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Pies 'n' Thighs Debacle


RichyRich
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After reading articles in the NYT and newly published one in NYMAG I was real interested in making a trek from Brooklyn Heights to the artsy/bohemian/hipster Williamsburg to try pies/donuts & fried chicken @ Pies 'n' Thighs.

My girl and I had a bit of trouble finding the hidden place. My navigation in my car got me there but I still needed to search on foot. I walked into a bar with no signage (Rock Star Bar) to ask where this chicken joint was and was directed to the back of the bar where there was a line of four people. It was real hole in wall (this excited me like I discovered something and it wasn’t packed like Bubby’s); there wasn’t room enough for ten people in the area including the two people behind the counter. There is a weekend menu which disappointed me (no fried chicken or most other delectables). I settled on an egg hash for me and a chicken cutlet on a biscuit for my girl. I was told to go back into the bar and my food would be brought to me. While we waited we had the delicious $2 donut (sinfully good) at the bar. Here is where the whole thing hit the rocks BIG TIME.

Rockstar bar had the nerve to have a bartender serve drinks while having a lit cigarette hanging out of her mouth. This is to me is really gross. I am not against smoking but A) its illegal in NY & B) its so outrageously gross while serving the public. I took a big gulp of air and said let me shutup because the food will be worth it and I don’t want to piss anyone off. The other seven patrons in the place seemed happy eating. Alas the food arrived at our section of the bar. We began eating and sadly felt the food was mediocre at best, in no means was it bad but nothing worth hunting for like say Silvia’s in Harlem. As we continued to eat and converse I saw a black CAT walking around. Ok, now I was grossed to a new level in which I never had been at a restaurant or bar. Animals in a restaurant/bar are in no way or level excusable. I also had thoughts that the cat is there for rat or mice control. So ok now I am grossed on two levels, yes it got way F-ING worse. The cat jumped on the bar where people were eating and was played with by the artsy/bohemian/hipster patrons. As the cat came close to me the cigarette smoking bartender started aggressively making kissing noises and petted it. I said to my girl grab your coat we are outta here (we left a full Blue Moon beer and all the food). All I could think was a cat was snooping around the kitchen and pantry at night and eating scraps during the day. My girl said she felt like she was eating cat hair (she hadn’t literally). I am so upset that I think I am going to call the health dept on Monday at some point.

What do you guys think? Anyone from Pies ‘n” Thighs want to comment? I look fwd to your responses…

Pies 'n' Thighs

351 Kent Avenue (entrance on South Fifth Street), Williamsburg, Brooklyn; (347) 282-6005.

Edited by RichyRich (log)

"I bid you peace, until we meet again"

~Frugal Gourmet Jeff Smith

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After reading articles in the NYT and newly published one in NYMAG I was real interested in making a trek from Brooklyn Heights to the artsy/bohemian/hipster Williamsburg to try pies/donuts & fried chicken @ Pies 'n' Thighs.

My girl and I had a bit of trouble finding the hidden place. My navigation in my car got me there but I still needed to search on foot. I walked into a bar with no signage (Rock Star Bar) to ask where this chicken joint was and was directed to the back of the bar where there was a line of four people. It was real hole in wall (this excited me like I discovered something and it wasn’t packed like Bubby’s); there wasn’t room enough for ten people in the area including the two people behind the counter. There is a weekend menu which disappointed me (no fried chicken or most other delectables). I settled on an egg hash for me and a chicken cutlet on a biscuit for my girl. I was told to go back into the bar and my food would be brought to me. While we waited we had the delicious $2 donut (sinfully good) at the bar. Here is where the whole thing hit the rocks BIG TIME.

Rockstar bar had the nerve to have a bartender serve drinks while having a lit cigarette hanging out of her mouth. This is to me really gross. I am not against smoking but A) its illegal in NY & B) its so outrageously gross while serving the public. I took a big gulp of air and said let me shutup because the food will be worth it and I don’t want to piss anyone off. The other seven patrons in the place seemed happy eating. Alas the food arrived at our section of the bar. We began eating and sadly felt the food was mediocre at best, in no means was it bad but nothing worth hunting for like say Silvia’s in Harlem. As we continued to eat and converse I saw a black CAT walking around. Ok no I was now grossed to a new level in which I never had been at a restaurant or bar. Animals in a restaurant/bar are in no way or level excusable. I also had thoughts that the cat is there for rat or mice control. So ok now I am grossed on two levels, yes it got way F-ING worse. The cat jumped on the bar where people were eating and was played with by the artsy/bohemian/hipster patrons. As the cat came close to me the cigarette smoking bartender started aggressively making kissing noises and petted it. I said to my girl grab your coat we are outta here (we left a full Blue Moon beer and all the food). All I could think was a cat was snooping around the kitchen and pantry at night and eating scraps during the day. My girl said she felt like we eating cat hair (she hadn’t literally). I am so upset that I think I am going to call the health dept on Monday at some point.

What do you guys think? Anyone from Pies ‘n” Thighs want to comment? I look fwd to your responses…

Pies 'n' Thighs

351 Kent Avenue (entrance on South Fifth Street), Williamsburg, Brooklyn; (347) 282-6005.

Seems you said it all. It ain't Bubby's. Vote with your feet, never go back, but please leave it for those of us who like bar cats and smoking bartenders.

I think I'd be more enraged at a surprise weekend menu (which I hate everywhere) than the aforementioned "ambiance". but that's just me.

I've never been to pies 'n' thighs but the review really didn't turn me off...ah, it takes all types.

Richy Rich. Welcome to egullet!

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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I can't understand that nobody agrees… People this was really gross a lit cig was hanging from the bartender’s mouth and a cat walking on a bar where people eat…The cat was seconds from walking two inches from my plate...Its ok to agree and disagree but I am talking MAJOR health code violations not minor…

"I bid you peace, until we meet again"

~Frugal Gourmet Jeff Smith

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I agree, it sounds pretty gross. I do not like to see ashes hanging around in my food or drink. But then, I am decidedly unhip and uncool, that is for sure. :laugh: But the funny thing is, I have eaten in many places in Europe. Also in the middle east, which, while I love it, is not especially known for its cleanliness. And I've discovered that one can eat many, many good things, even very good things, without having to worry about cat hair and/or ashes in one's food. So we all get to choose, which I think is nice. :smile:

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The food would have to be really amazing for me to consider a place like that. Doesn't sound like it was.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

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I agree, Holly. Cats are in no way a health hazard unless you're allergic... then *gesundheit*!.

Smoking barstaff doesn't concern me either. Mediocre food, on the other hand, does. I doubt the cat and the smoke had anything to do with the kitchen not producing the good stuff.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

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I have two cats. They are "supposed" to confine themselves to the floor and the couch. Nonetheless, I'm not so naive as to think that they are never on my kitchen counters or dining room table. Ew! I kiss 'em, too!

I'm just a dirty girl I suppose.

Agenda-free since 1966.

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The presence of the cat doesn't really bother me (I have two cats at home who spend time in the kitchen) though I don't think the dining room of a restaurant is the best place for them. I can't say that I am enamored of the cigarette smoking bartender either. As for dirty being the new clean...enjoy it if that is your cup of tea in a restaurant :wink::raz: I'm not the most fastidious person, but I prefer a restaurant that adheres to basic sanitation. That being said, if the food is phenomenal, that would cover a lot of sins.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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The presence of the cat doesn't really bother me (I have two cats at home who spend time in the kitchen) though I don't think the dining room of a restaurant is the best place for them. I can't say that I am enamored of the cigarette smoking bartender either. As for dirty being the new clean...enjoy it if that is your cup of tea in a restaurant :wink:  :raz: I'm not the most fastidious person, but I prefer a restaurant that adheres to basic sanitation. That being said, if the food is phenomenal, that would cover a lot of sins.

Agreed, but I think a difference for me would be between having a cat in a casual restaurant walking around on the floor or having a cat walking around on the table where my plated food was.

I know my two cats get on the table sometime but they're my cats and I know they are not outside cats and they don't have fleas or some other unknown disease.

All in all, given that the food was good and it was a casual place I wouldn't mind at all as long as the cat didn't walk on my table or near my plate of food.

edited to add: I value small neighborhood restaurants with character so that for what was described above I would only "vote with my own feet" as someone else put it above if I was not enchanted and would definately would not report the restaurant to any authorities.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I would highly recommend that you not eat anywhere in Europe.

Anywhere? That's a stretch. In Italy, for example, you might see somebody working at a "bar americano" smoking, but anywhere that serves food is non-smoking. And you wouldn't see a cat on the bar. (Now dogs on the floor, sure.)

That said, I doubt the cat is a health hazard. Sure, its feet were probably kicking around in the litter box ten minutes before, but presumably they serve the food on, y'know, plates... either way, if you don't like the ambiance, you certainly shouldn't go back!

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I absolutely grant you the right to be grossed out BUT if I felt that way then I would have to eat at home all the time since ALL of my friends and family own cats and/or dogs which have the freedom of the house and the kitchen. And I can recall a time when dogs were as welcome as their owners in our pub where we served food and EVERYONE smoked. I no longer have any pets but only because I fear that I could not manage vet bills not because I fear their presence would be a health hazard. I am sorry you had such a miserable time.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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I eat at Pies and Thighs frequently and find their food to be stellar. It is annoying that they don't have the thighs during brunch hours, but Steven's biscuit and gravy is the second best (my granny's being the best) example of that dish I've ever had.

During normal hours, their fried chicken is pretty damn great.

That said, the "Rock Star" bar is a horrible place to enjoy the food. It's dark, dingy, sometimes smoky and smells like a dive bar. Fine at night, but very depressing during the day (unless you're the next Bukowski). I normally either do take out, or have my food outside on their patio.

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Well the beauty of a forum is to talk and see what other people think and how they would react. The verdict people is...

“NO I HAVE NOT REPORTED OR CALLDED THE HEALTH DEPT”

I am thinking that maybe I should give this place another shot during the week for takeout or just wait till the weather is more permitting for outdoor dining. Maybe I am giving Pies 'N" Thighs an unfair poke and should be shunning the connected Rockstar Bar instead...

Hmmm (Scratching My Head)

"I bid you peace, until we meet again"

~Frugal Gourmet Jeff Smith

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I think that the bar is the problem for you, actually. I, personally, can't stand when someone is smoking cigarettes or cigars while they prepare my edibles or potables... it just disgusts me to have ashes hanging there. Those people should be forced to smoke pipes during working hours.

PS: I'm not being sarcastic, I mean it. There ought'a be a LAW.

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