That Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese in the header looks delectable, doesn’t it? That’s not a stock photo from their website either, the mac & cheese at Jacob’s Pickles really looks that good and tastes even better.
It’s kind of amazing that I’m only now writing about the restaurant as I’ve dined there numerous times over the past few years.
On some level, I wanted it to remain an Upper West Side brunch enclave back then, but going by how outrageously packed it was during prime hours yesterday, I’m guessing the secret is out (said with mild sarcasm).
Before I get to what I had and how delicious everything was, can I just say that the restaurant’s rebound post well-publicized early 2017 fire has been remarkable? It essentially hasn’t lost a step, and going by the scene from yesterday, demand is as strong as it ever was.
After about a 30 minute wait (which passed rather quickly as I spent the time across the street drinking way-too-expensive-for-the-size coffee at Le Pain Quotidien) my dining companion and I were seated on the upper tier of the surprisingly-well-lit restaurant. I’m thankful for that amount of natural light as it makes all of the food photos look that much better. The yellow-ish din within the darkness of many restaurants is great for an intimate mood, but it really does a disservice to food photography.
Jacob’s Pickles features a lively social scene during brunch with what seems to be mostly mid-20’s to early 40’s patrons; the drawback being the crowding that occurs at the entrance by the bar during such a time making it difficult to move around.
WHAT WAS CONSUMED:
Honey Julep: Four Roses Bourbon, Muddled Mint, Honey Syrup
Bloody BLT: Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Sterling Bacon, Jalapeno Pickled Egg
Chicken & Pancakes: Fluffy Pancakes, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Sterling Bacon, Homemade syrup
Deviled Eggs Pickled Mustard Seed, Smoked Paprika, Micro Arugula
Sausage Gravy Smothered Chicken: Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese: Pickled Mustard Seed, Smoked Paprika, Micro Arugula
If you don’t know, Jacob’s Pickles specializes in what they call “Southern-Accented Comfort Food” a roundabout way of describing southern cooking you’d find in someone’s grandmother’s kitchen. Mainly fried chicken and biscuits smothered in gravy and with some kosher dishes to round things out.
I had a strong Honey Julep to start my early afternoon indulgence — the honey, mint and bourbon mingled for a light and crisp taste that reminded me of late spring/early summer. The Bloody B.L.T. was sufficiently spicy and thick with the vodka cutting through only a bit, which is how I like my Bloody Mary’s. Deviled Eggs were my appetizer; wonderfully plated, the pickled mustard seed gave these an extra bite, which was pleasant to me. My main dish was the Chicken & Pancakes, which is two breaded chicken tenders with 3 pancakes topped with Sterling Bacon bits; the portion was so generous I wasn’t able to finish it — a rare thing for me. My companion ordered the Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese as an appetizer, and in my view it is one of the tastiest things they have on the menu with the kick you might expect from the buffalo sauce and the all-important mountain of melted cheddar. Her second dish was the Sausage Gravy Smothered Chicken, which in honesty, I did not try given my fullness.
As stated previously, our wait time was approximately 25 minutes, which turned out to be more like 35, but that was still within the realm of tolerance for a party of 2 on a busy day. Our waitress was actually very attentive given the madness surrounding her; our drinks and appetizers didn’t take very long to come, and our main courses followed at just about the right moment when we were starting to wonder where they were. For how busy the restaurant was, I was very pleased with our overall dining experience.
Overall, I highly recommend Jacob’s Pickles as a place with delicious food, great portions, and good service.