When I was a kid growing up in Houston, kids would say “kiss my grits”. “Grits” being the southern politically correct way to say “ass”…I assume. I remember a little girl, in a thick Texas twang, yelling it out loud to no one in particular “kiss mah grits” during gym class.
Fast forward to five years ago, on the south-side of Williamsburg, was a total dive bar I loved for several reasons. The first being that you could smoke in there, not to mention a totally unpretentious atmosphere, cheap stiff drinks, NO DJ, they had a jukebox, and they had air hockey. Occasionally they had live bands, which were always death metal, or punk… just whatever nobody wanted to hear. Hell one time I walked in and the place was packed. Some guy walking out just looked at me and laughed. I had no idea what was so funny till I noticed the bar was full of women.
Not a dude in sight, and just then two girls came in behind me, and this kind of bull-dog looking chic carrying in a giant suitcase. I overheard her friend asking her “when people ask if you need help, do you just tell them “no it’s ok, I’m lesbian”. Right, thats what that night was all about, and I was outta there.
Whatever happened at Rocky’s, it was no big production, and nothing glamorous, just the way I wanted it. Which is why when I came in one day and found out they had a kitchen in the back, I was excited for sure. What was said food? Who was cooking?Would I get sick? I had to find out. When I went to the back I noticed two white chicks cooking up fried chicken, cookies, pies, catfish and fries. The place was called Pies and Thighs.
I lived down on Bedford and Dekalb at the time and that neighborhood was a dead zone for food. There was a little spot round the corner where this nice young black couple made horribly bad food, for way too much money. My girl at the time claimed to be an authority on southern food, even though she was from Far Rockaway.
We both order a box of chicken, and the taste buds are not let down. Mac’n cheese, greens, dark meat, and sweat potato pie for dessert, them girls did not disappoint.
Fast forward to today, I had to meet Adam who worked at Magic Cobra tattoo over on Driggs and 3rd. I’m dropping off some Dominican antibiotics, picking up a laptop and lunch. Over on the corner is Pies and Thighs, over on Driggs and 4th, they finally got their own storefront. Still serving boxes of chicken or catfish, but the sides have expanded. Today I did something I never do…order grits in a restaurant.
I came to the realization long ago, that grits not cooked at home are more often than not, never cooked properly. They are gritty, never cooked all the way, and way too al-dente. But here at the tattoo shop, there is another Texan who swore the grits were legit. So I ordered a catfish box which came with a side of cornbread and an additional side of my choice. I had the mac’n cheese, had the fries, but hadn’t had the baked beans, greens or black eye’d peas, nor had I had the cheese grits.
Me and the guy behind the counter went back and forth, until finally I just asked him, what he liked. He just said that he didn’t like the coleslaw. Really, interesting… ok then just give me mac’n cheese..no wait..gimme cheese grits. And they were buttery, cheesy, smooth and topped off with hot sauce, perfect.
Thirteen dollars is more than I care to spend on fish and grits, but the food was good and the rent is high. You learn quick, that if you want cheap prices, than you can expect the food to follow right along. That or eat from a food truck in bum-fuck.