I think I may have discovered the reason for the invention of the stretchy, elasticated waistband - Southern American cooking. After a feast of carbs, cheese and fried food I realised high waisted, tight, denim jeans were definitely not the way to go. Firstly it hurt, and secondly, it may have stunted my ability to fit in more food. Although that didn't stop me from giving it a damn good go.
So where do you take four models, a fashion photographer, a documentary maker, an advertising agent, a high-end suit salesman and a New York rich kid? Fashion would say not here but tonight wasn't about fashion, it was about food.
This was mine and Georges second time to Jacob's Pickles during our trip to NY. The first time was a quiet dinner for three, this time was a loud and raucous party for nine and we all know what more people means……..more food! We rallied in some of our biggest foodie friends to take on this monster of a meal.
Our waitress was a high energy, bubbly character with a beautiful southern twang. Listening to her accent was just as rich and sexy as the food itself. She dished out a few recommendations and we were not disappointed.
The food really is exceptional, very authentic and nothing like I’ve had before. I urge you to prepare yourself for some of the slightly odd ball food combinations and I wouldn't be surprised if you put on weight by simply reading the menu.
One of the standout dishes for me was a typical American fusion of sweet and savoury. Buttermilk fried chicken stacked on top of thick American style pancakes, sprinkled with crispy bacon bits and lashings of maple syrup. This was right up my ally as I'm a sucker for the sweeter things in life. The pancakes were so light and fluffy, not to mention the size of my face, and with an extra drizzle of maple syrup I was living every seven year olds dream of dessert for dinner.
Southern American cuisine is also famous for its biscuit sandwiches so it would be a travesty not to order at least one of these. Of course we ordered three. My favourite was the buttermilk fried chicken biscuit sandwich smothered with sausage gravy. Now for those not accustomed to Southern American cuisine, biscuit as you probably know it is not the same as their biscuit. Think of it more like a scone, a dense, crumbly style bread to mop up those beautiful gravy juices and the golden, crunchy fried chicken coating and soft, tender meat...........ooh my apologies, getting a bit carried away there. Deep fried chicken will do that to you.
If cheese and pasta isn’t one of life’s greatest comfort foods then tell the Italians I’m sorry. Sometimes simplicity is where it’s at so when I stuck my fork into the cajun chicken mac'n'cheese I think I gave a little internal yelp of joy. Thick, heavy, cheesy sauce generously coated the perfectly cooked tubes of penne (and I'm pretty sure I could feel it coating my arteries too. But that's besides the point). The cajun chicken was moist and scattered throughout the pasta and finished off with yet more cheese. The tightening of my jeans was beginning to tell me I'd definitely had one too many spoonfuls. Oh who am I kidding, more like ten too many.
We did order a salad but I think that was more of a psychological cushion to help ease the feelings of guilt for pretty much ordering deep fried everything. It didn’t work and I didn't eat any of it. Just as a side note, this is not the place you come to order salad.
So this is a mere snapshot of what we ordered, if I go into anymore detail I could officially claim this is my first novel. So to give you an idea of how much we battled through we also took on:
· Pumpkin biscuit with clover honey, salted and maple butter
· Deviled eggs
· Thyme jalapenos
· Slow cooked meatballs with sunny side up egg
· Grilled street corn with aioli and parmesan
· Honey chicken biscuit sandwich
· Shrimp and bacon grits
· Catfish tacos
· Beer and bacon mussels
· And loads and loads and loads of fries
"You had me at DEEP fried."
You can’t blame us for walking home that night and when I say walk I mean roll. We trekked all the way from W84th St to W25th St which did provide us with some relief, however, I'm sure it was only enough to work off half a pancake at best. But that’s half a pancake I can have tomorrow right? Isn’t that how it works?
If you ever find yourself in New York this place is a must. However, tread carefully and follow these three rules.
1. You must wear stretchy pants.
2. You must, must not be on a diet.
3. You must, must, must order their famous southern biscuit sandwich.
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