With autumn’s color in full bloom, it’s a great time to strike out and explore Arkansas’ highways and byways. And like every day, today is a great day for pie.
Story and photos by Kat Robinson
[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y travels take me all over Arkansas — and my love of pie takes me into bakeries, diners, truck stops and full-scale restaurants everywhere I go. There are so many good pies to talk about. Here are some you should search out when you’re on your scenic drive.
Chris DeVito’s double-apple pie in homemade pastry is one of the finest apple pies you’ll encounter in the state. Since every pie is made seasonally, the two apples differ from month to month, so the pie you get this month will be different from the one you encounter next spring.
350 DeVitos Loop North, Harrison, AR 72601 • (870) 741-8832 • devitosrestaurant.com
Half Sweet Potato, Half Pecan
Rhoda’s Famous Hot Tamales and Pies
Rhoda Adams still bakes an incredible soul-food style sweet potato pie — creamy, down-home and earthy — but what’s even better is getting it side-by-side in a single pie pan with local pecans and pecan syrup custard. This pleases everyone.
714 Saint Mary Street, Lake Village, AR 71653 • (870) 265-3108
Fork and Crust
A new favorite, this airy whipped pink delight atop a thick raspberry coulis delights with tart and sweet at the same time – plus, it’s just a gorgeous pie. Order cold milk while you’re at it.
5208 West Village Parkway #11, Rogers, AR 72758 • (479) 268-6634 • forkandcrust.com
Charlotte’s Eats and Sweets
Known far and wide for coconut meringue, it’s the unusual burnt-sugar custard that’s the unheralded star at this famous- yet-humble storefront that’s only open for lunch.
290 Main Street, Keo, AR 72046 • (501) 842-2123
Williams’ Tavern Restaurant
Historic Washington State Park near Hope
This lower Arkansas delicacy almost disappeared before being brought back by the heritage restaurant at Historic Washington State Park. Created from a squash grown in many Arkansas gardens, the cushaw pie is a lightly spiced cross between the earthy sweet potato and the lush and rich pumpkin pie flavor.
105 Carroll Street, Washington, AR 71862 • (870) 983-2890 • historicwashingtonstatepark.com
Bourbon Chocolate Chunk Pecan
Hearty chunks of molten chocolate cradle bourbon-soaked pecans in a sugar-syrup custard at this farm-to-table edifice on the city’s south side. Always served with fresh fruit and ice cream, as such a good pie should be. My personal favorite.
481 South School Avenue, Fayetteville, AR 72701 • (479) 444-8909 greenhousegrille.com
The Wooden Spoon
Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries are brought together and rendered into a hot, bubbling filling for the sugar cookie crusted pies at this Northwest Arkansas farmhouse. Ice cream is a must.
1000 South Gentry Boulevard, Gentry, AR 72734 • (479) 736-3030 woodenspoongentry.com
Old-Fashioned Fried Chocolate Pie
Batten’s Donuts and Bakery
A singular treat not found at any other Arkansas restaurant, this pie was originally made by Bridgette Batten’s grandmother. When heated and ensconced in dough, the combination of cocoa, butter and confectioners sugar becomes a firm yet lush reminder of desserts past.
1735 Paragould Plaza, Paragould, AR 72450 • (870) 236-7810 • facebook.com/battensbakery
Peach Cream Cheese
As cute as the teal and white house where it’s served, sweet-tart slices of Arkansas-grown peaches are spread across mildly sweetened cream cheese filling — a taste of summer in every bite.
401 High Street, Leslie, AR 72645 • (870) 447-2354 • facebook.com/SkylarkCafeLeslie
Chocolate Fudge Brownie
Like a brownie and a pie all merged into one, this decadently rich slice even bears a top made-from-the-baking crust that breaks just like a good brownie should. Get it with Loblolly caramel ice cream.
315 North Bowman Road #14, Little Rock, AR 72211 • (501) 613-7950 myhoneypies.com
Miss Anna’s on Towson
Not your average cherry
cream cheese pie, this version on a classic sandy bottom crust (flour, butter and pecan) has an especially sweet and tart cream cheese filling under a layer of stewed cherries. A crowd pleaser.
5001 Towson Avenue, Fort Smith, AR 72901 • (479) 649-6300 missannasontowson.com
Hillbilly Hideout (inside the I-40 Travel Center)
A relatively new pie, this restaurant creation is a cousin to the possum pie (see Stoby’s). Atop its graham cracker crust, you’ll find a thick blueberry-laden syrup between two layers of smooth vanilla custard, all topped with whipped cream. Best pie available 24 hours a day in the state.
3202 Pence Lane, Ozark, AR 72949 • (479) 667-0711
Stoby’s Restaurant (and PattiCakes Bakery)
Conway and Russellville
One of the best versions of this creation, and it’s a pie found all over Arkansas. The pie gets its name from the expression “playin’ possum,” and it consists of chocolate custard between cream cheese and whipped cream layers on a sandy bottom crust.
805 Donaghey Avenue, Conway, AR 72034 • (501) 327-5447 • stobys.com
405 West Parkway Drive, Russellville, AR 72801 • (479) 968-3816
A short but dense slice of buttery sweet potato drizzled with freshly whipped cream, the perfect end to a Delta meal, served at a revival of Wilson, Arkansas’ hometown restaurant.
2 N Jefferson Street, Wilson, AR 72395
(870) 655-0222 • eatatwilson.com
Lindsey’s Hospitality House
North Little Rock
The Lindseys may be better known for their sweet potato pies and their fried pies, but this nutmeg-enhanced custard is smooth, just sweet enough and perfect. Get a cup of coffee with this slice.
207 Curtis Sykes Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72114 • (501) 374-5707 • lindseysbbqnmore.com
Terri-Lynn’s BBQ and Deli
Long overlooked, Terri-Lynn does only two pies (the chocolate chess is also very worthy). You’d do yourself well to get this slightly salty, strongly sweetened pecan pie to finish off a meal of tamales.
10102 North Rodney Parham Road #2, Little Rock, AR 72227
(501) 227-6371 • terrilynns.com