What: The Buttermilk Pie
Where: Billy Reed’s, 1800 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
How much: $5.25
Contact: 760-325-1946; www.billyreedspalmsprings.com
Why: It’s the epitome of a perfectly rich dessert.
During my first four years of residence in the Coachella Valley, I somehow never dined at Billy Reed’s, the old-school restaurant mainstay in Palm Springs.
About a year or so ago, I finally righted this culinary wrong—and instantly fell in love with the place, with its traditional American menu, its stained-glass bar décor and its reasonable prices.
Lately, I’ve been falling in love with another aspect of Billy Reed’s: Its amazing selection of yummy, house-made desserts.
On one recent visit, I was in the mood for pie, and this description of the buttermilk pie caught my eye: “Lemony with a vanilla undertone. Mysterious, a sweet tooth’s fantasy, hold on to yours, all of them.”
I was intrigued. So what if that description—particularly that second not-really-a-sentence—makes no sense it all? I ordered a piece.
Let me tell you: That description does not do this pie justice.
It’s not much to look at, but, man, a piece of this pie is something to behold once you take a bite of it. The custard-y filling is a little tart, a little creamy, and a whole lot sweet: This is one of the richest pies you’ll find in our valley’s dessert cases. It approaches and tiptoes incredibly close to the “too sweet” precipice—but never quite gets there. Even though “buttermilk” is in the name and is one of the primary ingredients, you’d have no idea it’s there based on the flavor—unless your taste buds are really paying attention.
These days, a Billy Reed’s visit with clam chowder, prime rib and a meal-concluding piece of buttermilk pie is one of my favorite meals to enjoy in the entire Coachella Valley. It’s so, so good.