Being the kind of person who is very concerned about my friends’ culinary well-being when they visit NYC, I gave my friend who was most recently in town some options for what we could eat for a late lunch–dim sum, fried chicken, banh mi, or deli sandwiches. I thought I offered a nice variety…should I be surprised that my TEXAN friend immediately picked fried chicken? Probably not.
We headed on over to Pies-n-Thighs, a hole in the wall–albeit very popular–fried chicken joint in Brooklyn. The space is a little haphazard and odd, all the more reinforcing its hole-in-the-wall-ness. When the hostess was ready to seat us, we followed her through the tiny seating area in the front, past the kitchen, into a back room that seemed kind of like an outdoor shed. During this walk, I questioned whether I was still supposed to be following her or not because it really looked like we were going into a workers only area. But not so! They just have little sections in the back with more seating, including another BACK back room, behind the shed-like area we were in. This isn’t to say that it was weird or uncomfortable. It’s all part of the charm.
Some of the explanation for the location is that the restaurant is actually in a space that used to be a beer storage closet that they transformed into a tiny kitchen. Pies-n-Thighs started out serving donuts, pork sandwiches, and fried chicken, and today they’ve been awarded Best Donut in New York by New York, Best Biscuits in New York by the New York Daily News, and Best Apple Pie and Best Fried Chicken in national surveys by Food & Wine and Bon Appétit.
Have you noticed a trend in restaurants where they’re proud to say where they source their ingredients from? I love it because it allows a level of trust and accountability that you just can’t get from many chains. Pies-n-Thighs proudly states that their pork and bacon, chicken, and beef are all humanely raised without added hormones.
So we know we’re getting quality, but what exactly is on the menu here? Well, it varies depending on whether you’re here for brunch, breakfast and lunch, or dinner, but the jist is that they’re true comfort food classics. Think chicken biscuits, fried catfish, chicken and waffles, hamburgers, biscuits and gravy, and lots of Southern-style sides like smoked pork collards, cheese grits, and hush puppies.
I went with the fried chicken box, which is three pieces of fried chicken, a buttermilk biscuit, and a side (mac ‘n’ cheese please!) for $14.50. You might be thinking that’s a little pricey, but of course it’s not going to be as cheap as what you’re used to at Popeyes, KFC, and the like, and remember you’re getting quality meat here. Plus, just look at how much there is on my plate! Now that…that is a hearty serving of macaroni right there.
The skin on the fried chicken was extra crispy and delicious. And boy oh boy did I love those biscuits. So thick, so soft, so buttery, so flaky. Is it weird that it was actually my favorite part of the whole meal?
Speaking of flaky and buttery! The apple pie! My friend and I split a slice a la mode, and the crust was heavenly. I wanted so badly to try one of their famous donuts, but I was past the point of being full by then. Next time I’m definitely getting one of those…and a chicken biscuit.
For a laid-back meal that’ll leave you feeling stuffed, come on down to Pies-n-Thighs. And how cute is that name?!
Fried chicken box with mac ‘n’ cheese, apple pie a la mode
166 S 4th St
Brooklyn, NY 11211