325 Bowery, New York, NY | Directions 1000340.725683 -73.991851
Neighborhoods: East Village, Downtown, Bowery
Go early to get a seat in the pristine white upstairs room at this delicious comfort brunch spot, and order biscuits and gravy, buttermilk donuts, shrimp and grits, or a fried chicken or meatloaf sandwich. While waiting or for a coffee after, head to Think across the street.
Four words: Build Your Own Biscuit. Peels is a popular brunch spot that serves up refined country grub. Don't miss the shrimp and grits and be sure to make reservations.
Studiedly casual, and with a menu that could best be described as high lardcore, Peels is an oasis of southern food with a real downtown vibe. It gets busy at night but for breakfast or lunch it's a great place to meet or just unwind.
Raw chicken is unnacceptable – I was excited to try this sister restaurant of Freeman's, one of my favorite restaurants in the city. However, this place is just trying way too hard to be the uber cool kid on the block. The host-people are too young, too vacant, and too fashion victimized to deal with old-school Bowery types. And the blasting music? Is that still cool? If only the food and service could live up to their attitude. My fried chicken was served to me RAW. Apparently someone removed the wrong piece of hardly cooked chicken from the fryer and put it on my plate. It happens? No, not in any fine restaurant. Never. In all fairness, the manager was great. She was the only person in the place who knew what she was doing and seemed to be cleaning up everyone's mess. She brought us drinks when our table wasn't ready on time, she formally apologized to us after the waitress told us "the chicken is so fresh that sometimes that happens (!!)" and she also picked up the bill. Still, I wouldn't give this unpleasant dining experience another chance - especially when there are just too many great restaurants in the neighborhood, not to mention amazing soul food restaurants who know how to do southern fried chicken right.
Citysearch Editorial Review – Stalked by New York's restaurant paparazzi months before opening, this sweet little sister to Freemans could be the restaurant to unseat Keith McNally's Pulino's as the see-and-be-scene spot on the Bowery. In the afternoons, the gleaming white space is flooded with light, creating a vision straight from the pages of a Crate and Barrel catalog--rather ironic, given the neighborhood's less than glossy past. Peels is more cafe than restaurant, with a pastry and coffee counter leading on to a communal table and old-school counter seating, and, like Pulino's, it attracts an elder tribe of hip patrons--fashion-types, other restaurateurs, old school Bowery locals--but not actual hipsters. The simple but near perfect diner-style fare at Peels (build-your-own-biscuits and breakfast all day; a killer burger and a ridiculous fried chicken sandwich, plus soups and salads) combined with its relative youth, just may make it THE place to wait 30 minutes for a table on the Bowery.
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