When I think about peaches, I think about wrapping my hand around something soft and fuzzy, pulling the small fruit off its perch from one of my dad’s trees. It’s a nostalgic moment—definitely summer, and I can almost feel the juice run down my chin as I take a bite. Refreshing.
When it comes to Peaches Southern Pub & Juke Joint, I’m not thinking soft and fuzzy, but I am thinking refreshing. Here, my tastebuds aren’t getting the same effect as sinking my teeth into a ripe peach, but I will admit, the collaboration between owner Greer Fredericks and executive chef Paul Failla, is refreshing—Southern comfort food with a twist.
I’d recommend heading there on an evening towards the end of the week, when you’ll find live music pumping from the spacious upstairs room, decked out with knick-knacks Greer has collected throughout her travels.
You’ll be with some friends, and you’ll kick off the evening with some super craft cocktails from Beverage Director Tom Siano at the downstairs bar. Pick your poison—there are a ton of sweet and savory options—but everyone knows IntoxiKate is a martini gal, and (thoroughly) enjoyed a pickled okra martini.
But before you head upstairs to dance the calories off, let Greer and Paul fill those bellies.
IntoxiKate Tip: Start slowly. Deviled Eggs aren’t an item I see on every menu, but I’m glad to find it here, as it was a great introduction to Chef Paul’s brining (and now my) obsession. The beet-brined eggs are split and deviled, then topped with a generous portion of braised bacon and picked okra.
As if to trick my stomach into thinking I’d be eating healthy for the rest of the evening, the Chopped Kale Salad made its way to the table. Packing some serious crunch from both raw and fried kale—texture alert!—the salad also sported charred corn, pickled beets, cotja cheese, and an amazing “green goddess” dressing that I quickly concluded should be smothered on everything.
Switch back to the fried goodness we know Southern food to be, Chef Paul sent out a classic—Fried Green Tomatoes. Lightly battered with cornmeal for that extra crunch, it was then topped with tomato jam and a slice of country ham. There is lots going on here—you’ve got the tartness of the green tomato, saltiness from the ham, and then a tomato jam that offers a bit of acidity to connect it all.
Greer Fredericks is no stranger to the restaurant world. In 2013, she made her mark on South Norwalk with Mama’s Boy Southern Table & Refuge, securing her spot as a driving force within the Fairfield County restaurant and nightlife scene.
Okay, before I describe the must-have dish at Peaches in Norwalk, you have to promise to stick with me. When I first read the description, I thought, I’m limiting myself to just one. But warning: these are addicting…
The Country Fried Bacon is literally like hosting a county fair in your mouth; all of your favorites are in one place and it tastes delicious. Take a generous portion of braised bacon—fat and all—skewer it, fry it in funnel cake batter, sprinkle it with powdered sugar, and then drizzle a little black pepper maple syrup. Ok, I don’t want to hear “I’m on a diet.” Listen (this one time): embrace the pork fat.
If you’re looking to indulge in a classic Southern coastal comfort dish, check out the Shrimp and Grits. Here, the blackened shrimp, spicy andouille sausage, pickled okra swim in a sea of firm and chewy grits.
Another can’t miss item is the Pork Shank. There’s just something about pork that is crispy on the outside but still juicy when you cut into that rocks my socks off. And that’s not even the best part of this dish—the black eyed pea cassoulet is outrageously flavorful with pickled vegetables and onion jam.
Another IntoxiKate favorite? The Bucket’O Chicken for two, served pickled brined or Nashville-style (smokey and spicy) with cornbread, coleslaw, collard greens and mac’n’cheese.