The Ultimate: Pecan Pie

Conventional wisdom has it that the only pecan pies worth tasting are baked down south. But Blue Ribbon Bar-B-Q has a little something to say about that. This barbecue joint’s pecan pie features a firm yet flaky shell (punched up with a dash of salt and pre-baked for nuttier flavor) cradling a dense, not overly sugary filling with a rich caramel taste. And the nuts? You’ll find big, beautiful ones crumbled generously throughout, as well as layered on top with a dollop of whipped cream. 1375 Washington St., West Newton, 617-332-2583; 908 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 781-648-7427; blueribbonbbq.com. 

The Runners-Up:
**** Redbones
Dark and rich with a decadent brown-butter flavor. 55 Chester St., Somerville, 617-628-2200, redbones.com.

 ***1/2 Petsi Pies
The thick filling and whole pecans? Loved ‘em. The slightly tough crust? Not so much.
285 Beacon St., Somerville, 617-661-7437; 31 Putnam Ave., Cambridge, 617-499-0801; petsipies.com.

*** Tatte
Too nontraditional to claim the crown, its buttery, cookielike shortbread base is still worth sampling. 1003 Beacon St., Brookline, 617-232-2200, tattecookies.com.

* Village Smokehouse
Gooey (and pecan-starved) filling and an odd smoky aftertaste—one bite’s enough. One Harvard St., Brookline, 617-566-3782; 98 Middle St., Lowell, 978-441-2278; villagesmokehouse.com.