2051 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Bang Bang Pie Shop is a Chicago culinary gem slinging feel-good food from their corner shop on California Ave. near Palmer Square. Despite the weather outside during the coldest January in decades the seating area was full for lunch. Patrons huddled over coffee, fresh pies and an array of savory lunches. We managed to score a corner table under the chalkboard menu where we chatted with employees and patrons about their experiences at Bang Bang.
When you get to Bang Bang Pie Shop bring your laptop and stick around for awhile to enjoy the smells from Bang Bang’s open layout kitchen. As soon as the weather finally breaks get out to the patio and soak up the sunshine with an iced coffee or freshly squeezed OJ.
The kitchen has become known for their classic pies and seasonally rotating pies. The staff chatted with us about their savory side of the menu and convinced us to leave our sweet tooth at the door. We sampled dishes featuring hand-crafted biscuits and grits that were honestly the best we have eaten north of Kentucky. Pork was prepared in as many ways possible and is a mainstay in many of the dishes. Fear not there are a few vegetarian and gluten-free options on the menu. We took a chicken pot pie to go and reheated it in the oven for dinner. The flavors did not let up even after hanging out in the fridge for a few hours.
CUSP Magazine: What makes Bang Bang Pie unique and different from your competition?
Bang Bang Pie: There are a couple things that I think would make it different. Its focus is equally on food and customers as it is on being part of the neighborhood. We have this beautiful backyard out here that seats around 150 people in the Summer. We look to a neighborhood destination—the first place you bring your family when they’re in town, the first place you go to celebrate something like a birthday or engagement.
CUSP Magazine: How has being located in this this neighborhood helped your business?
Bang Bang Pie: This neighborhood has a lot of people in the industry, who appreciate good food, but they don’t want a lot of pretension. They want a nice place to go and hang with their friends, eat something tasty, without having to worry about knowing what’s her name or needing to dress in a specific way.
Bang Bang Pie Shop – “So everything that we use is as fresh and local as we can get. The farmers come in and drop it all off themselves.”
CUSP Magazine: Would you say your business fits a description of creatives helping creatives?
Bang Bang Pie: Part of our success in this neighborhood is having such an outreach to creatives. We’ve done events onsite and offsite that help to support creatives. There’s a floral service right now called Flowers for Dreams which we’ve partnered with. In our partnership with them we do deals like if you order a bouquet from them you get a pie from us, stuff like that to kind of help us grow together.
CUSP Magazine: Tell me a little about the sourcing of your ingredients?
Bang Bang Pie: So everything that we use is as fresh and local as we can get. The farmers come in and drop it all off themselves. We have a garden out back that we also grow in the summer. Everything here is as local as we can keep it.
CUSP Magazine: Anything that the average Bang Bang Pie customer should know about?
Bang Bang Pie: I would say definitely enjoy our pastry crust. We’re one of the few bakeries in the United States that still uses leaf lard in our pastry crust. Because of that it’s very flaky, very light, really unlike any other crust you’ll taste. Can’t go wrong with our candied bacon, little slices of heaven. And the biscuits as well are delicious.
For more information about Bang Bang Pie Shop check out their website here.