Top 5 Brownies in Houston

Brownies, like chocolate chip cookies, seem so simple - yet why is it that so many places screw them up? There are mediocre brownies aplenty in H-town (believe me, I've done my research) but truly excellent brownies are few and far between. Here are five that make the cut:

5. Pot Brownie (Freebird's World Burrito). This brownie has come a long way since I first tried it in 2011. Once only meh-tasting, the Pot Brownie now has a more pronounced semi-sweet chocolate flavor and a moister texture. Still present is the dusting of chocolate chips, which provide lovely little bursts of cocoa, just in case, you know, you forgot you were eating a brownie.

4. Walnut Fudge Brownie (Michael's Cookie Jar). I usually don't like nuts in my baked goods, but I make an exception for Michael's brownie, which is made with two types of chocolate and topped with slightly salted walnuts. As an added bonus, these walnut fudge brownies are also sold at the Sundance Cinema.

3. Red Velvet Brownie (Great American Cookies). This chain needs to change its name to Great American Brownie because the Red Velvet Brownie is better than all their cookies combined. Rich ruby red cake is sandwiched between a cocoa crumb base and a thick layer of cream cheese icing. Eat one and you should be done; eat four and you'll still want more.

2. Crack Brownie (Pink's Pizza). There might actually be crack in this brownie, it tastes that good. Oh wait, it's actually just an inner layer of creamy peanut butter that makes this milk chocolaty brownie spectacular. Put that in your pipe smoke it, Betty Crocker!

1. Sara's Brownie a la Mode (Barnaby's). Sara, I don't know you, but I love you. Your brownie is unbelievably dense, moist, and over-the-top in dark chocolate flavor. t doesn't need vanilla ice cream; vanilla ice cream needs this brownie.

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