TakePart Tastemakers

Chicago

Once known as the "slaughterhouse to the world," Chicago helped create our mechanized, industrialized food system. But the Second City has come a long way since the days of Upton Sinclair. This is a town that loves to eat, and these days, whether its sustainable fishmongers or seasonal bakers, Chicago residents know where to find "food done right."

Bang Bang Pie Shop

bangbangpie.com

2051 N. California Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 276-8888

Head baker Megan Miller and her coffee roaster husband Dave started Bang Bang Pie Shop as a food truck. They opened their Logan Square shop last April, with business partner Michael Ciapciak, who introduced hearty, sour cream-based biscuits to their store. Megan offers only three pies per week, a seasonal fruit, chocolate, and cream-based pie, using Smoking Goose lard in her crusts unless otherwise specified. She resists the demand for popular fruit pies out of season. Pumpkin pie will use real pie pumpkins, roasted in-house then pureed, rather than the industry standard of canned, which is often not the orange pie pumpkin but another variety of squash instead. The biscuits, available with or without Smoking Goose ham from Indiana, allow access to the butter and seasonal house-made jam bar. The signature black pepper honey can always be found among the soft, spreadable compound butters. Recent jams included a chunky blueberry lavender. Megan, Dave, and Michael work closely with their community, providing pie to church events across the street, and serving as a social gathering place. Sit inside on assorted recycled chairs, all painted red, or outdoors in the side yard planted with herbs, vegetables, and even new stone fruit trees.