New York City is a lot different when you’re hanging out with children ranging in age from 13 months to 3 years. There’s a lot more down time and a different set of adventures, but none of this is a bad thing, just a lot different from our last trip out there in 2012 shortly after we got married.
This time around there were three families consisting of two adults and one kid each. So there were nine of us galavanting through the city that never sleeps in search of kid friendly activities that could be explored in between nap times. Thankfully one of those families is the family we were visiting, so they know their way around the city and know how to entertain kids in the city.
Unfortunately for this blog, since we had the kids with us, there was only one night when we went out to a restaurant to eat. We were only there for two nights anyways, so it’s not like I would have a ton of places to write about, but in the case of this trip I only have one spot to give my thoughts on and that spot is Jacob’s Pickles.
Jacob’s Pickles Atmosphere
Unfortunately it was raining when we ventured out to Jacob’s Pickles, but it would have been awesome to sit outside on their little patio. So instead of sitting on the patio outside we were setup in the back of the restaurant, which was perfect. The front of the place is more of a “bar”; very narrow with highboy tables. It wasn’t really conducive to our situation… plus it was really loud and one of the kids didn’t really care for it. I tried to explain to her that late 80’s early 90’s hip-hop is still the best era of hip-hop, but she wasn’t having any of it… everyone else loved the music.
Once you walk beyond the bar-ish area, it opens up a bit into more of a dining room. There were 2 long tables that probably hold between 15-20 people each (so it was community seating), and then 2-3 four-top tables along the walls… and it was much quieter.
I’m still not sure if this is a place I would have chosen to take a 13-month old, a 16-month old, and a 3-year old, but we definitely weren’t the only people with young kids sitting in the back. It’s not that it’s a bad place for kids, I just felt like the food was a little nicer than the kids would appreciate, the music was a bit on the loud side, and it just doesn’t come off as a straight-up “family restaurant”. But that being said, it’s absolutely fine for children if you’re there during the dinner hours (we were there from like 6-7:30pm on a Friday).
Comfort Food and Pickles
The name of the game at Jacob’s is Pickles, Beer and Comfort Food, so obviously we had to start with some pickles, some poutine, and some biscuits w/ fixin’s. Unfortunately for you guys, I did not try the pickles as I’m not a huge fan… although I probably should have considering the whole point of this site, sorry. There was a lot going on here with all the kids and trying to figure out what to feed them and all of that so I was distracted, but I did try the biscuits w/ fixin’s and the poutine.
The “fixin’s” that come with the biscuits are house strawberry & orange preserves, clover honey, salted butter, and maple butter. The biscuits themselves were warm, flaky and fresh, much better than the biscuits I’m used to from KFC (although those are delicious as well). My favorite fixin’ was the maple butter, but the clover honey was a close second. The salted butter was fine, but it’s just salted butter so I didn’t think there was anything too special about it, and I’m not a fan of strawberry or orange preserves so I avoided those and dove straight into the poutine.
The poutine was smothered in brown gravy, cheese and a hollandaise drizzle. And until I just read that there was a hollandaise drizzle on it, I had no idea…. I don’t like hollandaise, or at least I thought I didn’t, but the poutine was incredible, so I guess I do like hollandaise. After eating the poutine I thought there was no way that my main course could live up to the deliciousness that was our appetizers. All of that gooey cheese and gravy dripping off of those delicious fries… how can you top that?
With the Chicken, Bacon, Egg & Cheese Sandwich, that’s how!
We were informed that all the sandwiches were served on a biscuit instead of bread, like a normal sandwich, so I kind of had this thought that it wouldn’t be an extremely large portion. And while it wasn’t as insanely large as the Chicken & Pancakes that one of the people in our party got (seriously it was insane), it wasn’t small by any means.
Yes, it was served on a biscuit, but the buttermilk fried chicken was spilling out of the biscuit; there was no good way to eat this “sandwich” without a knife and a fork. Topped with a sunny-side up egg, nitrate-free bacon, 2 year aged Vermont cheddar cheese, and a picnic sauce (which I got on the side), this “sandwich” was absolutely incredible. I thought for sure there was no way I would be able to eat even close to the whole thing when I first saw it, but I actually ate damn near the whole thing… more than my wife (who got the same thing), which is surprising. And as much as I love eggs and bacon (nitrite-free or full of nitrates), the buttermilk fried chicken is where this sandwich really shined. I thought that the chicken friend chicken I got in at The Southern in Nashville a couple years ago was the best chicken I’ve ever ate, but I think this chicken may have surpassed it. Everything about this sandwich at Jacob’s Pickles was incredible and I absolutely need to go back and have it again some day.
So if you’re in New York and you’re looking for a cool spot to grab some good old fashioned comfort food, pickles and beers, I definitely recommend checking out Jacob’s Pickles.