02/22/17 5:16pm
Margarita pug

If you do not have a margarita today these pugs will cry and it will be your fault.

Today is National Margarita Day! So, friends, ask not what tequila can do for you, but what you can do for tequila: namely, consume it in large amounts with lots of salt and lime.

For naysayers who believe margaritas to be a thing for summer and only summer, this elderly talking puppet puts it best, “In the darkness of winter we need the citrus vitality and joyful fellowship of National Margarita Day all the more.” Also, it kind of feels like spring outside right, which is the next best thing to summer. (more…)

02/22/17 2:19pm
Pick your poison, crickets or mealworms

Pick your poison, crickets or mealworms. Photo by Hannah Frishberg / Brokelyn

In recent months there have been a host of opportunities around New York City to consume free sweets for the small price of a mandatory insect topping thanks to The Economist‘s wildly creative promotional pop-ups promoting bug-consumption as a protein-alternative.

Today until 4:30pm the bug brigade has put up camp in Dumbo, on the corner of Water and Jay streets, and is offering a free waffle from the beloved Wafels and Dinges food truck with one topping (Nutella, whipped cream, Speculoos or fudge) of your choice … and either mealworms or crickets. If you get both insects, you get two toppings.

But should even the brokest Brokest Brokester’s limits for taking free food break down at bugs? I tried it to find out.  (more…)

02/22/17 12:54pm

The Levee is one of the last true old (as in, from 10 years ago) bars left in Williamsburg, where you can still get piss drunk on cheap beer at 1pm on a Tuesday while sitting on a cigarette-covered picnic table as a guy with ratty metal hair digs around in a vat of communal cheese balls to provide you with a non-nutritious but free bar meal of cheese dust with a Twizzler chaser. You know, the good ol’ days of the recession before any of us had jobs.

Anyway, the bar we check on every week out of fear it’s finally being turned into an M&M Store/Lexus dealership mega complex is still holding strong, and is still at it with the great street art. The bar just unveiled a new mural yesterday (above) on its North 3rd Street-facing side created by Damien Mitchell. It shows a winking Vladimir Putin taking off his Trump mask, which is to date the worst cosplay to wear to a party. Not even in your most strung out nights in the old Kokie’s days would you imagine a world where this art would be necessary in 2017.  (more…)

02/15/17 1:10pm
Happyfun Hideaway

Bushwick’s Happyfun Hideaway is just one of the wonderful bars that await you in the 2017 Brokelyn Beer Books.

We all fall into the same bar patterns over and over again. Maybe you stick to the same few spots where you know the beer selection and the burgers are juicy, maybe you frequent the same beer hall because it’s your weekly trivia spot, or maybe you just stick to your local because it’s, well, local and you’re lazy. But this is Brooklyn, the best borough in the best city in the world, where the diversity of bar options is second to none and not to be taken for granted.

So to help you break your bar rut and aid you on your boozy exploring, check out our new 2017 guide to Brokelyn approved bars. In it you’ll find 60 of our favorite dives, gastropubs, rooftop bars, breweries and legendary pubs, from Greenpoint and Bushwick to Bay Ridge and Coney Island. And each one is featured in our new 2017 Brokelyn Beer Books. The books give you 30 beers for just 30 bucks at this spot, making them the perfect companion to going on bar adventures. Grab yours now before they sell out!

02/06/17 3:15pm
Date night on a budget: A comprehensive list of Brooklyn's best BYOB restaurants

Enjoy the shinobi ramen at Shinobi Ramen with your own hand-selected booze. via Facebook

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could go out to dinner and be certain that your favorite alcoholic beverages were available, for around $3 per drink? Have we got news for you: Brooklyn has some awesome BYOB restaurants, so going out to eat and drinking cheap doesn’t have to exist only in your dreams.

A BYOB restaurant is a beautiful, cost-effective option often overlooked in a city where you’re constantly stuck $12 for something you already have in your fridge and could’ve poured into your own mason jar. We’re obviously not taking any kind of anti-bar stance here, but if you have a few odd beers at your apartment and want to get rid of them, why not take them out for a night on the town at at one of Brooklyn’s best BYOB restaurants? (more…)

01/26/17 4:44pm
BrunchCon in LA; it hits Brooklyn in March. Via Facebook.

BrunchCon in LA; it hits Brooklyn in March. Via Facebook.

There was a time when the question “is brunch good or for jerks?” was the biggest debate on our minds. That was 45 political years ago in the ancient time of 2014. Is brunch actually for jerks? It’s just a meal of food, but it probably is, only because most things that are fun are for jerks in one way or another. The culture of something does start to change, however, when there’s an actual convention around it: See Comic-Con, PonyConRomCon etc. Now NYC’s first-ever BrunchCon is on its way in March, and it’s got Brooklyn, possibly the brunch capital of America, in its sights. As TimeOut reports:

“Beyond bites, you can gulp down bubbly at an open mimosa bar, lay down in a dimly-lit hangover lounge or shop brunch-related products at a BrunchCon market. And for those that aren’t too hungover to socialize, there’s even speed dating.” (more…)

01/24/17 1:38pm
Here's your chance to get a free burger and skip the line. Via Shake Shack Twitter.

Here’s your chance to get a free burger and skip the line. Via Shake Shack Twitter.

New Yorkers love standing in lines, and we never got that Rory Gilmore article about lines to figure out exactly why. One of the most famous lines is Shake Shack, the burger chain beloved by tourists that neither shakes nor is an actual shack (discuss). Now the company wants you to get out of line and get online, and they’ll give you a free burger for it.

DNAinfo reports Shake Shack is giving away free burgers to promote its new order-ahead app: Just download the Shack App, create an account and use the promo code “shackappy” and boom! artery clogging food without having to wait in a line. (more…)

01/20/17 12:00pm
From the brunch offerings, a perfectly crispy bird that’d have Colonel Sanders himself lickin’ his digits. Photos by Ally Spier.

From the brunch offerings, a perfectly crispy bird that’d have Colonel Sanders himself lickin’ his digits. Photos by Ally Spier.

If you’re one of those lucky people with the luxury of time for a sit-down daytime meal during the typical work week (or just someone who’s underemployed, a la this girl) you now have another great option for your weekday #firstmeal.

Rider, the light-filled Williamsburg spot attached to non-profit music venue National Sawdust, has been serving dinner since it opened last March, and weekend brunch for almost as long. This past week, it debuted two new daytime menus, available Monday through Friday so you can snag award-winning chef creations no matter *when* you are.

Menu offerings are pricey, albeit deservingly so. But $1 gets you a cup of bottomless coffee (!) and a donut is just $2 (!!), so there’s something for every bank balance. Hey, every girl’s gotta eat.  (more…)

01/10/17 11:48am
Via @starbucksnorth7th on Instagram.

Via @starbucksnorth7th on Instagram.

It’s hack to get upset about Starbucks these days since the omnipresent, if not eternally boring, chain has become such a part of the background of NYC, like many banks, Vitamin Worlds and other things that pass through our vision like reused backdrops in old cartoons. So when the Starbuckses (Starsbuck?) arrived in Williamsburg in 2015, it was met with a sigh of inevitability: the neighborhood well on its way to being little Soho was of course a natural home to the coffee giant and its copy-and-paste coffee house furniture, soundtrack and food.

The problem with Starbucks is that it’s so unnecessary in a neighborhood like Williamsburg, which has long been filled to the brim with a bounty of coffee places surfing riding that coffee third wave. That means the only reason you’d choose to go to Starbucks is that you: A) don’t know about the other spots in the neighborhood or B) genuinely prefer it to a local shop (A is slightly more offensive than B to me for many reasons).

But shortly after opening, things got a little more intense in the Brooklyn coffee wars: The Starbucks off Bedford Avenue started selling beer and wine to attract the nighttime caffeinated drinker crowd, which put them in direct competition with many of the bars and coffee shops in the neighborhood. And guess what just happened? Starbucks lost.  (more…)

12/22/16 12:27pm
The Pour House of Bay Ridge has teachers bartend on Fridays; learn a thing or two. via FB

The Pour House of Bay Ridge has teachers bartend on Fridays. We give their bar game an A. via Facebook

This article appears as part of Brokelyn’s “Year in Review” series, which will continue throughout the week. 

Drinking has gone from habit to necessity in the year 2016, and Brooklyn’s bars have undoubtedly reaped the fruits of our misery. We certainly don’t fault them for being on the come-up in the wake of America’s comeuppance. We’re just glad to have a constantly revolving door of solid places to drown our sorrows, revel in what’s left of our hopes and dreams, and occasionally get our taxes done in the process.

In that spirit (never gets old), we present to you: This Year in Bars, in the form of beer and shot specials you might find at any of our borough’s fine watering holes. Which one of our specials/bar roundups suits your tastes and qualities best? Read on to gain that liquid knowledge, my friend, and here’s hoping our livers survive the next four years.  (more…)