Double R Diner
Double R Diner is prominently featured in the ABC version of Twin Peaks, the feature film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and the Showtime version of Twin Peaks. This is in not related to the actual Twede’s Café where David Lynch received his inspiration.
Pie is a part of small town life. Coffee is too. They are a better couple than pie and ice cream or pie and American cheese. Coffee doesn’t need cream and sugar when there is pie by its side. And the pies are the quintessential sweeteners at Double R Diner. It’s in the North Bend, Washington vicinity roughly 40 minutes outside of Seattle and 20 minutes from the nearest ski resort.
Eerie is the best word to describe the setting inside. Locals feel at home, but passerbies have mixed emotions until they rest their glutes across from the Formica counter. The northwest is home to many pie places, but only Double R features all varieties of Washington’s cherries: Chelan, Cowich, Kiona, Selah, and Tieton.
The door swings open and the good tunes from the jukebox pull you in. Most restaurants and bars have an eclectic and new age Spotify or Pandora mix. The jukebox at this joint sticks with spinning 45s. Willie Nelson’s, “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” plays. Booger Red’s tracks adorn much of the machine. People frequent Double R just for this.
Sure, there are other things on the menu. It’s a diner after all where one can order large portions of breakfast all day long including stacks of flying saucer sized lumberjack pancakes. They have an omelet that’s hit and miss too.
It’s a rarity for people to order the aforementioned. They yell for pie and coffee right when they walk in. The cherry is exactly what a cherry pie tastes like. Double R puts equal time in the crust as the fruit filling. The pie dough is all about the consistency of the butter. Make a piecrust with tepid or almost warm butter; the dough will be sweet flat bread. Ice-cold butter makes a flaky crust, and this crust is flakier than biscuits. Double R tells you which cherries are picked and placed into the pie, but it really doesn’t matter, all cherries from Washington in the summer are scrumptious. A slice is $2.50.
The cherry pie is consistent. There’s only a few times Double R changes it. The cherry and almond pie is the pastry version of a Manhattan only without the booze. The cherry and vanilla is like eating a platter of tableside cherry’s jubilee in a piecrust. A cherry and goat cheese plate is a special on the entrée menu. It’s a fresh take on the caprese salad.
Eight hundred cherry pies are sold a year. That’s enough to keep the lights on. The sales to the berry pies contributes to the owner’s vacation fund.
Black Gold is Double R’s huckleberry. The dough is a touch different than the dough used for the cherry. Apple cider vinegar keeps the dough soft. There’s a bit more that goes into the filling. A thickening agent such as cornstarch or tapioca mix keeps it intact. Orange zest fragments perk up the beginning and end of each bite. Whip cream garnishes the top.
The oatmeal cookie streusel covering the lingonberry is the reason why it’s ordered.
The last pie worth mentioning is the snazzberry, a play off of a scene featured in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It’s not as disgusting as it sounds. The ingredients are a combination of the left over berries and cherries from Double R’s pickings. It tends to usually be a mixture of blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry.
Coffee is localized. Washington is known to be the coffee capital of the US, but Double R doesn’t brag about it. As of late, Double R buys their beans from Pioneer Coffee Roasting Company. It’s smooth and flavorful and never tastes like instant no matter how long it stagnates on the pot. The breakfast blend is exactly what it’s meant for, the house blend is the go to, and the Sumatra is poured whenever the waitresses have a good day.
Double R is a white place. That’s not on purpose. The majority of Washington’s population is Caucasian. Two pay phones hang in the back. Calls are still 25 cents.
People who live near Double R Diner tend not to leave. Though they’re close to the Silicon Valley of the Northwest, they feel they’re a million miles from it. They blame their thoughts, feelings, and emotions on the pie. It must be laced with something.
Double R Diner
ATMOSPHERE: Quiet and calm diner filled with 30-70 year-olds, who feel comfortable to speak their minds and gossip once pie and coffee is in front of their traps.
SERVICE: Quaint and hospitable. Ma and Pa ran, they attend to the regulars, family, and friends a little more than the stranger from out of town. The baby blue uniforms the waitresses where are a nice touch.
SOUND LEVEL: Piano. It’s a rarity for a customer to yell or eavesdrop but when one does, no one minds it.
RECOMMENDED: Cherry Pie and Coffee
DRINKS AND WINE: Coke, Milk Shakes, Coffee, the usual
PRICES: $2.50 for a slice. $1.75 for a cup of coffee. Entrée’s run between $4-$12. Whole pies are not for sale.
OPEN: 7 days a week from 6am-10pm
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes
Restrooms: Separate men’s and women’s. One holder’s each.
Smoking: Outside only