Best All-American Desserts

Peach Cobbler and Pecan Pie at Phat Matt's BBQ

You can keep your crepes Suzette, sacher torte, tiramisu, and gooseberry fool; when it comes to dessert we'll take the simply soul-satisfying sweets of the American South any day. Two top examples of this crowded genre are peach cobbler and pecan pie, and coincidentally enough the best local versions of each are both served at Phat Matt's, a barbecue joint on a gritty corner of Oakland. Their cobbler stars the sort of sweet, ripe peaches that leave a dribble of juice running down your chin, topped off with a moist, buttery crumble that adds just a bit of crunch to the luscious fruit. And the house pecan pie is unlike any you'll ever experience: The kitchen employs brown sugar in the filling instead of corn syrup, so you end up with something approaching a big, buttery Louisiana praline wrapped in a pastry shell. The Texas brisket and the pulled pork are pretty damned good, too.

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