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Fisherman's Wharf. Made the old-fashioned way, this graham cracker crust is packed with a creamy yet slightly tart rendition of a good key lime filling. 5101 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501- 525-7437. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.
Sweet Potato, Almond Streussel
Java Primo. A dense, thickly packed sweet potato pie, with syrup and almonds. Best for cold weather. 4429 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-318-9789. 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri., 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat..
Caramel Apple Nut
Mama Max's. Choosing a great pie here is like shooting fish in a barrel — you just can't miss. This crispy, crusted pecan-packed apple pie would be a winner without the caramel; with it, it's perfection. 1102 W. Main, Prescott. 870-887-5005. 10 a.m.-8 p.m Wed.-Sat.., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun.
Red Oak Fillin Station. A convenience store and gas station with excellent pie? You betcha. This ambrosia-like pie takes marshmallow fluff, coconut flakes and pineapple bits and combines them into the perfect summertime pie. 2169 Carpenter Dam Road, Hot Springs. 501-262-0400. 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Sun.
Rolando's. Here you'll find a double-layered Key Lime custard atop a thick graham cracker crust drizzled with raspberry syrup and smacked with whipped cream. So tart, so sweet. 210 Central Ave., Hot Springs. 501-318-6054. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
Shangri-La Resort. Mrs. Carr has been getting up at 3 a.m. each morning for decades; she makes apple, peach, cherry and several meringue pies each and every day. The resort is closed for the winter but will reopen February 1. 975 Shangri Lane, Mount Ida. 501-867-2011. 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.
Lemon French Coconut
Zoe's. Dainty and refined, this delicate pie is packed with lemon-scented shaved coconut. Perfect for tea. 2230 Malvern Ave., Hot Springs. 501-321-2921. 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat.
Fayrays. The best part of this pie is at the bottom. Beneath the bourbon-soaked pecan custard lies a soft crust that tastes almost like phyllo dough and falls apart with a fork. 100 E. Elm, El Dorado. 870-863-4000. 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Black Bottom Pie
Colonial Steakhouse. Rum plus chocolate equals a magnificent pie, and the only one of this variety of heritage pie we've found in the state. 111 W. Eighth St., Pine Bluff. 870-536-3488, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Tue.-Sat.
Dew Baby's. The most perfect example of an egg custard we've ever experienced, with a firm texture and hand-rolled crust. Beautifully toasted on top. 813 E. Michigan, Stuttgart. 870-672-7333. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. Cash only.
Pecan, Sweet Potato Pecan Half-and-Halfs
Rhoda's Famous Hot Tamales. You can get a regular slice of pecan pie if you order ahead, but even better are the little tarts they serve up at lunch with that perfect pecan filling. Sweet potato and chocolate meringue are also awesome, as are the sweet potato pecan half-and-halfs. 714 Saint Mary St., Lake Village. 870-265-3108. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Mon.-Sat. Cash only.
I'd just like to add my kudos to the chorus of compliments for the author…
That last line is a tough one.
Thank you, Roy, from one of your former students.
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