Food You Can Have Shipped to Your Door

I spent the better part of my twenties living in Phoenix, where a widespread city footprint, extreme heats, and an Amazon distribution center means you can get two-hour and same-day delivery on a decent portion of the site’s products. Prime Now and AmazonFresh are two of many programs Amazon rolled out to bring the convenience of delivery to the masses.

Because of this, the delivery market in Phoenix is huge, and I had no idea what a bubble I lived in until I moved away. Everyone from grocery giants Safeway and Whole Foods to startups like Instacart and Uber Eats deliver fresh food to your door, competing with Grub Hub and the variety of local restaurants delivering food.

Spending my first winter away from Phoenix, I learned the majority of America doesn’t live in the same ivory tower I once inhabited.

Food Delivery for the Rest of Us

For the rest of America, delivery options are limited to local Chinese restaurants, pizza chains, and the occasional deli. Finding culinary variety isn’t as easy as it was in the city of the sun. After finding out my favorite services aren’t available in the rural area I moved to, I started scouring the Internet to find out what foods are available to order online.

I was already aware of meal preparation delivery startups and themed food subscription services – I even found juice delivery services. These have their own uses, but there had to be more out there in today’s technologically advanced, logistics-driven society.

Two interesting sites I came across in my search were Goldbely and FoodyDirect. Both sites offered a variety of local dishes from restaurants, bakeries, and resorts from around the United States, all offering shipping. I initially contacted the two services to learn more about the services, but after waiting a few days with no response, it occurred to me each individual business participating is aware it can ship food, even if it’s using one of these platforms.

So I started scouring through the businesses on each site and looking at their official company websites to find many offered food shipping across the continental U.S. through their websites as well. At this point, I knew I was on to something, so I contacted as many as I could to find out what their most popular shipped foods were.

Appetizers and Side Dishes

Harry & David Deluxe Pears, Apples, and Cheese Gift ($49.99)

Harry and David Apple Pear Cheese Tray

Harry & David has long been known for providing gourmet food and gift baskets for over a century, and 1-800-Flowers bought the brand in 2014. While this basket isn’t from either service, it did come up (along with Schwann’s, another long-time food delivery service) in my searches, so I contacted them.

This basket is filled with the finest, hand-selected apples and pears, along with select cheeses from either Bear Creek or Rogue Valley Creamery in Oregon (where everyone knows how to grow their own food). While definitely on the pricey side, there’s no denying the quality of each food you get from Harry & David.

Each pear was perfectly sweet and ripe within days (and stayed so for about a week, from what we could calculate based on what was left). In talking to my friends, I learned there are a variety of great foods provided the company (which can also be found on Amazon).

I always felt like too much of a peasant to afford these gifts. As soon as we received it, we did finally knew exactly what Ilana, Abbi, and Jaime felt when receiving a Larry & David gift basket in Broad City.

Charlie’s Legendary Onions ($24.99/2-Pack)

Charlies Legendary Onions

In 1963, WWII veteran Charles Summa and his wife Rosemary opened a hot dog stand in Brentwood, a neighborhood in Long Island, NY. Retired NFL quarterback and current color commentator Boomer Esiason is a notable celebrity fan. Both Charlie’s hot dogs and onions have become legendary among New Yorkers, and the taste is almost synonymous with Long Island.

Charles’ daughter, Jeanne Summa-Becvar, closed the hot dog truck in 2006, but in 2013, she started reviving the recipes in short lived spurts. Soon she began selling the family’s famous onion sauce recipe in jars at farmer’s markets before shipping nationally through FoodyDirect.

Now regardless of where you are in the U.S., you can get a taste of that legendary onion sauce that made a Purple Heart-awarded veteran famous long outside of Long Island. It’s a quintessential New York taste that simply can’t be beat, with or without a hot dog.

Desert Creek Local Texas Honey ($16.49/32 oz)

Desert Creek Texas Honey

Raw, natural honey has been used medicinally as far back as the ancient Egyptians, who even used it as an embalming fluid. Honey is known these days to have antibacterial properties, along with the potential to clear up allergies, inflamed membranes, and relieve burns/wounds.

It’s also a delicious natural sweetener that’s perfect for teas, baking, or just eating raw in liquid, creamed, or honeycomb form. Based in McKinney, TX, Desert Creek Honey is a family-owned and operated business that employs over 72 million honeybees working 1200 hives to create some of the best honey available.

Honey is great for making appetizers, sweetening meats and other savory tastes to add another dimension of flavor (check out these pigs in a blanket with honey-caramel sauce). It’s also perfect drizzled over fruit, cheese, and meat platters to make people take a second bite.

Hidden Springs Maple ($3-$25)

Hidden Springs Maple

Vermont is known for its maple syrup and is the largest producer in the United States (second only to Quebec in North America). Indigenous tribes produced maple syrup and sufar by processing tree sap long before Europeans arrived and adopted the practice. Now it’s a Vermont tradition, and Hidden Springs is a family-owned maple farm in Putney, Vermont that produces 100% organic and natural maple syrup and other products.

There is nothing better than pure maple syrup, but what you’ll typically find in grocery stores is corn syrup with maple (and other artificial and natural flavorings) added. This syrup direct from Vermont is a delicacy, and we were lucky enough to get a sampler of each type of syrup, along with maple cream, sugar, and even maple brined and smoked bacon.

The only wood I love the flavor of more than maple is mesquite, and the family behind Hidden Springs has specialized in the maple business for over 50 years when it was Cooper-Ellis Sugar Makers. If you want top-of-the-line, American-made maple, this is where you get it.


Tucson Tamale ($7/pack of 2)

Yes I’m biased having grown up an hour away from Tucson, but Tucson Tamale makes the best tamales on the planet. As proof that there really is a higher power in the world that cares about you, they now deliver as well. If you’ve never had one, tamales in these parts consist of a corn masa steamed filled with your choice of filling and steamed in a corn husk.

Two packs of tamales come in flavors like Green Chili Pork and Cheese, Black Bean and Cheese, and Red Chile Beef. They’re also sold in 30-tamale boxes for $110. These things are delicious, not too starchy, and a truly authentic flavor of the American southwest.

We have noticed our microwave needed to double the 4-minute cook time in order to heat these from a frozen state, but that’s more due to a cheap microwave than any fault of Tucson Tamale. We did add some of the barbecue below to the vegetarian tamales and topped them sith salsa, sour cream, cheese, and other toppings. Overall, they’re great and a worthy entree.

Loveless Cafe Chicken and Waffles  ($30)

Loveless Cafe Chicken and Waffles

The Loveless Cafe in Nashville, Tennesse is known for providing down-home country cooking to visitors from around the world. Biscuits and gravy, ham, and the perennial favorite chicken n waffles are the talk of truckers and other commuters around the region. You haven’t truly been to the South until you’ve had breakfast at The Loveless Cafe.

While they ship a variety of foods, we got their world-famous chicken n waffle mix. Loveless took a different route than most restaurants and chose to ship only the dry ingredients for the chicken and waffles instead of the products themselves, which wouldn’t retain the crispiness and hot freshness of what you get in store.

With this kit, you can make chicken and waffles for the entire family with an authentic taste direct out of Tennessee. They let you do it at home because they know once you experience the flavor, you’ll be willing to make the trip out to Nashville just to find out if the biscuits, ham, and fruit preserves can hold up.

Ultimate Vienna Lovers Kit ($78.95)

Vienna Beef Hot Dogs

Chicago is a city known for its food, and Vienna Beef staked a claim in the market all the way back in 1894. Vienna’s beef franks are the hot dogs used in the classic Chicago-style hot dog, which includes all the condiments you see in the pic above, along with a dill pickle spear and tomato wedges. It’s a classic taste from the Windy City anyone has access to.

The Ultimate Vienna Lovers Kit has four pounds of meat (two each of beef franks and sliced Italian beef), sweet relish, sport peppers, yellow mustard, celery salt, a hat, and an apron, all branded by Vienna. You’ll get all the flavor without the vulgarity of the Weiner’s Circle.

That’s right – these are the same Vienna ingredients used in Chicago‘s most famous hot dog stand. You can relive all the fun and excitement of being there at home by just screaming obscenities at your pets and family while you cook it.

Lou Malnati’s Deep Dish Chicago Pizza ($109.99/6 Pizzas)

Chicago Deep Dish Pepperoni Pie

Chicago is so famous for its food, there’s even a separate website just for having the Tastes of Chicago shipped to your door. Delis, bakeries, and restaurants from all across the city will ship you their finest, most popular foods without even needing to visit. But what I was most interested in was some of that deep dish Chicago pizza pie.

Regardless of how think you enjoy the crust, Chicago’s deep dish isn’t what you’ll get at a delivery chain like Pizza Hut or Domino’s. Traditional American pizza is layered in a typical manner – crust, sauce, toppings, cheese, but Chicago-style pizza is prepared in reverse order, with a thick layer of cheese next to the bread, topped by your toppings, then covered in sauce.

It’s also typically a thin crust that’s simply baked/served in a pie tin, giving it that deep-dish look. Thick bread isn’t Chicago deep dish. Pizzeria Uno’s original pizza chef Rudy Malnati is credited with creating the recipe, and his son Lou is the owner of Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, where we got a six-pack to explore one of Chicago’s most iconic foods.

The debate between New York and Chicago pizza has raged for decades, and while I’m a huge fan of a NYC slice, Lou Malnati’s family recipe is one you’ll never forget. It just may transform (or evolve) your taste in pizza.

My Pi Pizza ($99/4 Pizzas)

My Pi Chicago Pizza Pie

Although Lou Malnati’s pizzas are absolutely amazing and iconic, there’s a point made by competitor My Pi (alternately, My Pie, since goes to a different company entirely) that in order to meet demand, the shipped pizzas are pre-made and frozen. It’s a delicious pizza, but not as fresh as it could be.

Being a smaller competitor, My Pi hand makes each pie to order just like your local pizzeria. So even though it takes a week to get the pizza you ordered, you’ll have a fresh taste that’s worth waiting for.

Between the two of them, I preferred Lou Malnati’s for the sauce and crust, but it’s a personal preference. You may appreciate the chunkiness of My Pie. If you’re not sure, get a couple from both and figure it out for yourself.

Centerville Pie Company ($99/2 Pies)

Centerville Pie Company

Based in Cape Cod, Massachussets since it was founded in 2009, Centerville Pie Company gained worldwide recognition after Oprah Winfrey tasted their chicken pie, named it one of her Ultimate Favorite Things, and helped broker a deal to sell them in Harry & David catalogs not long after.

Now the Centerville Pie Company ships both sweet and savory pies all over the United States through its website and Goldbely. Although the company offers cherry and apple, we got the same Chicken Pie Oprah fell in love with, along with a Beef Shepherds Pie that was just as delicious.

What sets this chicken pot pie apart from the one you’re used to eating is the lack of vegetables. One pound of chicken, gravy, and a delicious, flaky crust is all you’ll find in this delicious dish. I would’ve preferred more cheese in the beef shepherd’s pie, but it was still one of the more delicious meals we had this winter.

Fiorella’s Jack Stack  KC Barbecue Super Sampler ($114.95)

Jacks Stack Barbecue

Since 1957, Russ Fiorella began Jack Stack in Kansas City, and his eldest son Jack branched off to stand out in the competitive KC bbq scene, creating some of the best barbecue recipes in the country. These days, the company is in its third generation of the Fiorella family and offers nationwide shipping of its barbecued ribs, sausage, brisket, sides, and desserts.

For $115, you’ll get one pound each of pork spare ribs and burnt ends, chopped bbq brisket, spicy chicken wings, and sauce.

What makes KC barbecue unique is the slow-smoked meat using a variety of woods that’s then covered with a thick molasses- or tomato-based sauce. There’s a wide variety of meat, and the sides (cheesy corn bake and baked beans) are to die for. Barbecue is one of those things that’s regional and tastes different from state to state (or even within states), so you’re unlikely to get this flavor anywhere else.

Louie Mueller Texas Barbecue ($249/~6 lbs)

Louie Mueller Barbecue

Nowhere is the regional dividing line between barbecue preferences more defined than in Texas, where East, Central, South, and West all have their own varieties. Louie Mueller is located just outside Austin in Central Texas, which means this meat is rubbed with spices and cooked over indirect wood-fired heat.

Louie Mueller is possibly the most famous of Texas barbecues, founded in 1949 and named by Texas Monthly as one of the 50 Best Barbecue Joints in the World. It’s also been given a James Beard Foundation Award for “America’s Classics.” Even though the building caught fire several times in 2013, the business bounced back, and is shipping their critically acclaimed bbq around the U.S.

We had a chance to try a variety of the company’s meats, and each was soft, moist, flavorful, and absolutely delicious. They also included several sauces and rubs to ensure we never ran out of seasoning.

Central BBQ Memphis Barbecue Combo Pack ($80)

Central BBQ

To complete the American barbecue trifecta, we got Memphis-style barbecue from Central BBQ in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis barbecue (mostly pork) is slow cooked in a pit and can be served either wet or dry. Founded in 2002, Central BBQ is consistently voted by residents as one the best in the city and it now ships nationwide through both its website and Goldbely.

The pulled pork and ribs we got definitely lived up to the name, with even the dry meats being juicy and full of flavor. The pulled pork from Central BBQ was my favorite of the barbecued meats we ate, though I may be biased growing up with a Hawaiian dad and an affinity for kalua pig.

It’s not just me though – Memphis barbecue is consistently ranked among the best in barbecue competitions. Do yourself a favor and find out why (unless you can’t eat pork – then sorry).

Kennebunk Inn Acadame Maine Lobster Pot Pie ($64.95)

Kennebunk Inn Acadame Maine Lobster

Maine is known for lobster, and the Kennebunk Inn and Academe Restaurant was made famous for its signature lobster pot pie that attracted Oprah (another of her Favorite Things), Food Network, and the Travel Channel to come taste this reinvented classic from chef/owner Brian O’Hea.

We got both a lobster pot pie and lobster lo mein to try the delicious sea creature in a a variety of forms, and we weren’t disappointed by either. Both took an already luxurious treat like lobster and turned it into a dining experience.

Maine Lobster Pot Pie Kennebunk Inn

With a few simple steps, I was able to prepare and enjoy both dishes with ease, and the flaky crust of the pot pie (along with the creamy sauce, large lobster chunks, potatoes, and peas) made for some of the finest dining of my mostly blue-collar life. You may not have time to travel along the coasts of Maine, but you can certainly savor the tastes of its most famous meat thanks to this amazing dish.

Baba and Pop’s Pierogi ($59/Dozen)

Baba and Pops Pierogi

Food trucks have become a staple of American dining, with the promise of a taco truck on every corner becoming a highlight of the 2016 Trump campaign. A few years earlier, Coloradans Katherine and Jeremy Yurek helped grow the trend with the Baba & Pop’s handmade pierogi stand.

With great savory flavors like potato and cheese, buffalo chicken, and pulled pork, these Eastern European dumplings with a twist are the perfect cheap and easy meal for any occasion or season. They’re not necessarily cheap when delivered, however, costing about $5 per dumpling.

Still, the variety of flavors were all delicious – there were no weak links on this team, and the pierogies were fully enjoyed by all who partook.


Magnolia Bakery Brownies and Cupcakes ($60/dozen

Magnolia Bakery NYC Cupcakes Brownies

The Magnolia Bakery is an iconic NYC bakery chain founded in 1996 and often credited with reviving the cupcake in the 1990s (leading to the popularization of west coast-based Sprinkles Cupcakes in 2005). The bakery has since expanded across the U.S. and internationally, with locations in Chicago, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Beirut, Dubai, Tokyo, Mexico City, and more.

I wasn’t as impressed by these cupcakes as I was by Sprinkles (itself an overrated cupcake, though much larger). The frosting had a weird texture that is an unfortunate side effect of the shipping process. It still melts in your mouth, but I’m told nothing beats the fresh cupcake right out the oven.

Of course, when I mentioned Magnolia on my Facebook page, a few friend who had lived in the city chimed in to mention their best product is actually the banana pudding, which PopSugar’s Brandi Milloy (a fellow native from my hometown of Sierra Vista) lays out the recipe for since the company doesn’t ship it.

In fact, if you’re a fan of Magnolia Bakery, not only can you get delivery through their Goldbely platform, but you can also purchase The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook: Old-Fashioned Recipes from New York’s Sweetest Bakery on Amazon.

Three Brothers Bakery Pecan Pie ($22.95)

Three Brothers Bakery

Country Living and other related magazines (you know – the ones at the grocery store checkout stand with all the recipes and decorating tips and such) hail the Pecan Pie from Three Brothers Bakery as the best mail-order pecan pie in the country, and with good reason. It’s gooey, sweet, and made from scratch with the most delicious crust and ingredients perfected over five generations.

The bakery (founded in 1949 by brothers Sigmund, Sol, and Max Jucker) was even featured on Food Network’s Outrageous Foods for its stacked Pumpecapple Piecake, the turducken of desserts (three pies baked into three cakes and layered) which measures in at 11-inches tall and 23 pounds. Serving both traditional treats and new twists, this bakery in Houston also has the best gingerbread men I’ve had in a long time.

The bakery gets bonus points for including a king cake, the traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration cake which contains a small plastic baby. The person who gets the baby in their slice of cake is designated royalty for the night and responsible for throwing next year’s Mardi Gras party (and purchasing the next king cake) as they’re blessed with luck and prosperity for the next year.

In addition to the company’s website and Goldbely, you can order Three Brothers Bakery treats from Amazon as well, so try the pumpecapple three-layered pie cake if you haven’t already – it’s to die of diabetes for.

Sift Dessert Bar Cupcakes ($50/dozen)

Sift Dessert Bar

Napa Valley is most popularly known for its wine, but Northern California’s wine country (and the San Francisco Bay Area to the south) is also home to gourmet cupcake bakery Sift Dessert Bar, which opened in 2008 and was made famous in 2011 when founders Andrea Ballus and Corey Fanfa won Food Network’s Cupcake Wars competition.

Now the bakery creates some of the most sought-after cupcakes and other specialty desserts in the country, with their cupcake bars a growing trend in the wedding industry, replacing the traditional wedding cake, which takes so long to serve, especially to a large party.

We were lucky enough to try a sampler of cupcakes, macaroons, and cruffles, which were all sweet, light, and delicious. The icing on the proverbial cake, however, was the “Netflix and Chill” cupcake that launched nearly an hour-long conversation in the house about Hulu and chilling or even pirating and chilling when you’re broke.

See’s Candies ($3-$100/box)

Sees Candies

Another company that’s not using Goldbely, See’s Candies has been creating and distributing chocolate and other confectionery treats out of California since it was founded husband and wife Charles and Florence See, along with Charles’s mom Mary in 1921.

In 1972, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Corporation took control of the company, which led to Buffet’s cameo on 2017’s New Celebrity Apprentice with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the episode “Candy for a Billionaire.” Both teams competed to see who could create the best new flavor for the candy company, and we learned the Oracle of Omaha is a fan of brittle, toffee, and dark chocolate thanks to MMA fighter Chael Sonnen.

If you, too, want to eat the candy of a billionaire, I’m about as far away from Warren Buffet as one gets financially, and I am in love with the chocolates and toffee-ettes, we got in. The man knows his sweets as well as he knows his investments.

Tipsy Scoop Ice Cream ($99/four pints)

Tipsy Scoop Ice Cream

Believe it or not, you can have ice cream shipped directly to your door. Not only that, but this particular ice cream isn’t your typical Ben & Jerry’s clone – it has enough alcohol to get you drunk.

Tipsy Scoop makes liquor-infused ice creams that are based on popular mixed drink cocktails like Mango Margarita Sorbet, Spiked Hazelnut Coffee, and “Hot” Buttered Rum. It’s a modern twist on the dessert made with multiple generations of expertise and each pint contains up to 5% Alcohol by Volume.

While the variety of flavors was impressive, the soft, custard-like texture is the real selling point in these ice creams. Both the sorbets and ice creams were great, and the taste of alcohol was subtle, if there at all. If you want an adult treat, there are few better places to find it than Tipsy Scoop.

The problem is that at $25/pint, you have to really want to try this ice cream.

Phin & Phebes Ice Cream ($89/six-pack)

Phin and Phebes Ice Cream

Another ice cream out of New York, Phin & Phebes goes another route, with a thicker texture and flavors everyone in the family can enjoy. These small-batch ice creams have recently redesigned packaging filled with rich, unique flavors like Dark Chocolate Salty Caramel, Coconut Key Lime, Toasted Green Tea, and Vietnamese Iced Coffee.

My personal favorite of the bunch was Banana Whama, which was a banana pudding-flavored ice cream (not just banana, but the distinct flavor of banana pudding) with hand-baked vanilla wafers. The way the ice cream bounced back and forth between the subtle sweetness of fresh bananas and cream put me in a state of euphoria.

The whimsical art style and compelling brand story on each carton explaining where the non-GMO, organic, and/or fair trade ingredients come from enhances the experience. Like Tipsy Scoop, however, a high price ($15/pint) makes it difficult to recommend this over store brands.

Killer Brownie ($40/tin)

Killer Brownie

Chimene Ross developed the Killer Brownie in the 1980s to help promote her Dayton, Ohio bakery, and it’s only grown in popularity since. It only takes a single bite of any one of the eight flavors (nine, if you count the chocolate-dipped brownie only available in store) to understand why.

Each Killer Brownie is double layered, sandwiching a gooey filling to create the pinnacle of brownie perfection. It’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite, as the mixtures of fudge, peanut butter, caramel, and more fill your mouth with an explosion of flavor and the chewiest texture.

Ross hopes Killer Brownie becomes the next iconic dessert in American culture, and I have to agree. Once you’ve tasted your first KB, you’ll wonder how you went this long without doing it before and why all brownies weren’t already made this way. There’s only four in each tin, making them $10/brownie, but they’re so rich and filling that once you’ve tried them, you’ll happily pay an arm, leg, and your first-born child for another.

Omni Hotels Parker House Boston Cream Pie ($89)

Boston Cream Pie

The Omni Parker House was built in Boston in 1927 and is now a member of the Historic Hotels of America and under study to become an official Boston landmark. Long before becoming a famous chef, Emeril Lagasse was a Sous Chef for several years in this historic hotel.

But despite its rich history, few things are as historic to this Massachusetts city as the Boston cream pie (which, as you can tell from the pic above, is actually a cake). Omni Parker House lays claim to the invention of Boston’s official dessert dating back to 1856, and we absolutely had to see what this original tastes like.

If you prefer to bake it yourself, Omni isn’t shy about sharing the recipe. Some features that set this apart from the Boston cream pie clones are the airier sponge cake, rum-infused cream, and Fondant chocolate icing. It’s not as sweet as Dunkin Donuts Boston cream pie donut, but one of my favorite cakes from the batch we received, due to the great mix of textures and flavors.

At $90, this is definitely a pie/cake for special occasions, but you’ll always be able to tell people you’ve eaten the original Boston cream pie.

Eileen’s Special NY Cheesecake Sampler ($49.95)

Eileens Special NY Cheesecake

For over 40 years, Eileen’s Special Cheesecake has been slinging New York-style cheesecake to customers in NYC. These cheesecakes are notable for the soft, airy texture created by a mixture of both cream cheese and sour cream (in place of ricotta, which is commonly used in Italian-style cheesecakes) and come in as many flavors (if not more) than The Cheesecake Factory.

Now shipping across the country, you can order your favorite, subscribe to a monthly club to explore flavors, or check out the sampler to figure out which is your favorite. Unfortunately the soft nature of the cheesecake made this sampler pretty messy, and several samples were lost just by pulling the other side out.

Still, the cheesecake is good (although I prefer a drier, more dense cheesecake from ricotta) and definitely worth trying if you want to know the difference between NY and Italian cheesecakes. It’s available on the company website or Foody Direct.

The Blue Owl Levee High Apple Pie ($59.95)

Blue Owl Levee High Apple Pie

If anyone knows their sweets better than Warren Buffet, it’s Oprah, and the Levee High Apple Pie from Blue Owl Bakery is yet another of Oprah’s Favorite Things. This mountain of caramel, pecans, and layered spiced apples weighs 10 lbs and is 9-inches tall. This picture doesn’t do it justice, and you’ll need to remove a rack from your oven to fit this frozen thing in.

Shipped anywhere in the country through Foody Direct, the Levee High Apple Pie is one of the most impressive desserts you’ll ever bring to a party. Since you get to bake it in your own oven, nobody has to know you didn’t make it 😉

Whether you admit where it came from or not, apple pie is as American as it gets (and on too many levels, thanks to Jason Biggs’ Trumping of an apple pie in American Pie), and so is blowing things up to insane proportions. The Levee High Apple Pie should be named the official pie of 2017.

We Take the Cake Key Lime Bundt Cake ($28)

We Take the Cake Fudge Cake

You’re absolutely correct – that’s about the furthest thing from a lime bundt cake pictured above. It’s actually a chocolate layered cake, but still one from We Take the Cake, a Fort Lauderdale, FL-based mail-order bakery. And while the cake wasn’t bad, it was a bit too thick for any of our tastes.

What we did enjoy, however, was the key lime bundt cake from We Take the Cake, though I managed not to take a decent pic of it, so it got replaced by this picture of their chocolate cake.

Apple pie is what we associate with Americana, it originates in Western Europe. What Americans did invent is key lime pie, and, although our key limes actually come from Mexico, Texas, California, and Central/South America in addition to Florida, we’ll always associate the flavor with the state (it’s even named after the Florida Keys).

Grand Traverse Pie Company Pies ($20-$30/pie)Humble Pie Grand Traverse Fruit Pie

In my town, Village Inn is the only place to get a decent pie. It’s a shame really, because those pies aren’t really reminiscent of a true American diner pie. This Michigan-based bakery offers the best shipped pies I’ve had. From Wayne Hill Cherry Ganache and Bourbon Pecan to Apple Honey and Michigan ABC (Apple, Blueberry, Cherry), Grand Traverse uses Michigan’s finest ingredients to bake America’s best pies.

What makes them so good is they take relatively basic and well-known recipes and make them fantastic. The crust is also an important factor in a great pie, and this flaky crust is the perfect texture, baked to the perfect consistency, and has the right croissant-like flavor to compliment the flavors contained within.

Regardless of what type of pie you’re into (cream, fruit, etc.), Grand Traverse has at least one of the top 10 you’ve ever had in your life. I can’t account for the bias towards the pie your parents or grandparents made, but you’ll certainly not be disappointed with your pie purchase here.



Dr. Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. You can find his work in Cracked, High Times, HuffPost, Lifewire, Forbes, Fast Company, and dozens of other places, although much of it is no longer under his name. Dr. Penny loves annoying fake media.

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