I had a chance to embrace some of these last few days of pleasant Fall weather by dining outside for brunch at the hip new-ish Southern Spot, Jacob's Pickles, on NYC's Upper West Side. For the non New Yorkers--the Upper West Side has become a super fancy place--yet less formal than the Upper East Side.
Jacob's Pickles, in true UWS fashion, doesn't take reservations unless you have a huge party. So, try to snag a seat at the communal dining area or bar. Otherwise, be prepared to wait! (We were told there was a 1hr 15min wait on a Sunday at 1:30, but we were able to grab a seat outside when we saw a couple leave because they thought it was going to rain.)
We started our meal with a cocktail. My friend ordered the spicy brine margarita--a house infused jalapeño Espolon Tequilla, spicy Pickle Brine. It was indeed spicy!
I was feeling seasonal, so I tried the "Chilled Apple Pie Moonshine." Mine came in a much smaller jar, but it definitely tasted an awful lot like apple pie! And it wasn't too strong ;) But, in addition to great hand-crafted cocktails, this place has quite the beer selection! The owner actually discovered his passion for artisan-crafted beers while studying abroad in the Czech Republic. Plus, any place that has 8 different pumpkin/squash beer selections certainly gets my vote!
The food was yummy! The shrimp and grits were seasoned extremely well--and I just love that some shrimp had the heads on and shells on the tails. I actually don't like having to de-shell shrimp tails when I'm eating, but it adds so much flavor! The grits were delish--my only complaint is that there weren't more of them. (I'm a southern girl, I love my grits!) Everything was organic--the menu even tells you what farm the pigs came from! I admire their commitment to sustainable and conscious farming and livestock practices.
Shrimp and Bacon Grits--gotta love finding shrimp cooked with the heads on!
I also ordered the banana pancakes, "fluffy biscuit pancakes with caramelized bananas." They had me at caramelized bananas... plus, the syrup was some type of homemade molasses-based syrup----super rich and super satisfying.
So, next time Alice's Tea Cup is telling me there's a two-hour wait for tea and scones... I may be heading over to Jacobs Pickles for some real food!