Pies

167. Sister Pie – February 27, 2016 – Detroit, MI

20160227_12284420160227_12355620160227_123646Pie! Who doesn’t love a delicious piece of pie? It’s cozy and comforting, especially on a chilly winter’s day, accompanied by a hot cup of coffee or tea. Yum!

After my visit to Parker Street Market yesterday, I headed across the street to Sister Pie in search of a slice of its fabled wares. This pie shop/bakery looms large in my mind, literally. I was introduced to it by a large billboard that once ran along I-94 that I passed (creeped along in a cluster of rush-hour traffic is more like it) daily on my way to my then-job in Dearborn. The billboard was touting it as the winner of a local entrepreneurial grant competition (Hatch Detroit). I was intrigued, not only because I love local small businesses and supporting them, but also because I appreciate a well-constructed baked good (it’s a legitimate art form in my book!). Sister Pie was added to my list of places to visit.

Apparently, this bakery was on a lot of other Metro-Detroiters’ lists, too. The bright little shop’s tables were crammed with people on my visit there yesterday afternoon. Fortunately there was a space open for me, at a high-top table with no chairs, where I stood and enjoyed the custardy, silky-sweet, salty goodness of a slice of salted maple. Two other pies were also being featured yesterday: a chocolate one called Red Hot Chocolate and a lemon meringue. Wanting some take-home treats, I also purchased an assortment of cookies – a triple chocolate one, a peanut butter-and-paprika, and a snickerdoodle-fennel seed – as well as a slice of pear- and chocolate-studded coffee cake. All were delicious in their own right, but the coffee cake and the snickerdoodle-and-fennel-seed cookie were especially memorable. I love when bakers and chefs aren’t afraid to experiment with flavors. Fennel seeds in a cookie, for instance, might sound odd, but they were the perfect complement to the cinnamony sweetness of the snickerdoodle.

So Sister Pie gets a major gold star in my book for deliciousness and inventiveness of its wares (and offering a pie with a crisp, non-soggy crust – holla, blind-baking!). Just as important, it also gets major props for ambiance. There was a convivial air to the place yesterday, a sense of connection. The staff members who helped me were friendly and obviously enjoyed being there, joking with each other as they worked; the woman who rang me up came over to me later to see how I liked the pie. When I’d explained to her in my excitement as I approached the counter that I was new to the place, a sixty-something guy who was obviously a regular overheard me and exclaimed, “You’re gonna love it!” I have a major soft spot for places full of friendliness, enthusiasm, welcomeness – maybe because the field that I work in in my day job doesn’t evoke those feelings in me nearly enough. I think we are all seeking to inhabit such inviting havens in our lives – ideally as places we work and hang out in on the regular, but at the very least, where we can stop in once in a while and savor a slice of pie.

8066 Kercheval St.

Detroit, MI 48214

www.sisterpie.com

127. Third Street Bar / Dangerously Delicious Pies – June 20, 2015 – Detroit, MI

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After hitting Traffic Jam and Jolly Pumpkin on my recent Detroit Day and browsing the very lovely nearby shop, City Bird (which I won’t be writing a post about since I’ve been there before, but please go check it out – it’s full of wonderful handcrafted items made by local artisans), my friend and I mused, what next? The answer was: pie. Pie, of course! We’d already spent the better part of the afternoon stuffing ourselves full of food and drink – what was a little shared piece of pie on top of that? I’d been wanting to go to Third Street Bar and get some Dangerously Delicious Pie for forever. Third Street Bar is where this charming little handmade-pie outfit sets up shop. We set off on foot there from Midtown – it was only about a six-minute walk.

The bar, on the outside, is not much to look at. It came up on us all of a sudden, because it honestly kind of blends in with its surroundings, looking like just another abandoned building. We had no idea initially how to enter; we tried opening two uninviting metal doors – one at the front (which I assume is probably open some of the time, at least in the winter) and another on the side. Nope – both locked. Puzzled, we kept going around the perimeter of the building until we finally hit a cute, rustic little patio. Ok, we were in business! I must say our inability to figure out how to enter the place made it a little more exciting once we finally got in, like we were entering this secret little place no one beside the true locals really knows about.

The inside of the bar was a lot more charming than I expected. I got the impression from Yelp that the place was a bit of a dive – and I guess it kind of is, but in the best way possible (I LOVE a good dive bar). Plus, they have Skee-Ball machines! How many places do you see anymore with Skee-Ball machines? That’s an automatic check-plus in my book.

Dangerously Delicious Pies has its own counter inside the bar, where you can order whole pies or pies by the slice, either of the sweet or the savory variety. The savory pies sounded phenomenal; I would love to come back and have lunch. But we went for a sweet offering – the Baltimore Bomb, a custard pie with chocolate folded in, shown above. It came out to us at our picnic-table seat on the patio all delightfully warm – yum!

So Third Street Bar was definitely a worthwhile visit. I just heart supporting local vendors – that is, of course, one of the major reasons I started this blog. But I really, really, really do love it! And I love that Detroit has more and more of these little micro-enterprises – bakers and jam makers and other foodies taking over a corner of a kitchen of another establishment and creating their wares there – local artisans supporting other local artisans. It’s inspiring! I’m excited that I get to witness it and play a tiny little part in it.

4626 Third St.

Detroit, MI 48201

www.dangerouspiesdetroit.com