Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
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Susan's Restaurant. There's always a selection of pies available in the big case here. The strawberry cream is made seasonally from Arkansas berries; other good cream pies include peach, blueberry, blackberry and chocolate. 1440 W. Sunset Ave., Springdale. 479-751-1445. 6 a.m.-2 p.m. daily.
Atkin's Blue Diamond Cafe. Classic buttery meringue sitting on top of a nice rich custard in a crisp blind-baked flour crust. 1800 E. Harding, Morrilton. 501-354-4253.10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Sat.
Jenny Lind Country Cafe. You have to know where you're going to get to this quaint little cafe in the middle of nowhere, but it's worth it. There you'll have half a dozen pies each day until they are gone. The Chocolate Joy is mythically rare; it's usually gone before breakfast. 2655 Gate Nine Road, Jenny Lind. 501-996-1099. 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Thu.-Fri., 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
Lewis Family Restaurant. Everything comes homemade at this place, and the pies are no exception. Light, sweet coconut-perforated meringue hugs a coconut flake-heavy honey-tinged custard in a blind-baked flour crust. The chess pie is righteous, too. 5901 Hwy 71 S, Fort Smith. 479-646-4309. 6 a.m.-3 p.m. daily.
Lucy's Diner. Crave great pie 24 hours a day? You'll get it at Lucy's, where almost every good pie has a hand-piped whipped cream topping. The coconut is mellow, just like the clientele. 4605 Towson Ave., Fort Smith. 479-646-1000. 24 hours daily.
Cherry Crisp, Chocolate
Miss Ann's on Towson. Formerly Goodson's on Towson, the place has changed its name but not its attitude or its sweethearted personnel. The pies are still tremendous, and the Cherry Crisp is phenomenal. Miss Ann's also packs more chocolate than possible into a pie with chocolate custard, chocolate shavings, chocolate chips and Hershey's Kisses in a cookie crust. 5001 Towson Ave., Fort Smith. 479-649-6300.10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Mon., 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Tue.-Sat.
Pecan Cream Cheese, German Chocolate,Tollhouse
Red Rooster Bistro / Kountry Express Truck Stop. So many pies, they can't be contained in one location. The folks who run the Red Rooster Bistro also run the Dyer Truck Stop, and they offer several of their 40-some-odd pies each day at each location. The Pecan Cream Cheese is creamy and substantial, while the German Chocolate is the perfect mix cake and pie. The Tollhouse might as well be a lovely cookie. Pie heaven. 221 Hwy 71 N, Alma. 479-430-7518. 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m Tue.-Sat., 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun; 1107 Georgia Ridge Drive, Dyer. 479-997-1917.
Chocolate Bourbon Pecan
Ralph's Pink Flamingo BBQ. A bourbon-soaked pie that tastes like the Pillsbury Doughboy decked Jim Beam, then made nice with an offering of chocolate chips. The extra caramel-bourbon drizzle is welcome. 2801 Old Greenwood Road, Fort Smith. 479-642-7247. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Tue.-Wed. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Thu.-Sat.
Rita's. The main restaurant in tiny Hector turns out all sorts of goodies; cream cheese tinted with lemon zest makes this pie light, bright and refreshing. 10894 Hwy. 27, Hector. 479-284-3000. 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.
Sweet Treats. Great pies and a single daily special are tops on the menu at this Lamar lunchroom. This particular pie tastes as if a pecan pie mated with a burnt sugar pie; the praline flavor and texture wins out. 5 Main St., Lamar. 479-647-0133. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Turtle Brownie Pie
Cafe 1217. Diane Bratton's creations always delight. This fantastic cheesecake-textured pie tastes exactly like the best brownie you never had. 1217 Malvern Ave., Hot Springs. 501-318-1094. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat.
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