Pies 'N' Thighs
This restaurant is closed!
43 Canal Street (Ludlow & Orchard)
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 431-PIES
Hours: 5pm-midnight daily
Site: Visit the restaurant site
2nd Cuisine: Fried Chicken
Area: Lower East Side
On the edge of Chinatown where Canal Street meets Seward Park, you will find Pies -n- Thighs. There are already signs of a bit of a renaissance underway in the area with a couple of restaurants, including one called Dimes, nearby and another corner spot on the way. It doesn't surprise me that Pies -n- Thighs would pick this location. After all, its first spot was a 4x4 kitchen in the back of a somewhat seedy waterfront dive bar in Williamsburg before the neighborhood exploded onto the scene. It looks like the same thing could be happening here.
Coming from modest beginnings, this new Lower East Side restaurant has that no-frills feel. There are white tiled walls, small wooden booths and a user-friendly lunch counter with some additional seating in the back. Judging by the size, this place is going to fill up fast. Where they did spend money is on kitchen equipment, including shiny new fryers that can accommodate four big baskets of chicken and two ovens stacked on top of each other for homemade biscuits.
After being out in the cold, I wanted something hot. So, I started with a bowl of chicken soup. It’s the kind of soup your mom might make with fresh cut vegetables, bits of chicken and plump little dumplings. It really did hit the spot. Then it was onto the fried chicken. The chicken biscuit seems to be popular here. The biscuit is sliced in half and slathered with butter. Then an oversized fried cutlet is placed in the center with a generous splash of hot sauce. At seven bucks, it's probably the best deal on the menu. But, I consider myself to be a wing guy, so it was the Fried Chicken Box ($14.50) for me. It comes with three pieces of chicken, a biscuit and one side, in this case mac-and-cheese. The chicken was cooked perfectly; golden brown on the outside, moist and tender on the inside. I attribute this the guy constantly monitoring the chicken’s temperature.
Also on the menu, you'll find things like chicken and waffles with cinnamon butter and maple cranberries, fried catfish, grilled cheese on buttermilk toast (American cheese, of course), biscuits and gravy, and what’s billed as an "insane" burger and fries. Add cheese, bacon or a fried egg to increase the insanity. Side dishes range from fried pickles, burnt-end baked beans, cauliflower gratin (seasonal) and cheese grits.
Feeling a bit stuffed I decided to take home dessert; banana cream pie with Nilla wafers, and homemade cheesecake with walnut caramel syrup. Wow!
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Review By: Thomas Rafael