Pies 'n' Thighs | 166 S 4th St. (at Driggs Ave.) | 347.529.6090 | www.piesnthighs.com

WELL, I'VE FINALLY done it! The latter part of this blog's name has finally been duly addressed. So far, the nyc part of the name has been somewhat disingenuous, seeing as I have only done Dining Out posts on places within the confines of Manhattan.

That was up until today, when, after nearly seven months, I finally got my ass on a train—represented by a letter instead of a number—and ventured off island to a recently reopened but extremely popular place called Pies 'n' Thighs, just one stop into Brooklyn on the L train, and a quick 8 minute walk to S. 4th Street and Driggs Avenue.

The walk was an adventure in itself. I last lived in Brooklyn twenty years ago, one stop in on the F train. This was the new Brooklyn was becoming the new Brooklyn. I lived with a whole bunch of young Swedes in a loft on Jay and Water Streets, and there was barley any gentrification going on any where in the borough.

But coming out of the subway on Bedford Avenue, I had never felt so removed and yet so familiar to my native city. Most of the building were small, no higher than 3 stories, and reminded me of long stretches of blocks in Washington Heights, Queens, and even some neighborhoods in middle income Westchester.

But the people, ah, a whole 'nother story. Yes, there were hipsters—guys in skinny jeans or plaid shorts, retro t-shirts or plaid short sleeves, girls with face piercing, dread locks, and/or tattoos. Everyone in black boots, black sneakers or flip-flops. Still, scattered among them, some cultured elderly, friendly Hispanic families, and beautiful folks who, if they're not models, they damn well should.

I almost giggled to myself feeling like I was way overdressed for this neighborhood. Wearing khaki slacks and a blue-pinstriped, long-sleeved Oxford, I felt that people were staring at me, wondering if I was a process server or a van driver.

And coming across Pies 'n' Thighs—with its humbly decorated storefront—I must have looked like a food critic as well, asking permission to take pictures of the space.

I ordered the chicken dinner, which came with a homemade biscuit and my choice of side. I chose the well-favored mac 'n' cheese.

I may have been disoriented on my whereabouts while walking through Brooklyn, but eating this chicken took me well out of New York and down south to South Carolina, where I used to eat and savor every bite of great Southern home cooking like this while visiting my grandmother (especially with the classic oldies AM station music playing in the background).

The chicken had cracklin' good skin and was minimally seasoned, letting the the flavor of the chicken shine through, its meat tender and juicy. The biscuit was excellent. I was worried when I didn't see any butter on my plate or table to put on it, but it was buttery and moist enough that it didn't suffer without it. A nice flaky exterior, an aromatic, airy interior, the biscuit tasted great in its own bitefuls or coupled with a pull of the fried chicken. The mac 'n' cheese, drizzled with hot sauce, was creamy smooth, cheesy without that extra "sharpness", and its pasta maintaining an almost perfect al dente firmness.

I finished the entire plate—and took my time doing it—looking at the at a window display of all the pies that they are also know for. I decided instead to see if I had room for one of their Best Of New York (Magazine) Doughnuts of 2007.

Cake Doughnut

Another throwback to the old soul kitchens and diners, this was a finely fried and sugar-and-cinnamon-dusted cake doughnut. The firm ones that maintain their slightly crunchy outsides and not-too-spongy insides, even after and through cold milk- and hot coffee-dunking.

Being pride of my own fried chicken recipe, it's not like I feel the need to travel to Williamsburg to scratch every future chicken itch. But if you are more geographically conveniently located, it's definitely worth a trip. I assume their other items are as well, such as shrimp and grits (not so readily available in my neighborhood or own kitchen), pulled pork sandwiches, spicy black-eyed peas, or one of their, also award-winning, pies.

It should likewise be worth the trip to Brooklyn, to eat food that, surprisingly and happily, takes me—now a truer New Yorker—much farther away!

Bun Apple Tea!


Pies 'n' Thighs on Urbanspoon

Pies 'n' Thighs | 166 S 4th St. (at Driggs Ave.) | 347.529.6090 | www.piesnthighs.com