The Free Range Gourmet Free range thoughts on the finest ingredients, cuisine, and fine dining in Hawaii.

Range Gourmet

  Local Hawaii ingredients used with an international flair

        ^BNanette^K^H (Gone but not forgotten) 1946-2020


Saturday, December 17, 2005


An apple pie the size of Mt. Haleakula

There it was -- in the glass counter to our left as we waited in line to order lunch at Nico's at Pier 38 this morning -- an apple pie so huge that it looked like one of Hawaii's famous volcanos covered with pie crust.

Folks, this is NOT one of your flat Costco apple pies! This one is reaching for the sky, about to burst up out if its shell.

I apologize for not having a camera with me. And now it's too late, because we asked if they would cut a slice for us after lunch, and they did.

Of course, the lunch was wonderful. I'll skip the details because this is about a superpie, and I know you want to hear about that. The generous wedge was layer upon layer of apple slices, each still crisp and dusted with cinnamon. It came with two forks, so we alternated grabbing a hunk of pie and making satisfied noises, you know, like "yum", "delicious!", "ummm.. ummm!". And we were enjoying this scrumptious dessert in an outdoor setting, amid the gently swaying masts of nearby fishing boats, breathing the mellow morning ocean air.

Indeed, there is only one pastry chef on the island who could have created this pie: Samantha Choi, who used to be at the Grand Café but whose products are now at Nico's (read more about the switch in this Diner Dish article over at

Sami's pies are available for the holidays, according to a flyer at Nico's. No apple pie, unfortunately, but you have a choice of Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Icing, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, Lemon Glazed Cheesecake, Blueberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cream Tart, Chocolate Caramel Pecan Tart, Lilikoi Haupia Tart, Lilikoi Chiffon Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, or Custard Pie. Visit Nico's website for directions, hours, info on daily specials and their email list.

Nico's at Pier 38
1133 N Nimitz Hwy
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
(808) 540-1377


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