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Top 5 Restaurant Pecan Pies to Try in Houston

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Pie is good. Pecans are good. When these forces combine, you have a pie that's all American. (Forgot apple -- the British invented that -- and pecans, didn't ya know, are the only nut native to the United States?). So on July 12, wave your flag and eat some pecan pie. Here are five restaurant varieties to try on National Pecan Pie Day:

5. Raw Vegan Pecan Pie (Pat Greer's Vegan Kitchen). Don't judge a dessert by its title or its unconventional presentation (i.e., lack of circumference crust). Pat Greer's vegan pecan pie is good. Not "good for a vegan pie," just good. "Rawsome," in fact.

4. Cinnamon Pecan Pie (Dacapo's Pastry Cafe). Jerry Seinfeld said it best: "Cinnamon. It should be on tables in restaurants along with salt and pepper. Anytime someone says, 'Ooh, this is so good -- what's in this?' the answer invariably comes back, "cinnamon." Cinnamon. Again and again." One slice of DaCapo's pie and you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.

3. Texas Pecan Pie (Gabby's BBQ). No tricks, no gimmicks, just a flaky butter crust, rich pecan "jam," a top layer of sugared nuts and a dollop of whipped cream. Eat a piece now and order and freeze a whole pie for Thanksgiving.

2. Mini Pecan Pie (Mighty Sweet Mini Pies). If your pie priorities are crust, first, pecans, second, then you gotta go for the miniature pecan pies at Mighty Sweet Mini Pies. The crust-to-filling ratio is in your favor, plus their smaller size makes it more justifiable to eat the whole thing in one sitting.

1. Texas Pecan Fudge Pie (House of Pies). The regular pecan pie at House of Pies is very good, but with the infusion of rich, cement-thick chocolate fudge, it transforms into the absolutely Transcendent Texas Pecan Fudge Pie. (Caps are necessary for emphasis.) The owners' claim that they use only "large" pecan halves in the construction of this pie is patently true; so much so, in fact, that I suspect they've cultivated an orchard of super-sized-pecan trees.

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