Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Photography and Gluttony at Pies 'N Thighs and Best Pizza

Chicken Fried Steak from Pies 'N Thighs
I took an inspiring stroll through North Brooklyn with my mate Hong-An Tran this past weekend. We are both avid photographers and meet up every so often to make a little art, followed by a little gluttony. You can see some on my photos here and Hong-An's work over at her blog. I got to know Hong-An when I interviewed her for Slice about her beautiful photos of pizza so it was appropriate that after a few hours of exploring the North West edges of Brooklyn we found ourselves at Best Pizza.

I am sure the regular round pie was quite delicious when it was fresh. Unfortunately by the time we got to it is was beyond its sell by date. It was too dry - the cheese desiccated, the crust shatteringly crisp with no life. A disappointment but more than compensated for by the square grandma which was simply wonderful. The sauce is spiked with anchovies and perfumed with mixed herbs, the crust is crisp where it counts but also exhibited a pleasing chewiness. A great slice by any measure. As good as I suspect the regular slice may be when fresh I can't see myself choosing it over the square.

Next up we hit Pies 'N Thighs, a lovely little restaurant that I have not visited since I favorably reviewed their hamburger. I intended to get the fried chicken which is among my favorites in NYC but noticed that there was a chicken fried steak special on offer.
It was delicious - a skirt steak was substituted for the more traditionally used cubed round and it was tender and flavorful. The batter was wonderfully crunchy, only mildly less so when bathed in  the creamy white gravy. Aided and abetted by some fluffy mashed potatoes and a generous slab of Texas toast the dish was a triumph.

Hong-An went for the chicken biscuit - a crisp breast stuffed into a perfectly executed biscuit and doused in hot sauce and honey. Another triumph. At one point I commented that the cooking was far beyond competent, "Did you say confident?"asked Hong-An. It is that as well I concluded. You can say the same thing about Hong-An's photography.

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