Detroit's Sister Pie serves up quirk and charisma

NOSELL

NOSELL
Courtesy of Sister Pie

 

Sunday, April 16, 2017 - 3:58pm

Love Momofuku? Try Sister Pie, Detroit’s sweetest spot.

How much can one think about pie before it becomes worrisome? In recent months, reveries of pie eclipsed my focus in lecture after lecture. I couldn’t get pie off my mind. So I decided a trip to Sister Pie was in order to satisfy my saccharine cravings once and for all.

Sister Pie came onto my radar by route of Bon Appétit’s list of the best new restaurants in America. After discovering its founder, Lisa Ludwinski, is an alumna of Momofuku Milk Bar, I was sold. For better or worse, I am an undeniable member of the cult of Milk Bar, a New York City bakery adored by natives and tourists alike. (Not ringing any bells? You may recognize Milk Bar from its heavily-instagrammed signature item — cereal milk ice cream.)

Located in Detroit’s West Village, Sister Pie is a hot-spot of charm. The space is immensely warm and inviting — a grandmother’s kitchen, sans dowdiness. Their desserts are served on an eclectic assortment of antique porcelain plates, which only furthers the hominess of the corner bakeshop. Both the expansive windows, which flood the bakery with natural light, and the wooden communal table topped with a vase of tulips add to Sister Pie’s loveliness. It’s a space where one can easily waste away the hours.

As the name would imply, Sister Pie’s staple item is, in fact, pie. Four pies, that is, three of which revolve with Michigan’s agricultural seasons, and one permanent resident: their signature salted maple pie.

However, visitors are not limited to just pie. The menu boasts clever cookies (like buckwheat chocolate chip and paprika peanut butter!), sweet buns, savory hand pies, scones and even salads.

Within minutes of being there, I scarfed down a slice of salted maple and banana Pete with the help of a friend. The pies were so overwhelmingly delicious we resolved to get more food. In total, we ate the two slices of pie, one chocolate chip bun, one potato lentil handpie, one brown butter scone and one strip of bacon. It was a gluttonous excursion, but if I could have stomached more, I would have. (Triple chocolate cookie, I’ve got my eye on you.)

Sister Pie’s sweetness extends past their desserts. The bakery is focused on contributing to the community it inhabits. According to their website, Sister Pie aims to “foster a welcoming environment for employees and customers through transparency, community engagement, and education.” What’s more, the bakery is a “triple-bottom line business, which means [they] maintain a strong commitment to [their] employees, the economy, and the environment.” There’s even a “pie-it-forward” program where customers can purchase a slice for someone else who might not be able to afford it.

Whether you’re a die-hard sweet tooth or someone who likes to support local businesses, Sister Pie deserves a visit.