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Thompson Hotels Chicago Influencers X Michael Ciapciak

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For The Love of Pie

Ever imagined spending your days perfecting caramel apple crumble pies and pairing candied bacon with ginger-sage sausage patties and cheddar biscuits? If so, you’ll be insanely jealous of Michael Ciapciak, who has made this dream a reality. After working in the world of fine dining—in renown restaurants like Gramercy Tavern, Blue Hill, Tru (including a stint as Forbes’ Travel Guide Restaurant Critic)—he opened Bang Bang Pies and Biscuits in Chicago’s Logan Square. Since the day it opened, the warm and homely neighborhood spot has amassed a cult foodie following and draws pie lovers from far and wide.

As well as serving some of the most delicious and comforting food in the windy city, Bang Bang shares their daily culinary endeavors on their popular Instagram account @bangbangpie (with over 28K followers). Here we caught up with Ciapciak to talk about what flavors he’s excited about for this Thanksgiving and more.

Do you have a baking philosophy that informs the vibe of your store and the way you make your pies?

Work hard and be nice to people? Honestly, we just really enjoy what we do and selling smiles is our goal—our store is extremely casual, warm and comfortable and that is also reflected in our pies. They are made by hand and it shows—the crust is hand rolled, the graham hand-formed, fruit hand-chopped, they are refined yet rustic and that is also reflected in the shop decor which has a very intentional aesthetic but is also left rough around the edges for a very worn in look like an old pair of your favorite jeans or boots or sweater.

When our guests visit, what should they order to ensure the best first Bang Bang experience?

Definitely something savory & sweet. It’s too hard to pick just one, but a classic ‘starter visit’ could include our signature candied bacon, a warm scratch biscuit and a slice of key lime pie. Grits for the table wouldn’t hurt and a mug of our custom roasted coffee blend!

Are you experimenting with any unusual flavor combos for Thanksgiving this year that you could share with us? 

Of course! We are serving three classic fall pies with a small twist—we have found that people really want flavors that they are comfortable with on their holiday table so we do not stray too far from that! Rosemary caramel apple crumble—apples from our friends at Mick Klug Farm in Michigan, rosemary scented caramel, crumble top & a little sea salt! Chocolate pecan—a chocolately decadent version of the classic pecan pie. Pumpkin with sage pepita brittle!

Check out Bang Bang Pie Shop at 2051 N. California Ave, Logan Square, Illinois, 60647.

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