Sometimes ya just gotta eat. And ya gotta do it big. That’s what me and my girlfriends did semi recently at The Derby on the LES for my friend Jenna’s birthday. A Southern establishment, The Derby prides itself on strong drinks and big portions. Aka my kinda place. You know you’re in a good place when you sit down to eat, look up and see this on the wall:
We started off our meal with some deviled eggs (my fave), pulled pork sliders, and brisket mac and cheese. I know that sounds like a lot, but we couldn’t possibly forgo any of those. Deviled eggs were solid, and the brisket mac and cheese was delicious – of all the varieties I’ve had, this was my first experience with brisket on it. Who knew? And why did it take so long for me to try it?
The pulled pork sliders could easily have been a meal on their own – they were ENORMOUS. Look at those heaping piles of pulled pork! You can’t hate on that. Good flavor, juicy, and lightly sauced just the way I like it.
One of my friends on this excursion had never had chicken and waffles before (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) and I decided that was unacceptable, so I made her order it. Seriously I don’t even think she wanted it, but she ate it and thoroughly enjoyed. And when I say ate it, I mean had one piece because the waffle was huge and The Derby gives you 3 GIANT pieces of chicken on top. I swear I don’t know where they find these chickens but they must work out.
I had the Patty Melt. You know, something that is usually a small, flat burger patty on toast? Well, everything is bigger in Texas and also at The Derby, apparently. This thing was a MONSTER. Extra large beef patty on Texas toast and served with fries, naturally. It was delicious and perfectly cooked, but holy hell don’t eat for like 2 days if you want to order this or the fried chicken.
The birthday girl got shrimp and grits with spicy andouille sausage. She thought she was going “lighter” with this option, but it was still a pretty hefty dish. I loved the sausage and the grits were nice and cheesy – always a plus. Lastly, there was branzino – I suppose this is the one light dish you can have at The Derby, and it’s definitely a good one. The fish was cooked perfectly to a nice and flaky texture, and it had that buttery bite that always goes so nicely with fish. Butter makes everything better.
So despite the fact that it was a birthday dinner, fortunately The Derby knows that few people will have room left for dessert, so they don’t even offer any at the moment. Definitely not a problem for us, because one more bite and I think I would have exploded like the guy in Monty Python.
167 Orchard Street (at Stanton)
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