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Archive for the ‘Beer’ Category

The weather is warming up, you feel that sweat on your brow. You pulled out your jean cut offs and put them on. You’re feeling like an animal awake, after the long hibernation of winter.

You suddenly are salivating for all the barbecue and meat you’ve missed over the winter. All you want is that open flame, and a sandwich full of pork. Preferably pulled.

Now that the sacred Blue Mondays have long since gone the way of the buffalo (although, anyone notice the buffalo sandwiches comeback?), you’re looking for your next meaty summer event.

Well Loki Lounge is having a porktastic event this Sunday, May 3rd. What better way to welcome the summer with open arms than to eat wonderful pork creations by some of the best connoisseurs this side of the East River (COUGH COUGH ChezJJP COUGH).

I like sections of Pig!

I like sections of Pig!

Now I’ve only walked pass the Loki Lounge, but it looks like a nice place. Pool table, darts, patio, and the first review on Yelp calls it…let me see….”awesome”.

So show those swine what you think of their flu and taste some delicious pork, while helping…um…toxic waste victims in the Philippines? Alright…go for the pork, stay for the um…Philippians?

+ =

Nom Nom Nom

Nom Nom Nom

P.S. Reports of my death have been slightly exaggerated. Seeeee, I’m fine.

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Review: Superfine

When I first got to Superfine (126 Front St. in DUMBO), the friends I was meeting weren’t there yet. Peeking through the glass doors I saw a place that looked like how Cosi’s original designers probably wished for it to look – exposed brick, sprawling couches, multi-leveled seating, interesting hanging lamps, attractive well-dressed clientele. Since there were no mini-smores ovens to make me feel at home, I opted to wait across the street in the bookstore.

When my friends got there, we got a table right near the swank orange-felted pool table, overlooking the swank sunken bar.

Wordlessly, a waitress came over and propped up a big menu board next to our table. On the recommendation of one of my dining-mates, I got the pork chops with carmelized onion mashed potatoes and grilled zucchini. My friends got spaghettini, pizza, and pizza, respectively. Prices were in the 12-18 range for most entrees and sizable appetizers.

When it came time to order drinks, I wasn’t super impressed. The only mildly interesting beer selections they had (unless you are especially into Bass, Harp, Guiness, Yuengling, etc.) were Circus Boy and Coney Island Lager. The Lager was good and cold and crisp, though, and no offense to anyone, but more delicious than Brooklyn Lager. This seems like the kind of place that might have a good mixed drink specialty, but after a hard day of blogging I wanted a brewskie and didn’t ask… but if you find out about one, let me know!

Anyway, though I was enjoying my lovely company, the food took forever to come. And it wasn’t until we were sitting there for like 40 minutes that someone was like, can we get some bread? Because apparently they give that stuff complimentarily. To be fair, we had an off-duty waitress sitting with us so maybe our server was confused about what was and wasn’t going to happen at our table… but the bread was crusty and tasted like it was from a good bakery, and the greenish olive oil that accompanied it was ripely excellent.

So, into my second beer the dinner arrives. I like pork chops, and whenever I go to al di la I never get them, even though my boyfriend does and they taste like heaven and I always want them. So I thought I’d preempt that issue by getting them here.

The first bite was that little medallion just inside the curve of the bone (sorry if I’m making any veggies out there nauseous, but precision is important!) and it was tender and delicious. The rest of the chop was, unfortunately, a bit tougher. The outside was grilled and charred nicely, but the pressure I had to exert on the serrated knife they’d given me meant that the meat was way too tough, the knife too dull, or both. The mashed potatoes tasted good. But not spectacular. The onions had gotten held up somewhere along their way to carmelized, and were lending a respectable initial flavor, but unfortunately not the full sweet, nutty goodness I knew they could offer. The zucchini was pretty good, as it is a delicious vegetable, though the heat could have been higher to increase the char-to-firmzucchiniflesh-factor.

I know that on the whole this sounds negative, but it was a very pleasant night with a great atmosphere and people raving about their dishes… since it’s that sickly change-of-season time I didn’t try anything else, but word of mouth has it that the pizzas and burgers are excellent. This is a good place to relax the evening away – the staff never rushed us and were generous on the drinks.

I’d give it another go, because a nighttime walk through DUMBO’s cobblestone streets, overlooking the water, can be a great dessert to even a less-than-stellar meal.

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Last Thursday some Brooklyn Skeptic members tried out a bar called The Cherry Tree, located on 4th Avenue and Bergen Street. When first recommended we try this place out, my first thought was, “I like that name. The Cherry Tree.” Then my second thought was, “I’ve never been to a bar on 4th Ave.” Then my third thought was, “will the trek be worth it? It’s pretty humid out.” The answer to this question is yes, it is so very worth it.

The Cherry Tree has some great offerings, including a nice collection of draught beers ($5-$6). And although they turned the tap off of my first two choices at a fairly early hour (Blue Point and another good beer that I can’t remember), they still had a nice variety to choose from. (I went with the Brooklyn Oktoberfest. Delish.) But more importantly, drinks here are served in nice, big mugs. I thought the mugs looked bigger than regular pint glasses, but plainclothesman argued they’re just shaped differently. Either way, these drinking devices will 1) get you drunk, and 2) are comparable to the glasses used by the residents of Middle Earth, bringing us all that much closer to Tolkien.

But the rustic influence does not end there. The Cherry Tree’s back patio has Medieval Times written all over it. And honestly, who doesn’t love that? Nice long wooden tables are provided, along with lit candles creating a lovely, almost poetic, feel. In addition to this are two stone pits, which may or may not be used for TCT’s monthly pig roasting…that’s just a (hopeful) theory of mine. And right in the middle of the backyard is the biggest chess board these mortal eyes of mine have ever seen. Had I felt as ambitious as Ron Weasly in The Sorcerer’s Stone, I might have tried my hand at the game. I don’t care if it’s just there for show, someone, somewhere, will play that chess board and I will be there to witness it in all its oversized glory, as I take sips from my oversized mug, with my oversized head.

All in all, I have no ill words to say about The (Cherie Johnson) Tree, only that perhaps their outdoor patio could stay open a little later…the BK Skeps were kicked out at midnight. But I suppose it was for the best, since we all had our day jobs to go to the next day. (Boo.) (Tear.)

PS. I just realized Cherie Johnson used her bio name for her “Punky Brewster” character, Cherie Johnson. Hot.

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Earlier this week, Brooklyn Skeptic posted an alert to the greater Brooklyn community regarding the presence of fascists at one of our favorite local drinking establishments, The Gowanus Yacht Club. Apparently, our journalistic standards here are not really up-to-snuff, but we have the great fortune of a GYC staff member to set the record straight on a variety of topics. In an email (creepily sent to my Flickr account…), the unnamed staff member gives us a well-deserved reaming. Sorry, GYC. We were just being jerks. The text of the email after the cut.

(more…)

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All this steak talk has inspired me to bring to the table one of the hottest foodie topics right now: the pairing of food with cocktails. Here’s a great drink our resident mixologist has sacrificed an afternoon of work to bring you…the Basil Mojito. (Yes, we merely replaced mint with basil).

Ingredients:

Bacardi Limon (Regular Bottle or Handle)
Basil Leaves
Limes
Club Soda
Sugar

Method:

In a rocks glass, drop in 1 quartered lime, a small handful of fresh basil leaves, and one large tablespoon of granulated sugar. We prefer to do the whole thing in a big punch bowl, in which case you multiply all the ingredients by 10.

With a muddler, or a wooden spoon, muddle (i.e. “smash”) the hell out of the ingredients. The sugar will help macerate the lime and get all the juice out, and result in a nice layer of thick greenish syrup on the bottom. For the glass, fill with with ice and proceed to pour in Bacardi Limon light rum until there is only a half inch left of room left. Mix using a shaker or a pint glass. Top off with a splash of club soda, stick in a straw and enjoy. The straw will stop the basil from getting stuck in your teeth. If using the big punch bowl, just pour in the whole handle of rum and add a 12oz bottle of club soda. Mix.

If you really want to impress , slice a cucumber into thin wheels and use as a garnish on the side of the glass. Make sure you fill your glass with ice before every refill.

Warning: This drink will make your guests VERY sociable, and you’ll truly be damned at just how much quasi-straight liquor you can actually drink. It’s really quite remarkable.

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Just a quick note on Faan, a pan-Asian restaurant on Smith Street. It’s an adorable place with a semi-outdoor seating area, decorated with plants, lanterns and other things dangling from its glass ceiling. Walking by, it looks welcoming and pretty, just like you would want from a pan-Asian restaurant on Smith Street. And while the food was mediocre, the waitstaff surly, and the Silk Panties (a beverage) incredibly strong, there was something special about this place: It featured brazen Brooklyn love on its beer menu.

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On Tuesday night, like many other Tuesday nights, I went to the Gowanus Yacht Club, one of my very favorite bars in Brooklyn. Expecting another delightful evening quaffing brewskies under the stars, I was shocked to discover that the bar had, in fact, been infiltrated by fascists. At first, I wasn’t sure. Obviously the fascists weren’t hanging around bragging about their totalitarian ways. No, no. They appeared to be the regular bartenders, but there was a tension in the air that could only be attributed to an absolutist power structure that had enveloped the establishment.

My proof:

1. Upon seating ourselves at a rickety table (which rocked and caused my beer to spill on more than one occasion), my companion and I realized that there was no longer any table service. I looked plaintively at the (former) waiter, hoping he would bring me beer just like he had in the past. But no. As I battled my way up to the beer-to-cup staging area, he leaned on the bar and laughed. In most bars, this is ordinary and acceptable. Not so with the GYC. Generally, it is so crowded that walking through the place with a beer in hand is simply something that must be left to professionals.

2. There were no paper towels in the bathroom. Again, something that can be overlooked in a normal bar. But the GYC only recently installed a bathroom, which is in a fake room made of drywall taped to whatever used to be in that basement. I mean, you wash your hands in a utility sink and squirt soap from a ketchup bottle. Seriously. Under these conditions, paper towels are essential.

3. They have recently created a “smoking section” in a bar that is literally without walls or a ceiling. When I walked in, there was a big crowd in the front area of the bar. This is, at best, uncommon on a Tuesday evening. As I pushed through the throngs, I realized there were plenty of tables and chairs a little farther back. I silently wondered why they didn’t just go sit down. But then I figured it out. On several occasions, a few poor souls tried to light cigarettes in the completely unmarked, arbitrary no-smoking zone. Upon the first flick of the Bic, the surly non-waiter would march up, and yell something like “Dude! DUDE! You can’t smoke there! It’s a no smoking section!” At this point, the offender would calmly get up, walk three feet away, and continue smoking. All those who remained in the fantasy non-smoking section, glanced quizzically at each other while continuing to die from second had smoke because there are no walls in this tiny, tiny bar.

Only a fascist would have let this happen to the GYC. Where’s Churchill when you need him?

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Gowanus Yacht Club: Unburdened by walls, and completely overrun with fascists.

Photo: Slice

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