06/29/16 12:04pm
Photo by Gabrielle Westfield.

Photo by Gabrielle Westfield.

When I was first asked to cover a press preview of the eats at the LIC Flea & Food this year, I assumed that I would just get to try a couple of different food vendors that grace the Queens region and call it a day. After all, other than having a few friends that live in Astoria, my only real connection to Queens is falling asleep drunk on the G train and finding myself in Long Island City with a half-eaten slice in hand. Sleep training aside, no one prepared me for the food marathon I was about to endure, with some of the Queens finest vendors itching for you to try their latest culinary creation that you can find at the LIC Flea every weekend. They include innovative food mashups (mac-n-cheese waffle sliders), refreshing summer treats (masala chai-flavored ice pops) and seasonings that traveled all the way from the Dead Sea.

Queens is one of the most ethnically diverse urban areas in all five boroughs, so naturally its foods are going to reflect this. From now until October, locals get to taste how some of these different cultures cross-pollinate their menus. (more…)

06/24/16 2:00pm
On the corner of Patchen and Halsey Avenues in Bed-Stuy, Grandchamps does delicious Haitian comfort food

On the corner of Patchen and Halsey Avenues in Bed-Stuy, Grandchamps does Haitian comfort food, via @grandchampsbk

If you haven’t yet been to Grandchamps, the family-owned Haitian eatery on the Eastern edge of Bed-Stuy, you’re in for a treat. Heaping plates of Haitian-Creole classics, such as griot (roasted and pan fried pork) served with pikliz and sos (pickled vegetables and onions), rice and beans and plantains,($16) and snacks like Haitian patties at two for $3, constitute a menu of well-flavored comfort food that will fill you up and still provide plenty of left-overs.

More than a hotspot for high-quality Haitian eats, the cafe is also a dedicated community space, staffed by neighborhood folks, many of whom were untrained prior to hiring, chef and co-owner Shawn Brockman told Brokelyn. This weekend is a good chance to check out both the food and the culture of the space, as they’re putting on a three day “fete” of live music, DJs, and vendors to celebrate their one-year anniversary.  (more…)

06/16/16 1:28pm
A relaxing spritzer happy hour in the backyard of Pete's Candy Store. Photo by Bridget McFadden/Brokelyn.

A relaxing spritz happy hour in the backyard of Pete’s Candy Store. Photo by Bridget McFadden/Brokelyn.

A few years ago, I had my first Aperol spritz because I was nauseous. I was out at a neighborhood cocktail bar, it was late, and I probably just should have gone home, but my worldly companion insisted on a surefire cure. He caught the bartender’s attention, pointed to me and yelled “this one has a tummy ache!” and proceeded to rattle off a list of ingredients: ice + prosecco + bitters + soda + orange slice + one fat olive. The bartender handed me the glowing tonic. With just a few sips, my stomach was soothed and the night was young again.

It turns out my friend was onto something. The spritz gets its bite from a bitter liqueur —a wine or spirit-based mixture infused with herbs and citrus — that was once primarily taken as medicine. Since discovering its powers, I’ve relied on the spritz to treat all sorts of ailments, from indigestion to humidity to apathy. So I was excited this past May when I hit up the Food Book Fair and learned that they had dedicated their Sunday night party to a charming new book about the best cocktail ever, Spritz.

Spritz the book, which came out last month, describes the origins of the iconic Italian cocktail, maps out its current territory in Northern Italy, and includes a slew of cocktail recipes to help you bring the spritz home to Brooklyn. If your post-work drinking routine needs a little refresh, you’re in luck; we’re giving away a copy! Enter your name in the comments for a chance to snag this beautiful book. (more…)

06/16/16 9:00am
No bologna: The 9 best vegan sandwiches in Brooklyn for $9 or less

The vegan BLT at Little Skips won’t leave you achin’ for bacon. Photos by Sam Corbin.

Sandwiches are the perfect food. Why? Because they allow you to combine any number of ingredients and pile them as high as you like, so long as two wayward pieces of bread can hold the whole thing together. And though I admit I’m a kind of sandwich apologist — in my view wraps, burgers and even pizzas folded in half could be included in the category… it’s just dough on either side, right? — for the purposes of this article, a sandwich shall be known only by its more conservative definition. Two slices of bread, stuff inside.

It’s about as hard to find a vegan sandwich in Brooklyn as it is to find a vegan. In other words, not very, and more frequently in select areas. I’ve spent the last six months hunting for the best vegan sandwiches in this borough, just so you don’t have to settle for a dud. And I limited my search to sandwiches that cost $9 or less. Because the minute a sandwich costs $10, it stops being a sandwich and starts being some fancy bullshit.

With that, here are the nine best vegan sandwiches in Brooklyn, for $9 or less. (more…)

05/26/16 12:13pm
She's a beaut! All photos by Kate Mooney

She’s a beaut! Photos by Kate Mooney/Brokelyn

Yesterday, which at 88 degrees and sunny felt like the first day of summer, the Brooklyn Barge reopened for the season. Greenpoint’s waterfront bar, located between Transmitter Park and Milton Street, is literally housed on a barge jutting out into the East River. Its reopening has been long-awaited, as last year’s season was cut short due to permitting issues and it didn’t open the doors until the fall. But now it’s here to float, and we’re pretty dang excited about spending our summer chilling on a boat with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, because honestly is there anything better than drinking on the waterfront?  (more…)

05/25/16 2:06pm
8 late night happy hours where you can still keep the party going after dark

You don’t need to tap out as early as you thought, after all. Soft Spot / Facebook

Why a late night happy hour? I say, why not a late night happy hour. It’s only right that after spending the better part of an evening patronizing an establishment, we ought to get some sort of reward for our endurance, or just a kickback to keep us buying until last call. The late night happy hour is both a thank-you to customers and a fuck-you to curfews, gathering the night owls for one last surge of drinking before the night’s truly questionable decisions unfold.

Since we first rounded up Brooklyn’s late night happy hours in 2012, at least half the spots we had are now defunct. Some have shuttered, and others have simply realized they can afford not to offer cheap drinks past 8pm anymore. But much like we believe in your right to wear jorts, we also believe in your right to save money on alcohol this summer, especially since you’re going to be spending it on all those dumb music festivals and bottomless brunches. So we’re championing the late night happy hour once again, with these seven spots where you can still get an affordable drink after dark. (more…)

05/20/16 2:03pm
The hot dog wars return! Nathan's and Feltman's renew rivalry with super cheap showdown May 28

How many hot dog wars will the next administration involve us in? Photo via Flickr user Angela Rutherford.

Coney Island is basically the equivalent to an Americanized Birthright for hot dogs (despite what Detroit may think). Though a little less kosher than we’d hope for, Coney Island is a historical motherland to the birth of our beloved franks, home to not only Feltman’s (the man, the legend, who started the frank craze in the United States), but to Nathan’s Famous since 1916.

On May 28, Nathan’s is celebrating their 100th anniversary by going old school and selling their famous weiners for the original 5 cents each! From 11am-2pm (and limited two per customer), you’ll be able to enjoy a piece of Brooklyn history (and get a fancy commemorative certificate) joining swarms and crowds of people looking to grab some weiners. Seems innocent enough, right? Patriotic even?

Sure, Nathan’s Famous is THEE hot dog hot spot on Coney Island and quite frank(ly) the planet, but let us not forget how Nathan Handwerker originally got his start: working for Feltman’s, who is widely considered the inventor of the hot dog. But did you know that Feltman’s is in the midst of a comeback? Steeplechase Beer Garden (a mere two blocks from Nathan’s) will be hosting a Feltman’s pop up selling their historic weenies for 10 cents each from 2-4pm on the same damn day of Nathan’s Famous Centennial. (more…)

05/18/16 9:51am
Bridget of Owney's Rum, talking rum

Bridget of Owney’s Rum, in Williamsburg, talking rum. Photo by Fikriyyah George

There’s a self-guided booze tour called the Brooklyn Spirits Trail boasting some impressive liquor makers. Too bad when we say self-guided it’s basically “Here’s a map with the locations, figure it out yourself.” No times, duration or clue as to what the tour consists of. Well, we decided to make life a little easier by letting you know when you can visit and just what you get.

The greatest part about this self-guided tour is that you can mix it up however you want (hit up all the free ones, the ones in Red Hook, by type of spirit, etc.). The way the tours are scheduled you can draw it out visiting a distillery every weekend or go hardcore and visit two a day. Sorry, leave your flagon at home: no matter where you go by law they’re not able to pour more than 1oz of liquor for imbibing without a liquor license. As for me? I’ve never been happier to be a lightweight. (more…)

05/16/16 9:15am
Your 16-ounce pint is just the beginning at Snowdonia.

Your 16-ounce pint is just the beginning at Snowdonia.

Pity the beer drinker who spends all their time in Brooklyn and doesn’t take the time to check out the rapidly exploding craft beer scene in Queens. Our neighboring borough has seen a boom in breweries and creative bar offerings in recent years, not to mention delicious and adventurous food that pairs extremely well with a frosty pint (rattlesnake bratwurst, anyone?). Our new edition of the Queens Bar Guide is here and it brings you more than 30 Brokelyn-approved bars from Ridgewood to Astoria. It includes local favorites such as the famous Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, plus bars with self-serve taps, BYO-meat grills, world famous barbecue, cold-brewed growlers and one very special spot named in honor of David Bowie. And if reading about all those bars has got you thirsty, make sure to pick up a copy of our brand-new Queens Beer Book — it’s the best deal in the borough that will let you drink at each spot for less than $1 a beer! (more…)

05/12/16 9:45am
Personally, I think American is trying too hard. Via Facebook.

Personally, I think American is trying too hard. Via Facebook.

The warm weather finally hitting us brings with it thoughts of Coney Island and hot dogs. But for me, I’m not talking about the ones in Brooklyn. You see, for me, you can take the girl out of Michigan, but I still got a lot of Midwest quirk when it comes to adapting to the BK lifestyle. My hand still makes the perfect map of Michicgan to show people where my hometown is. Once at a Checker’s, I accidentally referred to wanting a Coke as “pop” without realizing it and was given Pip’s because that’s what the employee thought I meant. Prepping for brunch at work, I misspoke referring to the bodega across the street as a “party store” and was met with confusion and questions from my coworkers from what exactly makes it a “party.” I’m constantly craving Detroit Made BBQ Better Made Potato Chips, Faygo Red Pop and Ghettoblaster from Motor City Brewery, I have strong opinions on Motown and a love/hate relationship with “Don’t Stop Believing,” and though my love for Zetterberg’s beard is eternal while love for sports limited, I lose interest in the NHL season soon as the Red Wings are out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

But what I’ve been finding myself pining for insistently lately (mostly when drunk) are Coney Dogs from D1 (Detroit One) Coney Island in Detroit. That’s right, both hot dogs and diners where they serve the hot dogs are called “Coney Islands” in Detroit.  (more…)