Monday, May 1, 2017

Chicago Pie: Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

Chocolate Pecan and Blue-barb.
As a lover of pie and annual host of a Pi(e) Day party, I often seek out the best bakers of round pastry. In my own city, there is no lack of notable stops. Last year, I began a series covering the wonder that is Chicago pie, starting with Hoosier Mama and First Slice. Here’s the last of the Big Three.

• • •

If asked which of Chicago Pie’s Big Three is my favorite, I’ll likely say Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits. Unlike the other two, I can always rely on something I haven’t tried yet from their rotating monthly menu of six pies, plus weekend specials. Why else might that be? Well...

Bang Bang’s Strawberry Rhubarb pie is the best slice of pie I’ve ever had. Ever. That is no small statement. Usually when I have Strawberry Rhubarb pie, I wonder why anyone would ever want to dilute the tang of rhubarb with the strawberry sweetness. Strawberries may be the perfect food, but rhubarb is a delicacy that one shouldn’t take for granted. But Bang Bang has created a pie in which both superior fruits shine brightly, the tang and the sweetness, neither diluted, both combining their forces into a Super Pie, the likes of which has never been seen before by man or beast. Let us thank our lucky stars for being born in the same time as this pie.

Example menu. It changes.
In general, I feel the main distinction Bang Bang has from its peers is its fruit pies. They use a flaky crust with lard in it, the best of their different crusts. It is glorious. Additionally, they tend to add a little somethin’, somethin’ to their fruit pies, like a drizzle of crème fraiche (as with the Strawberry-Rhubarb) or a lemon crumble topping (as with the Blue-barb pie…that’s blueberry-rhubarb). These extra touches make their already superior product stand out even more.

Bang Bang also does a good job on their chocolate pies. The Chocolate was a favorite when it was featured. It was dark chocolate pastry cream, chocolate french silk, whipped cream, chocolate cookie crust. A more oft-featured menu item is their Chocolate Pecan Pie, which is heavy on the pecans and has none of that overrated sweet jelly stuff. What they have instead is a dense maple sorghum filling, plus a chocolate chip or two in each bite.

Brisket biscuit.
Predictably, the biscuits that make up part of the business name are the best part of the savory menu, offered with a variety of toppings (candied bacon, collard greens, etc.) to turn a side item into its own feast. Bang Bang does offer two savory pies, but they are a bit of a let down; the buffalo chicken pie is really the exact same thing as the chicken pot pie, but with bleu cheese and hot sauce on top. But these are minor slights next to the rest of the menu.

Bang Bang may be my favorite in Chicago pie, but be sure to try Hoosier Mama and First Slice for yourself to decide which is your favorite.

No comments: