Monday, October 31, 2011

The Appeal of Peels

Peels is a hot new brunch spot on the New York scene, a spin-off of the popular Freeman's, that is an all-day diner featuring a Southern-style menu.  Biscuits. Grits. Fried chicken.  You know the drill.

The place is all abuzz among foodies online, so I expected the worst when I got a hankering for brunch on Saturday at 1p, but was pleasantly surprised with a minimal wait (~5 minutes) at the first floor bar.  Couples were given a 30 minute wait time and groups of 3+ were given 45 minutes.  Is it just me being jaded by New York to think that that is a decent wait time?  If waiting is not your thing, they also serve their brunch/lunch menu daily.  Options!  Lovely!

The whole scene is a brightly lit version of Freeman's, with rustic, country style woods and an entire whitewashed interior.  The brunch menu has a few specialties like shrimp and grits, poached eggs on biscuits with sausage gravy and the like.  A pretty framed box on the menu showcases their Build-a-Biscuit option which allows you to build any sort of biscuit sandwich concoction with a la carte fillings.  If you go wild, your sandwich can end up a little pricey, but I kept it low-key and real with just a couple of fixins.

Another charming menu is the Parker House rolls with housemade jam and Vermont butter.  You can see them on the top shelf freshly baked below.  They are toasted again prior to serving and look killer.  I watched three batches of biscuits being baked in their oven. It was definitely food porn.

While waiting for me entree, I couldn't resist ordering a cup of the hot cocoa served with homemade honey-vanilla marshmallow, and boy was it the right decision!

Just look at that velvety rich chocolatey pool - a beautiful fluff of marshmallow floating on top.  This was fine drinking chocolate - completely indulgent, drinkable and absolutely satisfying.  The marshmallow was perfection, oozing ribbons of vanilla into the hot drink.  I hate how early winter has come, but I love the excuse to drink more hot chocolate!

My Build-a-Biscuit was a vision to behold - impossibly tall with buttery, flaky biscuit bedecked with goooolden encrusted chicken  and yellow, scrambled egg.

 It's definitely one of those knife and fork type of sandwiches.

Man.  That first bite of chicken took me straight to crispy poultry heaven.  Amazingly crisp, well-salted and flavored and sooo moist!  Aaaaand, is it gross to say that the chicken tasted even better because there is skin still left on it?  And chicken skin is so delicious?  So delicious.  (Happy sigh).

I ended up eating half of the biscuit with the egg and chicken, and I managed to get a nice ramekin of housemade jelly in which to enjoy the other half.  The jelly was also on point - apple / strawberry - I honestly couldn't tell, but I managed to eat the whole thing :-/.  I would recommend you to do the same!

I'm pretty excited about the possibilities of Peels.  Or at least the fried chicken.  I wish I could just eat a whole bucket of it.  A life decree: more food should be served in buckets.

325 Bowery, NYC 10003
Peels on Urbanspoon


  1. That biscuit looks awesome! If it can't fit in my mouth, I want to eat it.

  2. you know how i feel about biscuits. this place looks fantastic!!

  3. I've heard a lot about Peels - especially the desserts and sweets so I hope you can return to try some of them!

  4. Yes! Same, Sara - I intended to get some dessert, but after the killer hot chocolate, I had to delay that decision to another time. Maybe I can get Greeshma to indulge with me on her next visit :)