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  • Key lime, triple berry,

  • and chocolate graham cracker are just some

  • of the hundreds of flavors made from scratch

  • at Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits in Chicago.

  • Customer: I've heard they're some of the best

  • pies in Chicago.

  • Customer: I don't think it gets any better than

  • biscuits and pie.

  • Narrator: Bang Bang Pie has been serving comfort food

  • to the Logan Square neighborhood for eight years

  • and has gained a local reputation for its delicious food

  • and warm hospitality.

  • Even during the pandemic,

  • it often has a line stretching around the block.

  • Customer: I actually just moved into the area.

  • This is one of the first places that I went to,

  • 'cause it is adorable,

  • and also I just tried the pie once,

  • and it was delicious.

  • Michael Ciapciak: Having a focus on pie and biscuits,

  • it's kind of like guests come here happy.

  • Narrator: The starting point of Bang Bang's famous pies

  • is the crust.

  • Chelsea Gerdeman: The crust should contribute something.

  • It's gotta be the perfect balance of flaky and tender.

  • You can actually see the pieces of butter in here.

  • And when that bakes, the butter is gonna melt,

  • and the steam that comes out of it

  • is gonna give it a little rise,

  • and that's gonna be a flake.

  • You want it sitting, like, right on the lip of the tin

  • so it doesn't fall over or shrink in when it bakes.

  • So, you wanna just be as gentle as you can

  • so it doesn't get stretched out at all.

  • Narrator: Besides its carefully constructed

  • pastry crust, Bang Bang is best known

  • for its graham cracker crust.

  • Customer: Their graham cracker crust is amazing.

  • I usually prefer pastry, but I prefer their graham cracker.

  • Chelsea: We make our own graham crackers in-house.

  • We just add enough butter

  • that you can get it to stick together.

  • You just want a clump like that.

  • We use a lot of cinnamon in ours,

  • so it has, like, a really distinct smell and taste.

  • Narrator: One of these bowls makes about 24 pie crusts.

  • In total, Bang Bang makes

  • a couple of hundred crusts each week.

  • Michael: It's extraordinarily laborious to do what we do,

  • but I do think it makes a difference.

  • By the time you get it, it's been baked three times.

  • It's gonna have a more complex caramelized nature.

  • That's what makes ours really shine.

  • Narrator: Bang Bang rotates its pies every week

  • and is constantly trying new flavors,

  • like root beer float and s'more.

  • But a couple of fan favorites always stick around.

  • Michael: Key lime pie would be considered our classic.

  • That has not left the menu in probably eight years.

  • We always do a chocolate pie, a fruit pie always,

  • and then either a custard or a wildcard.

  • Customer: I've never tried the summer pie before.

  • That's what I got today.

  • It sounds really good.

  • Their key lime is the best key lime ever.

  • Chelsea: It's a really simple recipe, actually,

  • but it's one of our most popular.

  • It is just sweetened condensed milk,

  • egg yolks, key lime juice, and lime zest.

  • And that's it.

  • Customer: Key lime's my favorite pie in general,

  • and theirs is delicious.

  • Michael: What really makes it shine is the contrast

  • of the sweet, the tart, the perfect balance,

  • coupled with that house-made graham cracker crust.

  • Narrator: Another customer favorite is chocolate caramel,

  • which Michael describes as a light but rich

  • brownie filling in a chocolate cookie crust.

  • Michael: That's kind of like a layup.

  • You know, it pleases everyone.

  • Narrator: But for some people,

  • pie really means fruit pie.

  • Chelsea: Something about fruit pies,

  • I love both making and eating.

  • There's, like, really no room to hide

  • when the flavor profile is fruit.

  • Michael: Buying good berries in season is half the battle.

  • We primarily partner with Mick Klug Family Farm

  • in St. Joseph, Michigan, about 60 miles away.

  • It's important, you know,

  • primarily to support Midwestern farmers,

  • but also because the product tastes better.

  • It is really fun when you get a delivery from Klug

  • that, like, they drop them off

  • and you pop a blackberry or a strawberry, and it's,

  • like, the best blackberry or strawberry you've ever had.

  • Well, right then and there, we have to do

  • very little to continue on that flavor.

  • Chelsea: I think it's just, like, a good Midwestern dessert.

  • There's nothing overly pretentious about pie.

  • It just, like, is very up-front about what it is.

  • It's delicious.

  • Customer: I think pie just tastes like home.

  • The food's delicious,

  • but every time we go there it just

  • feels kind of like an extension of our home.

  • Chelsea: I grew up making pies.

  • So I've been, like, indoctrinated my entire life.

  • I was considering what I wanted to do with my life

  • and getting really stressed out

  • and stress baking about it.

  • And then I realized I could get paid to bake

  • and I wouldn't be stressed out all the time.

  • So I got a job at a pie shop in Atlanta,

  • and I have not looked back.

  • Narrator: We asked Michael to try some of

  • Bang Bang's current pie selections

  • and tell us which is his current favorite.

  • Michael: So, this is our key lime pie.

  • I haven't had it in a while,

  • but it's as good as I remember.

  • Perfect balance of sweet, tart, acidic, creamy.

  • This is another one of our classics.

  • It's chocolate chess.

  • It's the darkest, richest, lightest chocolate brownie

  • you could ever imagine topped with the salted caramel.

  • This one is in a chocolate cookie crust.

  • Totally different than the key lime.

  • It is really good.

  • This is triple berry.

  • It's in our house pastry crust,

  • which is an all-butter crust.

  • Crumble top, we call it lemon sparkle.

  • It has a little bit of lemon zest in there.

  • Just really highlights the fruit flavors.

  • Take a big bite.

  • The combination of berries,

  • I prefer than an all-fruit pie.

  • Gives different complexities,

  • but you still can taste each individual fruit.

  • That particular bite had some really tart components

  • of the red raspberry kind of, like, wrapped around

  • a fresh blueberry that popped in my mouth.

  • And then the bottom still has a really beautiful crispness.

  • Narrator: And finally, coconut passion fruit.

  • Michael: So, again, this is the fourth different crust

  • that we've experienced today.

  • We had the graham cracker, we had the chocolate cookie,

  • we had the pastry crust, and this is the toasted coconut.

  • Hit it with a little whipped cream,

  • more toasted coconut on top,

  • and then, just for a little glam

  • and kind of summer pizazz,

  • we put a passion fruit curd.

  • It's a classic coconut with a twist.

  • It's perfect for summertime days.

  • The passion fruit comes through very, very well.

  • And, again, it takes that kind of, like,

  • classic coconut cream and really elevates it.

  • If you're forcing me to choose a favorite at this moment,

  • I would have to skew towards the chocolate caramel.

  • It's moist on the inside, the texture's exquisite.

  • But that's what's so great. You know,

  • I mean, they all balance off each other.

  • There's a time and a place for each one.

  • Narrator: But food isn't the only thing

  • that keeps people coming back to Bang Bang.

  • Over the years, Michael has put just as much focus

  • on hospitality.

  • Customer: I come back because it's always creative menu

  • and the people are so wonderful.

  • Michael: My background is on a fine-dining level.

  • I always thought that to have a career

  • in the restaurant industry, you kind of needed

  • to be the best of the best.

  • And at that time in my life, that