If you’re a Chicagoland native or just passing thru, Bang Bang Pie Shop is a great stop for a slice of pie, a biscuit and jam or a great cup of coffee. They produce three flavors of pie daily with flavors changing every few weeks. They are exquisitely produced with the freshest of ingredients and contain a large dose of value-added love. You feel it in the vibe when you walk in. Seating indoors can accommodate 15-20 and outdoors for the summer months, the large backyard can easily seat an additional 50 pie lovers. There’s even fire pits for the fall and early spring pie seasons!
I was driving around Chicago minding my own business recently when my GPS guided me right to the front door. The coordinates I was seeking were Pear Brandy Mince by Eggnog Cream! This Pear Brandy Mince Pie is one of the best pies I have ever had. It’s the proverbial bait on the end of the hook! Pears, apples, raisins, cranberries and a few other fruits are cooked down with their own natural juices and a variety of holiday spices, i.e., cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, orange, etc. The resulting fruit sauce is the perfect compliment to the sweetened fruit. It’s all loaded into a lard leaf, house made pie crust and topped with a pecan oat crumble. The fruit is intoxicating, as it’s been soaked in brandy and then cooked down into the aforementioned sauce, while still maintaining slight crispness. I would rate this pie as a perfect 10…an A+…two scores which I dole out on a very infrequent basis. As I had just finished three Banh Mi sandwiches from Saigon Sisters, I took another flavor of pie to go!
Vegetarian by using a graham cracker crust, the Eggnog custard is topped with a crushed orange brittle, which after bathing in the generous display of fresh whipped cream, took on a consistency all it’s own. Again, a great piece of pie…not a perfect 10 but a great eight!
I’ve been a big fan of Bang Bang for a few years, ever since they opened the brick and mortar shop, after gaining fame via the food truck method! I do need to mention the biscuits, which I did not sample on this visit, but I have had on numerous occasions. First, they are not Southern style in that they are bigger and made in small batches of six per tin. They have a slight exterior crust, but are soft and buttery in the middle. They make their own jams and create unusual butters, often mixing various herbs and spices into the butters. On my most recent visit, it was pumpkin butter. The jams have been out of sight, with every known berry on the planet called into action at one time or the other.
It’s a small menu – three pies, occasionally one savory pie, biscuits, jams and butters and great coffee and tea. That’s it, except for the occasional candy bacon. Brown sugar coated bacon is oven roasted to sweet and crunchy perfection! So good, so little of it! Most times it’s sold out, as oven space is at a premium in this little storefront.
As of May 1, 2014, Bang Bang has undergone some changes! First and foremost, owners Dave and Megan Miller have left to start their own bake shop featuring in-house milled grains and it is scheduled to open late summer of 2014. Staying behind is original partner Michael Ciapciak who has done some menu modifications.
There are now six sweet pies available daily – two fruit, two chocolate and two cream, plus one savory pie selection. The biscuit section has also seen an increase with several breakfast combinations joining the already delicious butters and jams. Candied bacon, savory sausages, smoked collard greens, house made hot sauce, sawmill gravy and several other selections can be combined along with eggs for a great breakfast biscuit menu!
The lines seem to indicate that quality remains high, so much so that there is talk of a Bang Bang II!!!