If you find yourself between Memphis and Little Rock and you like pie, Ms. Lena’s needs to be #1 on the itinerary. It is an Arkansas treasure, and an American great. While the famous fried pies are now on hiatus, it is still worth a detour for chocolate pie, lemon ice box pie, coconut cream pie, sour cream apple pie, egg custard pie, etc. These are four-star, world-class excellent pies.
Their foremost virtue might be crust: nearly parchment-thin and yet savory and rich, brittle and falling into luxurious shards when bitten but substantial enough to offer a dreamy chew. Fillings are out of this world, all made from scratch, of course: apricot that is sunny and tart; apple that tastes like … apples, but soft and buttery; chocolate that is like the best chocolate pudding you’ve ever had; a curious autumn specialty called hunter’s pie that is chocolate and cherries blended with marshmallows that melt and give the chocolate a dreamy, creamy nature. Coconut, pecan, pumpkin-pecan (around Halloween) are some of the others we found when we stopped in the third week of October.
There is no indoor seating at Ms. Lena’s. Customers get pies or individual slices to go, or simply stand around in the parking lot eating pie off the tailgate. To find out if and when it is open and which pies are available, check out Ms. Lena’s Facebook page, which is scrupulously kept up to date.