I love the Upper West Side, but it’s just so far from me in Brooklyn that I rarely go. However, when I do, I thoroughly enjoy walking up and down the streets, peeking in all the shops and smelling all the delicious food. It’s like a Mecca for classic New York things. One of my favorite restaurants, and a particularly underrated gem of the NYC food world is on 83rd and Amsterdam, Jacob’s Pickles.
The drink menu here is extensive, and quite lovely. All of their cocktails sounded amazing but I just felt a beer was more suited for the meal, and went with a Black Hog Strawberry Gose. I’d never had a gose before but this was perfect! Light and crisp with a pleasant fruity flavor that totally complimented my dinner. Now, on to the good stuff.
They have pickles, and yes, they’re really good but that’s just the tip of the iceberg with this place. I made a statement about fried chicken a while back, and I have to say the chicken at Jacob’s Pickles also ranks quite highly at the top of my list of best fried chicken in like, the entire world. Their menu is extensive and it’s hard to make choices, so go with a group and share stuff.
Our neighbors at the table got a flight of pickles and couldn’t finish it so we were gifted with their leftovers (I know it sounds weird but it wasn’t.) Personally, I love the pickled green beans the best, or dilly beans as they’re called on the menu. Crunchy, snappy and super tangy, they’re a great way to start off.
My favorite thing on the menu is called the BBQ Smothered Pepper Jack Chicken sandwich. Yeah, just read that name again and try to picture it- believe me when I say it’s better than you can ever imagine. It’s a massive piece of extremely crunchy, juicy, fried chicken, on top of their homemade biscuits that are to die for, and smothered with their housemade barbecue sauce and shredded pepper jack cheese. It’s so aptly named, let me tell you. The plate is absolutely enormous so it’s perfect to split.
The biscuits are part of their fame, and well worth it too. Buttery, soft, moist, I could eat just those for dinner and be totally satisfied.
Everything always looks good, but I recommend getting anything that comes with the cheddar grits. Goodness, they’re good. I’m not a southern girl so it’s not like I know that much about grits, but I can tell you these are absolutely incredible. Totally cheesy (so of course I like them) and perfectly smooth, I like to alternate a bite of the sandwich and then a bite of the grits, just for some balance throughout my meal.
For some reason we thought we could handle more food, so we also ordered a side of poutine- it’s a weakness of mine, I can’t turn it down. This wasn’t traditional poutine, as it wasn’t completely covered in gravy, but it was so delicious and really filling. The fries seemed to have soaked up the gravy so they were very flavorful and salty, but were still crispy. The best part was the obscene amount of cheese on top, forming them into a giant mass of happiness.
I cannot possibly recommend this place enough. The food is incredible, the price is totally reasonable, the atmosphere is pleasant and the music is rockin’. They do it right over there, so if you’re in New York, go now. I will say it gets pretty crowded and they don’t take reservations for small groups, so be prepared to wait a little bit, but know that the wait is 100% worth it.