What is banana cream pie besides my most favorite pie in the universe? Just a combination of four of the best things on Earth: buttery pie crust, bananas, thick vanilla pudding, and a heavy dose of fluffy whipped cream. That's a little piece of stomach-crushing heaven right there.
I once went to Billy's Bakery for dessert after eating dinner at Grand Sichuan with Kathy. Despite that we felt like our stomachs were going to explode and/or burn away from stuffing ourselves with hot Sichuanese food, we proceeded to dig into a hulking slice of their banana cream pie. The plastic plate it came on was barely strong enough to support the pie's heft. Each forkful of crust, banana chunk, creamy vanilla pudding and freshly whipped cream that we swallowed was like a stab to our digestives systems, but the combination was too perfect to resist. Sometimes you just have to eat through the pain.
On that note, I would never eat that banana pie again after gorging on oil and garlic sauce-laden eggplant and spicy double cooked pork. It would be more appropriate as a post-salad dessert. Or hell, it could be a meal on its own.
For a less masochistic banana cream pie-eating experience, Veselka makes individual (although enough to satisfy two people) banana cream pies. The crust is cookie-like instead of flaky, and the filling is mostly banana with a light layer of pudding. If you have an insatiable craving for banana cream pie at 4 in the morning, you're in luck—Veselka is open 24 hours a day.
If you have a favorite place for banana cream pie in New York City, let me know. As long as I have my 22-year old metabolism, I'm going to (ab)use it.