With the exception of the Pie Shop at Terry’s, these folks need a couple days’ notice if you want to buy a whole pie. We figured volume because we wanted to include pi in our pie. Volume figures are a tiny bit fudged, given that none of the pies were cylinders.

Lemon icebox pie


Big Orange, 379-8715

$32 per pie, $6 per slice


A top vote-getter by the Times‘ taste-testers, nicely lemony with a whipped cream topping instead of meringue (a plus with one of the testers) and a graham cracker crust, which gives any pie an advantage. Don’t drink with sauvignon blanc, however, or you’ll have a hard time tasting the lemon.

Aesthetics: The orange zest on the top added a nice touch.


Volume: A bit less than 113.5 cubic inches.

Coconut meringue

Charlotte’s Eats & Sweets, 842-2123


$26 per pie, $4.25 per slice

Winner of the highest meringue category at two and a half inches, this pie would have been better served before the rest, so delicate is its flavor. In fact, we’re sure of it. Don’t have a piece of lemon pie first. And here’s a hint: When you go to Charlotte’s, don’t wait until you’ve eaten your hamburger to order your pie, or you might be out of luck.

Aesthetics: Thanks to the meringue, described by one tester as “wicked,” this prize wins for looks.

Volume: A bit less than 270.4 cubic inches.

Peanut butter pie

Three Sam’s BBQ Joint, 407-0345

$20 per pie, $4 per slice

Testers liked the combo of chocolate and peanut butter in this creamy pie, heaped high and blanketed with peanuts. It got an “OMG” from one taster; another compared it favorably to a giant Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.


Aesthetics: A little over the top nut-wise.

Volume: A bit less than 238.6 cubic inches (biggest pie tasted).

German chocolate pie

The Pie Shop at Terry’s Finer Foods, 663-4152

$32 per pie, $4 per slice

Is this a German chocolate pie with pecans? Or a pecan pie with German chocolate? One naysayer, the type who doesn’t color outside the lines, was bothered by the cross-cultural identity of this pie. Naysayer was shot down in a hail of derision, however. The pecans were praised.

Aesthetics: We could look chocolate in the face for a long time.

Volume: A bit less than 80.1 cubic inches.

Pecan pie

Franke’s Cafeteria, 225-4487 (Marketplace), 372-1919 (downtown)

$14.94 per pie, $2.69 per slice

This was the bargain pie, from the venerable Franke’s. It should be served hot, and if you are home, put a scoop of ice cream on it. Drawback: an undistinguished crust.

Aesthetics: Ice cream makes everything beautiful.

Volume: A bit less than 85.1 cubic inches.

Raspberry cream pie

Trio’s Restaurant, 221-3330

$26 per pie, $6 per slice

Excellent cream filling and graham cracker crust, rather than the raspberries, made this pie a standout. (But if strawberries are in season, get the strawberry shortcake instead at Trio’s. Outstanding.)

Aesthetics: Wayne Thiebaud.

Volume: A bit less than 75.39 cubic inches (smallest pie tasted).

Caramel apple cinnamon crumb

Pie Hole food truck, 712-6366

$27 per pie, $4.50 per slice

Pockets of crunchy caramelized sugar cinnamon plus apple plus pie crust … such cries of pleasure one never heard in a newsroom. This pie was so delicious that its appearance — the color of dog food — was completely forgiven.

Aesthetics: Ol’ Roy, but smelling great.

Volume: A bit less than 143.1 cubic inches.