Went yesterday and tried the fried chicken, brisket and pulled pork w/ mac n cheese, collards and black eyed peas. For dessert, we had the apple, key lime and sour lemon pies.
Fried chicken: excellent! moist, flavorful, crispy. Ordered a 2nd batch to make sure we liked it. We did.
Pulled pork: excellent! just need to pile on even more cuz you can never have enough pork.
Brisket: moist w/ the right amount of fat, but the sauce was too sweet for my taste. Some salt helped balance it out a little.
Mac n cheese: saucy w/ a splash of hot sauce. Good, but not great.
Collards: more vinegary and not as smokey as I like.
Black eyed peas: cold, fresh and vinegary. Good, but not my thing.
Key lime pie: It's good. Get it. I may need to do a taste test bet. PnT and Steve's.
Apple: also good. Crisp apples, cinnamon, good crust. Served cold.
Sour lemon: good lemon flavor w/ a meringue on top, but too sweet for me.
I'll definitely be back for the fried chicken and pulled pork. I might even take a crack at the brisket again or split one w/ a friend.
I recently tried the brisket as well for the first time since their reopening, and I agree that the meat itself is moist and flavorful; I found it surprisingly tender, and the slice itself was hearty. I agree that the sauce (slathered on beneath a layer of mayo) was a tad sweet, probably because the homemade white bread it comes on already sports a subtly-sweet backbone of its own. I balanced it out with a few dabs of their hot sauce (essentially Frank's Redhot) and could not have been fatter, nor happier.
I will say my second go-round with the black-eyed peas was disappointing: less smoke, more vinegar, and a cloying sweet aftertaste to each bite. This side shone a few weeks back, but it did so thanks to a delicate balance between flavors that it failed to recapture this time. Also note that the price I reported on the Capt. Lawrence DIPA must have been a fleeting fancy of opening-week disorganization - it has since been marked up to $8.50 a bottle. Also, I believe the Chicken Box and Pulled Pork Box have risen to $11 each; the catfish is still 10 bucks.
I usually pass by the new space a few times each day, and only once since their re-opening have I seen a line that would discourage me from ordering. They're far enough from the Bedford Ave foot traffic that I think crowds won't be too much of a problem outside of prime mealtimes. Try visiting during off-hours if you don't want to take any chances. Last night from 9-10pm there was hardly any wait, and the seating areas - while lively enough - were far from reaching capacity.
They're baaaaa-aaaack. I love all the crazy hype they've generated, and I love their ability to live up to it. 2 trips in 2 days, and I'm eager to keep the streak alive.
- The cozy charm is still intact, as are the crisp, flavorful pieces of chicken, the buttery biscuits, and the reasonable prices.
- The pork-laden collard greens were always my favorite side at the Pies & Thies of old, and they're still stellar. Couldn't remember how I felt about the spicy black-eyed peas, so I took them for a test drive and they won me over as well - smokey, zesty, with just a hint of refreshing bite here and there (it's a cold side, fyi).
- The Big Salad was crisp and pleasant enough -- beet strings and marinated carrot shards, half an avocado and a hard-boiled egg on a bed of iceberg lettuce -- but I'll find it hard to justify making another meal out of rabbit food when the chicken, catfish, and pulled pork boxes are all available at the same price. I will say that the hearty house-baked multi-grain bread that accompanied my salad was memorably nutty and dense, with plenty of bright, sweet notes to remind you of its freshness.
- The expanded menu includes a burger ($8; cheese, bacon & egg all extra) and the brisket sandwich ($12) that they used to feature as a special. I'm eager to hear reports about the burger. Reports from my tongue and belly.
- BEER! I had a Captain Lawrence Double IPA while I waited for takeout. At $5 for a 16oz bottle, it was hard to say no. They appear to have at least one beer on tap, and a few additional bottles (Coors Light, some sort of Pale Ale).
- Be sure to check out the separate seating area in back - it's much calmer than what you'll find up front.
- Service was a bit scattered (register issues, slow ordering process, long snaking line gumming up the front seating area), but all that is forgivable in a brand new space. They care about their food, deeply, as I feel they always have. I'm so glad to have 'Thighs back in my life.
Went there last night! Wish we lived less than an hour away. We had the best fried chicken. We chose greens and grits as our sides and loved them both. Hey CalJack, now that you mention the pork laden greens, you made me realize why I liked them so much. The back room is perfect. The high ceiling makes for good accoustics. I had a White Rascal beer that went perfectly with dinner. We kept watching as people were served items that looked really, really good, but we just couldn't fit anymore. I'll be finding many excuses to go to Williamsburg and eat at Pies n Thighs.