The sun was shining brightly on the first morning I walked into to Peach’s, yet somehow the interior of the restaurant felt even sunnier. Ample windows let in light, the hostess smiled, and various shades of peach adorned the space. In celebration of Easter Sunday the following day, Peach’s hired Leon Rogers, a local DJ, to spin for the morning. The loud house music provided a festive atmosphere to the crowd; in a corner booth, a woman with a stroller next to her bounced her child on her knee while dancing in her seat.
Peach’s Restaurant, a brunch and lunch spot on 47th and King, doesn’t always feel quite this festive (the DJ set, after all, is not a daily event), but it usually comes close. Peach’s has crafted a consistently upbeat atmosphere—one that all but guarantees the languid ecstasy of a big breakfast on a sunny day.
The success isn’t effortless. Peach’s menu items are purposefully crafted, diverging from standard diner fare. The menu emphasizes a southern heritage; the cheese grits are one of the most popular items. Buttery and smooth on their own, they go even better with shrimp, bacon, mushrooms, scallions, and a garlic cream sauce (a combo that goes by the deceptively simple title “Shrimp & Cheese Grits”). In keeping with the southern theme, you can also accompany a dish of buttery grits with collard greens and cornmeal-fried catfish.
Duck meat is another of the menu’s characteristic southern excesses. On my first visit to Peach’s, the daily specials included the “duck hunt,” a shredded duck sandwich with blueberry barbeque sauce on a brioche bun. The duck was, of course, rich, but the combination of blueberry and barbeque was where the dish shone. Cooked blueberries occasionally surfaced in the sandwich, and their sour sweetness made a pleasant mix with the tang of the barbeque sauce. But duck at Peach’s doesn’t just make a rare appearance in a special; you can swap out your average breakfast meats for duck bacon for only $1.50 more. Looking for something a little lighter? Try the turkey bacon, or maybe the wild-caught salmon, which graces the menu in a few notable dishes. According to manager Tilila Wade, the salmon croquettes are one of the restaurant’s best-known items (they come with cheese grits).
Along with the salmon croquettes, the duck bowl and the biscuits and gravy are among the dishes that make it under the “favorites” heading on the menu. To me, the duck bowl sounded the most enticing: strips of duck bacon mixed with sweet peppers, onions, spinach, roasted potatoes, and melted cheddar. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite stand up to the decadence of the blueberry duck sandwich. The duck bacon was less rich than I expected, and was mostly overwhelmed by the well-spiced potatoes, which were a little dry. The same complaint couldn’t be leveled at the biscuits and gravy; drenched in chicken and onion gravy, the biscuits were moist through and through. Somehow, the gravy managed to be rich but not overwhelming, balanced between savory chicken sausage morsels and a slight spicy kick from the sliced jalapeños.
Some of the sides couldn’t live up to the glory of the main dishes. Though the fried green tomatoes that came with a daily special of fried chicken and gravy were crisp, tart, and satisfying, the cornbread was just all right—like the biscuit that I ordered on the side on my first visit, the cornbread wasn’t as moist as it could have been. However, on my second trip, the biscuits in the biscuits and gravy were so flaky and buttery that I’ll chalk the one mediocre biscuit up to a bad batch.
The name and the logo (a picture of the eponymous young girl, Peach) are prominently displayed throughout the restaurant, and the peach theme is evident everywhere you look. Not only do the wait staff all wear matching Peach’s t-shirts, but one of the coffee options is even called “Peach’s Coffee.” This isn’t just a bland house blend—it’s actually peach-flavored. Though perhaps a bit of a gimmick, its flavor is decidedly inoffensive; a too-syrupy smell gives way to a surprisingly subtle taste.
A mix of colorful artwork and slogans adorn the walls. In block letters on a chalkboard, a Julia Child quote is written: “The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak! To cook!” On another wall: “I woke up like this…Hungry!” The eclectic decorations and art, along with the booths and the large, open dining area, create a space that strikes a balance between cafeteria, diner, and trendy coffee shop.
How could another trip to Peach’s live up to my first? On my second visit, I was desensitized to the décor that I had at first found so striking, and DJ Leon Rogers was notably absent. I wasn’t in awe. Instead, I felt comfortable; I could see myself coming back often. Apparently, I’m not alone. When I asked Wade, a manager, if many of the customers were regulars, she replied, “The majority of our customers are regulars. Hopefully now you’ll be one too.”
Peach’s Restaurant, 4652 S. King Dr. Daily 7am-3pm. (773) 966-5801. peachson47th.com
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