Levee High

The town of Kimmswick on the Mississippi River has suffered many floods but is still quaint, with 1840s houses, gift shops and craft shops, and my neighbor treated me to a hearty homemade lunch there at The Blue Owl, a historic country tearoom that grew into a gingham restaurant that never forgot it evolved from a bakery — and to this day produces the Levee-High Apple Pie, which makes the “normal” pies surrounding it seem like rice cakes by comparison. The Christmas-cookie tray (not shown; it’s too many calories to even look at) also had a major wow factor. The Blue Owl keeps country hours, closing at 3 (that’s p.m.!) on weekdays and at 5 on Saturday and Sunday; closed Mondays. Currently it’s got nice Christmas decorations. Order a slice of Levee-High Apple Pie and half a pound of sliced apples collapses onto your plate. Nowadays when they say “as American as apple pie,” they mean this one.