Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Brunch Bets: Pies 'N' Thighs
For weeks I had read countless reports about the re-opening of the beloved Pies 'N' Thighs that specialized in serving crispy fried chicken and homemade pies. Forced to close due to concerns from the Department of Health about their smoker; I wanted to experience first hand what all the fuss was about. But it wasn't until MW and I passed the restaurant's new location under the Williamsburg bridge before we decided to eat there ourselves. Originally it was our intention to eat dinner there; but after reading on Pies 'N' Thighs ever-evolving website that they serve brunch we quickly changed our minds and prepared ourselves for some chicken and waffles.
By the time MW and I arrived there was no wait and had our choice between seating in the front or the back of the restaurant. We choose to sit in the front as the back of the restaurant reminded us of an unfinished basement with some folding chairs. The interior at Pies 'N' Thighs was reminiscent of what you might find rummaging through a thrift store. Our uneven table had a vintage look to it; complete with dents, scratches and fading white paint. On the wall hung a hand-drawn picture of a Cardinal; an image better suited on an ironic graphic t-shirt from Urban Outfitters. But fans of the restaurant come for the food and not the ambiance and so were we. In addition to the the requisite cup of coffee I also ordered a Morir Soñando. Described by our waitress as tasting similar to a creamsicle it is made from a combination of orange juice, cream and vanilla. I really dug the flavor combination and thought it had a tangy finish that reminded me of a Yakult drink.
We were disappointed to see that Chicken and Waffles wasn't on the brunch menu that day so we opted instead for Chicken and Pancakes. Two golden pancakes topped with a heap of butter accompanied a wing and thigh. I can only hope that we had caught the tail end of an old batch of chicken as our pieces were room temperature and lacked a crispy crust. I give Pies 'N' Thighs the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their chicken because I've had wonderful versions of Carylon Bane's fried chicken which is also served at Roberta's in Bushwick. However the pancakes redeemed this dish; light and fluffy with caramelized edges they made me forget that I originally wanted waffles.
The next dish we ordered was the B & G or Biscuits and Sausage Gravy. The biscuit was incredibly soft but still maintained a nice crusty exterior and was covered in a thin gravy that was studded with large chunks of sausage. While the gravy was a bit salty I liked how you could taste fresh herbs.
The Smoked Pork Hash with two eggs was the weakest dish we ate. Ultimately, the smoked pork was downright awful. I had trouble tasting any smoke flavor in the pork which was cooked until it became bone dry. Definitely not a dish I'd try again in the near future.
But a trip to Pies 'N' Thighs just wouldn't seem complete without trying some of their homemade pie. Since apple pie is my favorite I especially wanted to try their Cheddar Apple Pie. If only the other food we ordered tasted half as good as this pie I'd probably be back every other weekend. The cheddar cheese was baked into the crust which was really flaky complimented the the filling which had a strong cinnamon flavor.
Overall MW and I left Pies 'N' Thighs a bit disappointed. Maybe it was from the immense media storm surrounding the re-opening or maybe the kitchen was having off day. Whatever the case may have been, I'll be back, but this time only for dinner.
Pies 'N' Thighs
166 S. 4th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
To see all our pics, please click the flickr link.