Magnificent Maple

If you're looking to pick up pies or baked goods for your Thanksgiving feast, it's worth checking out the offerings at the Little Bird Cafe in Queen Village, the new bakery from pastry chef Jessica Nolen, wife of Jeremy, the team behind Brahaus Schmitz and Whetsone Tavern. From classic apple pie and brownies to her specialties of lemon meringue cheesecake and apple strudel, she offers a large variety of sweets as well as savories. We especially loved her maple custard pie, with a rich and creamy maple filling we couldn't stop eating. Pre-orders are recommended for the holidays.

- Maureen Fitzgerald
Maple custard pie, $35, serves up to 6 people, at the Little Bird Cafe, 517 S. 5th St.; 267-519-2312.

Good and gluten free

The holidays are especially tough for those who can't tolerate wheat in their diet. But these snacks from Gratify are surprisingly good replacements. Your guests, gluten-free and not, will be happy to have them among the dessert offerings. The dark chocolate- and peppermint-covered pretzels were top rated by the office staff.

- M.F.
Gratify Gluten free pretzels, $4.99 for a 5.5 ounce bag, at Shop Rite and Giant supermarkets, also on