The apples in the filling are crisp, the spicing pitch-perfect, the crust reasonably flaky at unpretentious but agreeable Tony’s Southern Comfort, and the restaurant’s smooth, firm sweet-potato pie is equally worthy of a slice. And don’t overlook the peach cobbler, plenty sweet, with cinnamony crusts on top and bottom and made by Tony’s mother, Rossie. It’s hard to obey the rule to never eat anything larger than your head when faced with the monumental dessert portions at Dot’s Place, including an irresistible yam pie and a deliriously sweet peach cobbler with a fabulous crust. Ordinarily, a too-sweet, gooey confection like the peach cobbler at big, rambling Threadgill’s wouldn’t qualify, but its crust—thick but tender, covered in cinnamon-sugar-nutmeg crumbles—is just amazing.
Casa Linda Cafeteria, gay in pink and green and flooded with sunlight through big windows, sets the local standard for pies. The firm chess is ultrasweet and naturally egg-yellow; blessedly served just cooler than room temperature, it has flavor you can truly taste. The flaky-crusted caramel-nut pie has deep brown-sugar flavor and is topped with a cloud of meringue and scattered with chopped pecans. The amount of butter and sugar in each bite of the chess pie at Vern’s Place, a cozy little dive in the shadow of Fair Park, means serious time on the treadmill later, but you’ll never regret your decision to