Sunday Brunch: Jacob's Pickles


By Dane Feldman

Photos by Dane Feldman.

Jacob’s Pickles has become a New York institution in its four short years of existence. The bar and restaurant is located on Amsterdam Ave on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and it is consistently packed.

I first set foot in Jacob’s Pickles just a few months after it opened. Word hadn’t traveled throughout the city yet and I’d only heard of the place because a friend of mine was a hostess there for about a year.

After that first visit, I went back a few times in a short span of time, but then it fell to the back of my mind. Its long waits for tables made it hard for me to justify hanging out there when the surrounding neighborhood is lush with other great spots.

Then, I returned on my birthday for brunch and I remembered exactly why the restaurant has become arguably one of the most popular in the city of New York.

The food

Brunch at Jacob’s Pickles is absolutely no joke. The spot comes as close as possible to providing a meal filled with my favorite items. In fact, deciding what to order was so difficult it made my head spin.

Eventually, I settled on the sausage gravy smothered chicken: buttermilk fried chicken covered in sausage gravy and served alongside a bowl of ridiculously delicious cheese grits. This was so good I almost cried. Like I said, Jacob’s Pickles is no joke.

The rest of the brunch menu is equally impressive and jam-packed with southern-style comfort food. From catfish tacos to biscuits, gravy, eggs, and yes, even collard greens and black-eyed peas, Jacob’s Pickles has it covered. Oh, and did I mention the grit-crusted fried green tomatoes? Yeah.

The drinks

The southern influences don’t stop at the food. No sir. Jacob’s Pickles offers a wide supply of wine and beer, but their Kentucky Porch Sipper is one of my all time favorite drinks (bourbon, muddled lemon, lime, and orange, and Angostura bitters).

Instead, I thought I’d try something different and ordered the Tennessee Honey Suckle: Tennessee whiskey, orange preserves, clover honey, and fresh squeezed lemonade.

If bourbon and lemonade isn’t your style, perhaps the Rum & Root Beer or the Bloody BLT is. The Bloody Mary includes bacon and a jalapeno pickled egg.

Unfortunately, Jacob’s Pickles doesn’t offer bottomless brunch. That’s okay, though, with all the oohing and ahhing over the food, I honestly didn’t even think about it.

The service/ambience
Despite how busy Jacob’s Pickles is (the wait time was over an hour for three people), the service is still attentive, friendly, and knowledgeable. We didn’t feel rushed or neglected and the restaurant wasn’t too loud.

The space itself is big, but with so many people inside for brunch it can be hard to tell just how big.

Nevertheless, the experience is well worth the wait, the crowd, and the hype. I won’t be waiting two years before my next trip, that’s for sure.