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Fried pies

The Dwarf House, the Varsity and JCT Kitchen

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The Dwarf House: This quirky, Southern landmark is the original home of the Chick-fil-A empire, and still serves the original 1946 menu crafted by S. Truett Cathy before he launched the now famous chicken sandwich. If there is fried pie perfection, it exists here. Deep-fried half-moons of lard-based dough come in an array of choices such as gooey, nutmeg-laced sweet potato, autumny apple, or the peachiest peach you've ever tasted. 461 Central Ave., Hapeville, 404-762-1746; and other metro Atlanta locations. www.chick-fil-a.com.

The Varsity: While many could argue this institution has had its day, there is still plenty of nostalgia to go around, as well as some items worth ordering – most notably the fried pies. More than 5,000 freshly fried apple and peach pies are made every day using an old family recipe. Each pie arrives tucked into a brightly colored paper bag with old-school lettering. Like anything fried, you are bound to see a few grease spots appear on the bag, but that's just part of the charm. 61 North Ave., 404-881-1706; and other metro Atlanta locations. www.thevarsity.com.

JCT Kitchen & Bar: Chef Ford Fry takes the fried pie upscale at his popular New Southern restaurant on the Westside. Fry starts with a butter and lard-based dough, which he then fills with a bitter Valrhona chocolate pot de crème before frying it to a golden brown. The cutesy pies are plated with a scoop of homemade bananas foster ice cream and a silky brown butter and caramel sauce. 1198 Howell Mill Road, Suite 18. 404-355-2252. www.jctkitchen.com.

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