The Ultimate: Pecan Pie

By Brittany Jasnoff | Boston Magazine |

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; 

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

 ***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;

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

* 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;

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