Let’s get this out of the way; Fireman Derek’s World Famous Pies are spectacular. Pies are a difficult food group (and yes, I believe pies should be a food group). It takes a gifted person, both in an emotional sense and physical sense, to make a truly great piece of pie. And Derek is gifted indeed. There is much time, technique, and effort that goes into a pie, from making the perfectly flakey crust, to making a filling that is complex and soul satisfying. But even if you have the technique down, a pie is not as fulfilling as it should be when it is not made with passion. Luckily, passion is ever-present through all the products coming from Fireman Derek’s shop, as everything that I have sampled here makes me feel like his pies should in fact be “World Famous.”
Fireman Derek gets the concept of pies and turns it on its head. We are all familiar with the saying “As American as apple pie,” but Derek somehow manages to avoid this notion and combines Miami’s cultural diversity with an American dessert to produce something that is unique to our city. Sure, we’ve all had pies, cheesecakes, and bread puddings before, but here you can find all of these taken to levels that are beyond indulgent. By combining all these classic desserts with ingredients like bourbon, guava, and café con leche, you walk away from this dessert heaven experiencing the essence of the clashing of cultures Miami has come to represent.
At Derek’s, even when you go simple you’re making the right choice. My personal favorite dessert slice at this shop is the perfectly executed Key Lime. The custard is a perfect interplay between sweet and tart, with a luxurious texture that is creamy and robust. The key lime flavor is present, but not overwhelming in a sense that will make you pucker. Instead, it is as natural as you can expect from a fruit, making for a slice of pie that can even be considered refreshing.
For lunch, I would go for the Chicken Pot Pie. In fact, this may be my favorite thing to get at Derek’s. The crust (which is different from the one used for the pies) is savory and good enough to eat on its own, but it’s the filling that blows me away. The innards are generous on the chicken, with luscious gravy that is not too salty and even nutty. There is a presence of cheese that is amplified by the use of spices and natural vegetables like carrots, making for a satisfying meal that will make you wonder why people don’t do chicken pot pie more often.
Do yourself a favor and check out Fireman Derek’s pies. They are truly exceptional and bring something to Miami that we were truly lacking. These are the types of places we need to patronize, and I have a feeling Fireman Derek will be around for a long time coming.
Fireman Derek’s World Famous Pies
2818 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33137
By food blogger, Santiago Cardona