Lately I have been in a Williamsburg state of mind. I cannot seem to get enough of this vibrant Brooklyn neighborhood that is practically in my backyard. Sure I have known for years that this recently gentrified locality had been going through a cultural food revolution. I hear all kinds of things on a daily basis that makes me want to spend even more time there. According to my research lately this will not be a problem.
On my last voyage to see what the beautiful people were doing on a Saturday afternoon my destination was one I have been yearning to visit for forever or at least it seems like it. Apparently I am also on a fried chicken kick, not that I ever purposely avoided it. I could never be that mean to myself.
The destination that day was Pies ‘N’ Thighs and you know the name is half of the reason I wanted to go. Plus everyone and their mama who has been raves on and on about it. This goes from coworkers, friends, and my trusty research materials I stock up on. Those magazines, newspapers always leave a trail for me in an Hansel and Gretel kind of way, only my story ends on a happier note, despite the use of an oven.
When you pull up to Pies ‘N’ Thighs you might see a few people hanging out outside. Maybe they are waiting for a table or leaving the restaurant. You will definitely see and hear the Williamsburg Bridge, as it is a stone’s throw away. Also the park that is between the bridge and the restaurant is worth a quick walk through. It celebrates the Continental Army’s march there with a compass to show the direction George Washington and his men went while on horseback. There is even a large statute which is what drew my attention to the park in the first place. There is nothing like a surprise history lesson for me while I am out working on my blog.
Pies ‘N’ Thighs reminded of the bodegas that are quite popular in the outer boroughs especially in Brooklyn. The sign for the restaurant was hidden in a corner in a faraway window. The bright colors on the exterior is what made me half expect to see signs for newspapers and cigarettes being sold inside. When I stepped inside the room was very tiny but my eyes locked in on the gigantic oven and that glass case filled with goodies. I didn’t get to purview too long. We were seated right away after following my hostess down a narrow hallways, outside stairs, through a hidden room that was also full of patrons. It reminded me of how Roberta’s (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2014/12/for-pizza-done-robertas-way.html) pizzeria is laid out but with less rooms.
As per usual I grabbed a few shots of my surroundings and picked up my menu. This was the first time in a long time I actually changed my order four times in my head before announcing to the waiter that I was going with the fried chicken basket. Basically three pieces of chicken (white meat as I requested) with a biscuit. There were also potatoes on the side but I never touched them. Though it might not sound like much it was more than I could eat in one seating. I washed it down with some sweet tea which I have to say was astonishingly less sweet but better tasting than any I had in Savannah (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2015/03/for-hard-hearted-hannah-vamp-of.html).
There are so many egg sandwiches that sound delicious and I was watching them being served to practically everyone around me. So I had to try one. I choose scrambled eggs with cheese on a biscuit. Sounds boring right? That egg and cheese alone made me sequel. Best I have ever had!
The biscuit too was on point. It didn’t do the crumbling that I hate when eating biscuits usually and it didn’t need butter, gravy, or anything. It was worth eating on its own. My only complaint was that it felt like a metric ton. No matter how many bites I took it never seemed to get any smaller. By the end of my meal I had only eaten half of it. I couldn’t believe it.
I should back track a bit. Prior to the main event I had ordered a starter a butter pecan crunch donut, a massively dense sweet crunchy treat. At first I thought I would never get enough but just as I was finishing my half I was officially over it.
According to the New York Times:
“The butter pecan crunch doughnut at Pies ’N’ Thighs in Williamsburg, Brooklyn has the radius of a soup bowl and the potency of a sticky bun, studded with shattered toffee and pecans, with a glaze close to syrup soaking in.”
“The meat is juicy and far more delicious than any $11 plate of chicken has any right to be.”
I would have to concur with both of these statements. While that donut might have been a bit much it did not in any way hinder me from diving right into that plate of fried chicken. That chicken by the way was marvelous. Not greasy, incredibly crispy, with a hint of a peanut flavor. The nuttiness I couldn’t quite put my finger on didn’t taste bad but definitely made it stand out against all of the many fried chicken dishes I have tried. Most recently at Sweet Chicks (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2015/12/for-chicks-sweet-enough-to-eat-sweet.html) which had me relive my Memphis experience. These two restaurants may both serve fried chicken but they are in no way in competition with each other. The differences I noticed were not subtle so depending on what you crave you will choose the location best for you.
Now for the final act, pie. After some serious debate I went with the apple pie. I was surprised but not in a good way. The apples were enormous hard chunks that filled a dry piecrust. The crust actually was the best part. I could taste the whitewashing in butter. I ate the entire inside assuming that at some point one bite would blow me out of the water by its deliciousness. That did not happen. I don’t know how I would have rated the other pies but I would have hated ordered another and still be disappointed.
For a true comparison of Pies ‘N’ Thighs I would have to compare it to another fried chicken and pie place. Luckily for us I have already been to one such place, Hill Country Chicken (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2013/08/for-fried-chicken-with-side-of-pie-hill.html). The fried chicken here was not nearly up to par with Pies but oddly enough the pie (specifically Bourbon Pecan Pie) I had at Hill Country was remarkable better.
Another area that is on the verge of the same explosion as Williamsburg is Bushwick. I wonder if any restaurants there want to sell fried chicken and pie. If they do I will be sure to see which came first in a taste test, the chicken or the pie?
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