notes: They make a good loaf of bread, too. If you don’t have time to sit down and eat, grab a loaf to take home.

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