Key lime pie isn’t a “thing” around here and there’s no particular reason for it to be one, either—Minnesota is a long haul from the lime’s typical habitat in Florida, Texas, Mexico, and California, and this kind of a joyfully tropical dessert doesn’t make a ton of sense amid our native landscape of pies. Plus, the lemon meringue pie gleefully hogs the sweet-tart-citrus niche that the Key lime pie might otherwise occupy.
It takes a specialty restaurant to do the pie justice and justify its existence. Enter Key West Bistro in South Minneapolis, a newly opened Miami-style coffee shop with a Florida-inspired menu. The restaurant’s Key lime pie is made in-house and it tastes that way: each slice is an ideal balance between sweet and tart, and the soft texture of the filling complements the sandy crunchiness of the delicate graham cracker crust. Even the filling’s texture is totally on point—any firmer and it would be unpleasantly gelatinous, but any softer it was would start to collapse under its own weight.
Key West Bistro’s got other features worth exploring—its Cubano is classic and delicious, and its coffee menu is nuanced and thoughtful. But the pie may be the fastest and most seductive way to unlock the cafe’s magic.
The Dish: Key Lime Pie, $4.50 a slice
The Place: Key West Bistro, 2803 E. 38th St., Minneapolis, MN
The Reason: This tart, citrus-driven pie is a beautifully balanced dessert