Eating pie is, admittedly, not the most arduous of assignments. But picking a few favorites among the many standouts we tried is.
Here's a ranking of our top six. Tell us who you think is the lord of the pies by posting a comment below this story, and voting in our poll to the left.
1 Mudea's Sweet Potato Pie, Miz. G's House of Pies, Bedford: This was close, but Gazetta Anderson's tribute to her grandmother's sweet-potato pie -- sweet, creamy, with just a hint of spice -- was transcendent. For now, Miz. G's is an online and by-phone business, but Anderson hopes to have a storefront open in 2013. We'll be first in line.
2 Chocolate chess pie, Sugar & Frosting, Keller: From the cracked-brownie-like top to the rich-without-being-cloying flavor, S&F's chess pie is one of the best chocolate experiences we've ever had.
3 The Drunken Nut, Emporium Pies, Dallas: This recently opened Oak Cliff spot is trying to raise the pie game with unusual fillings and offbeat crusts, but this fairly traditional twist on pecan pie -- with a bourbon-laced filling -- is its most popular. And no wonder; the pecans are slightly sweet and strongly crunchy, and, yes, you can taste the bourbon, which gets even more flavorful when you leave the pie at room temperature for a while. (The Smooth Operator, a French silk pie with a pretzel crust, was also good.)
4 Buttermilk pie, Texas Harvest Pie Company, Keller: The buttermilk is listed under "classic pies" at this charming Old Town Keller lunch-and-dessert place, and it was indeed classic with its sweetness and melt-in-your mouth texture. Pies are available by the slice here, and we've never been disappointed.
5 Sour cherry pie (5-inch size), Black Rooster Bakery, Fort Worth: Just the right mix of sweetness and tartness, with a beautifully executed lattice topping -- pretty traditional but very pleasing from a neighborhood bakery that always has an array of mouthwatering desserts in its pastry case. Sandwiches are good, too.
6 Chocolate-chili pie, Stir Crazy Baked Goods, Fort Worth: Robbie Werner told us her favorite among her pies is the apple-cranberry, but we rolled the dice on this adventurous offering, which was divisive: Some of us (including me) loved the combo of sweet and spicy, while others found the spicy side overwhelming. Wimps.