Pies 'n' Thighs
166 S. 4th Street, Brooklyn NY 11211; map); 347-529-6090; piesnthighs.tumblr.com
Cooking Method: Griddled
Short Order: Grass fed, griddle seared beef is served on wonderful white buns—a classic example of a hamburger
Want Fries with That? Yes; they come with the burger and they are exquisite—perfect fast food fries made slowly with care
Price: Burger and fries, $8; w/cheese, + $1; w/bacon, + $2
Of all of the hipster restaurants cooking American comfort food in the bohemian capital of Williamsburg and its satellites of Bushwick and Greenpoint, I don't think anyone is serving more authentic fare than Pie 'n' Thighs. While Roberta's brought us a derivation of Neapolitan style pizza, the sadly shuttered Brooklyn Star new age interpretations of traditional Southern cuisine, and Fatty 'Cue Asian fusion barbecue, Pies 'n' Thighs serves up straight up, unadulterated classics like fried chicken, barbecue, and a wholly commendable hamburger.
I am happy to report that their burger is every bit as good as the competition. In fact, by virtue of its diminutive size and traditional architecture, its the burger that will appeal most to the purist.
The hamburger at Pies 'n' Thighs, like the rest of the menu, is pure classic: six ounces of griddle cooked beef served on a generic white roll with a smear of mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, and four generous slices of pickle, accompanied by some outstanding fries. You can add bacon or cheese, but I think that even the mayo and rabbit food were superfluous—the burger was great commando style.
The patty came nicely seared with a dense, salty crust and a juicy interior. The beef was unmistakably grass fed having an earthy herbaceous quality, but otherwise had all the textural traits that we generally associate with grain fed beef: succulence and a bodacious mouth feel.
The bun was simply perfect—so generic that when I asked Pies 'n' Thighs owner Carolyn Bane where it came from she couldn't quite remember. Not so with the beef, which is proudly sourced from local butcher shop, The Meat Hook. The synergy between the soft, pillowy bun and the patty was spot on. It was a deeply pleasing burger.
I finished things off with another classic: apple pie with a slice of cheddar underneath.
Pies 'n Thighs might be best known for its namesake dishes. but don't overlook the the hamburger. It's so good I think that they should change the name of the restaurant to Patties, Pies 'n Thighs.