It took two trains to meet my friend Cole for lunch in Williamsburg–a D to Grand Street and then a J to Marcy Ave.–and for some, that might be a long way to go for a lunch time meal. Not me: especially when that lunch time meal is comprised of fried chicken and pie.
Welcome to Pies n’ Thighs:
The first thing to fall in love with here is their beverage menu. For anyone who’s lived in the South who now lives in New York (I lived for seven years in Atlanta), you’ll be heartened to discover that Pies n’ Thighs is one of the only restaurants in New York to serve authentic sweet tea:
Good sweet tea isn’t cloying the way, say, a can of Arizona Iced Tea or Snapple is; sweet tea is a delicate balance of darkly brewed black tea and sugar. Sure, it’s still sweet, but the blackness of the tea evens it out and I’m glad to say that the sweet tea at Pies n’ Thighs was top notch: an auspicious beginning.
As for the food, there weren’t too many hard decisions to make. The easy choice was “fried chicken”–it’s what they’re known for here–the harder choice was the side. Both Cole and I chose black-eyed peas. And so here’s the food when it came out:
That’s what I call one happy plate of food.
The fried chicken itself, which both of us tore into right away, was wonderfully flavored (I noticed a waitress carrying a tub of chicken in a brine into the kitchen so I know it’s brined), delightfully crisp, and not at all greasy. As someone who likes to make fried chicken myself (both this version and this version), I felt like this clearly surpassed anything I might do at home. Plus, for $11 (with one side and a biscuit) it’s something of a steal (especially in New York).
As for that biscuit, here’s Cole squeezing some honey on to his:
It was a very good biscuit; big and flaky—almost like a flying saucer. I brought half of it home for Craig.
The black-eyed peas were more of a black-eyed pea salad (and maybe it said it that way on the menu and I just missed it); so it was cold (I thought they’d be hot). But, again, there was a ton of flavor here: lots of vinegar to give it a refreshing bite next to that fried chicken and the biscuit. In other words: it rounded out a perfect plate of food.
But you can’t go to Pies n’ Thighs and not get pie. You just can’t.
And even though Cole intimated that maybe we should share a pie, I would do no such thing. So Cole ordered the apple pie which came with a slice of cheese on the plate:
Look how excited Cole is to eat it:
The apples were interestingly underdone in a good way; they still had a little bite to them. I wasn’t brave enough to sample it with cheese (that kinda grossed me out) but I trust that Cole enjoyed the combination. Instead, I focused on the very in-season cherry pie I ordered:
Now that’s what I call a pie. Juicy, almost plummy cherries in a perfect, perfect crust; I was so moved by this pie, I decided to write a song about it:
Would I go back to Pies n’ Thighs? You betchya. I’d even take five trains, a submarine and an airship to get there: that’s what fried chicken and pie means to me.