By: Mackenzie Cash
Coming from a small Southern town, it’s been hard to find a place in the city that truly reminds me of home. Peels, a cozy little restaurant on the corner of 2nd st and Bowery, seemed to promise a true Southern experience that I had been missing
From the moment you enter the restaurant, there’s an intimate and rustic vibe that is typical of what you would find below the Mason-Dixon line. The waitresses and hostesses exude charm that resonates so strongly to Southern hospitality that you forget for a moment that you are in Manhattan and nowhere near the land of sweet tea and fried chicken.
However, despite how quaint and Southern their hardwood floors and faded brick walls may be, the true test of the authenticity of their Southern-inspired menu lay in the food itself. While I wasn’t impressed enough by the looks of their gravy, I decided one of their famous, featured on Martha Stewart, build-a-biscuits were the way to go. If you’re going to be Southern, this is one staple that you can’t mess up.
The egg and cheddar biscuit was the perfect size for a breakfast meal and was light and fluffy the way it should be. While the eggs could have used a little more salt to keep them from being bland, a complaint that came from several other members of our group, the cheddar cheese sharply contrasted the eggs in a pleasing way. As for the biscuit itself, Mama always said that the better a biscuit was, the more the bottom crumbled as you ate it.
Mama would have certainly approved as I had to resort to using my fork to finish off my meal. And much like you would find in most Southern homes or restaurants, Peels certainly knows how to make you feel comfortable and welcome. Your coffee cup will never run dry, though by the 5th cup, you may have to beg your waitress to stop.
Overall, Peels has the charming atmosphere and personality of a quaint Southern restaurant. The food is a delicious and accurate take on Southern cuisine. Though it may not be quite as good as Mama used to make it, no one’s food ever truly is.