04/16/15 1:11pm
spam food truck

Come on now. via Facebook

Earlier this month, we showed you the fake phenomenon that was Bushwick’s artisanal spam-making duo. Yes, it was a joke, just in case you were still confused. Now though, in a case of life imitating April Fool’s jokes, the Hormel Food-Like Products Company is rolling out a Spam food truck. We guess because the only thing that could improve canned meat is breathing in exhaust fumes while eating it? (more…)

04/15/15 9:30am

Freelancers who had a stoop sale to cover their taxes, advance planners who already celebrated their refunds at the bar, closeted Brokelyn-reading one percenters: we’ve got one reason tax season doesn’t have to suck: The first ever Brooklyn Cocktail Book is now on sale! Let the bartender muddle away your troubles, and before you’ve even hit that second Pimm’s Cup, you’ll be smiling and ready for spring.


Signature cocktails from left to right, The “Duneagle Castle” and “Handsome Hound” look pretty smokin’ side by side! Via Hunter’s Bar on Instagram

Our Middle Brooklyn Cocktail Book works like this: for $20, you get a pocket-sized, smartly-designed collection of 2-for-1 drink tickets at 20 tip-top bars from Bed-Stuy to Red Hook that serve fresh and creative cocktails. That’s 20 free drinks! And the books are good through Dec. 15, 2015, so you can take your time exploring.

If you’re a cocktail enthusiast, you know your good taste doesn’t come cheap. The Cocktail Book pays for itself in just two bar visits — and then you’re practically making money just by drinking margaritas! Don’t sleep on ordering one—if they’re anything like our world-famous Beer Books, they will go faster than you can say “Bartender, make me a double!”  Here’s the full lineup of participating boozeries:

Abilene • The Adirondack • Branch Ofc. • The Castello Plan • Dick & Jane’s Bar • The Emerson • Ervs on Beekman • Fort Defiance • The Great Georgiana • Halyard’s • Hunter’s • J’eatjet? • Lea • Lowlands Bar • One Last Shag • Project Parlor • quarter Bar • The Saint Catherine • Sea Witch Tavern • Skylark

Smartly designed by local artist Madelyn Owens, our Cocktail Book is the perfect fix for warm weather: how good does it sound to while away a summer’s night in Lowlands’ epic backyard with an icy cold margarita in hand and another on the way? Don a Hawaiian shirt and hula hoop on over to Fort Defiance for a Mai Tai on Thursday Tiki nights? Duck into Dick & Jane’s after a day in the sun and cool off with “The Steve McQueen,” a gin-and-elderflower refresher? 

At Hunter’s on Smith Street, choose from cocktails named after famous hunters, from “Handsome Hound” to “Katniss Everdeen” — because drinking is meant to be fun. And find out what all the fuss is about by trying one of three exclusive Cocktail Book offerings at the tiny Erv’s on Beekman, the diminutive darling of the city’s mixology scene.

Need further convincing? Just take a gander at some of the places your spirited adventures will take you:

Look how purty. "The Steve McQueen" at Dick & Jane's

Look how purty. The “Provence” at Dick & Jane’s.

Cocktails at the Castello Plan. Photo courtesy of Ditmas Park Corner.

Beauchamp’s Promise at the Castello Plan. Photo courtesy of Ditmas Park Corner.

Tiki night at Fort Defiance

Don your best Hawaiian shirt and hula hoop over to Tiki night at Fort Defiance.

The backyard at j'eatjet, your new summer hideaway.

The backyard at j’eatjet, your new summer hideaway.

Get lost at Sea Witch in the South Slope.

Get lost at Sea Witch in the South Slope.

Buy your Cocktail Book today — and pick up a spare or three for friends. Cheers, Brooklyn!

feltman's coney island

When we say o.g., we mean “before photography was commonplace” o.g. via Facebook

If you didn’t know, Coney Island hot dogs have a long history, going way back, possibly even to before the time when your great-grandparents were getting their names Americanized at Ellis Island. Nowadays, the Coney Island hot dog scene is being dominated by Nathan’s, but their seemingly unshakeable grip is being challenged any day now by an old competitor from the past. Yes, Coney Island is seeing a good old fashioned hot dog war soon, because, per The Coney Island Blog, o.g. hot dog maker Feltman’s Coney Island Hot Dogs is coming back to town and offering their hot dogs for half the price of a Nathan’s dog. (more…)

04/14/15 9:59am
ben & jerry's free cone day

What price for ice cream? via Facebook

Looks like the weather may finally have turned this week, which means you can start thinking of things like eating ice cream. Don’t want to pay for said ice cream? That’s okay, today you don’t have to, because Ben and Jerry’s annual ice cream giveaway is upon us once again, from noon to 8pm. Obviously free ice cream is always good, unless like Tim, you think that Ben and Jerry’s is a “mediocre…faux-hippie chic” excuse for ice cream, in which case you probably won’t want to brave Times Square for a free cone. Oh, did we mention you have to go to two of New York’s most tourist-infested places for your free cone? (more…)

sycamore brooklyn

via Sycamore

1118 Cortelyou Rd. (between Stratford Rd & Westminster), Ditmas Park,

Facebook • Twitter • Website

What it is: Sycamore has been called the “coziest bar in Brooklyn,” and while we aren’t ready to throw Brokelyn’s editorial might behind that assertion, we’ll put it squarely in the running, with its bricky, whiskeyed, wool-sweatery feel, friendly bartenders and one’s tendency to get sucked in and never leave.

Why we love it: Sycamore is like a Catskills bar because it’s mostly locals during the week but Saturday nights it gets packed—and we mean that—with weekenders from parts unknown, ie, not Ditmas Park. In warm weather, the backyard is made for letting lost afternoons spill over into the wee hours. Plus, there’s a sweet flower shop named Stems in the front of the house—what other bar has that? Bring whiskey and craft beer lovers and everyone else. Hard to find anyone who doesn’t like this place. Lately, the bar has been beefing up the events: a monthly Star Sign Party on the ides of every month features tarot reading, drink specials and flower crowns from Stems. Sycamore also hosts a monthly Beer Club that spotlights a different brewery every month. A monthly Queer Party (Ditmas Park’s only!) called Q-Train features live performances on the lit-up bar (!)

What to order: Ask the bartender to choose a whiskey chaser for your beer. You won’t be disappointed.

Regular tip: Ditmas Parkers still talk about that time The National popped by and played an unannounced set because they live in the neighborhood and what else does The National do on Tuesday afternoons? 

Arrow Back to Bar Guide

04/08/15 2:35pm
We like all of this

We like all of this

Are you wondering what the easiest way for you to get a night at your bar stamped with the Brokelyn seal of approval? It’s pretty simple: Offer up free beer and pizza to all comers. We don’t know why everyone doesn’t just do this all the time (oh right, you have to “make money”), but Baby’s All Right offshoot Elvis Guesthouse (85 Avenue A) has decided to do it tonight, so maybe go check it out. The only downside is that it’s in Manhattan, but whatever, you’re probably there because of your job anyway. (more…)

04/08/15 9:00am


Fort Defiance
365 Van Brunt St. (at Dikeman), Red Hook
(347) 453-6672

FacebookTwitter • Website

What it is: Fort Defiance is a locally-sourced breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch bar and restaurant with a strong New Orleans bent (owner St. John Frizell lived and worked there for many years). It’s a welcoming neighborhood hangout that plenty of non Red Hook locals will make the trek for again and again.

Why we love it: In addition to serving up delicious food and drink every day of the week, the Fort offers nightly specials: Monday-Friday is oyster happy hour from 3-7; Monday is burger night; and Thursdays is all Tiki with “The Sunken Harbor Club,” featuring creative tropical drink specials (Samoan Fog Cutter anyone?) and a Polynesian-inspired food menu. It’s an establishment that equally favors New Orleans and Brooklyn, making it a safe-haven for NOLA expats and Brooklyn diehards alike.

What to order: Choose from a mix of local craft beers, like Sixpoint and Other Half, and New Orleans favorites Abita and Bayou Teche, on tap. Creole red beans on toast is a NOLA-inspired brunch favorite—pair it with perfect brunch cocktails Ramos Gin Fizz or a Bourbon Milk punch. At lunch or dinner, definitely try the lauded chicken liver pate.

Regular tip: Fort Defiance is named for Red Hook’s Revolutionary War stronghold where General Washington and his troops shot down British boats in the harbor during the Battle of Brooklyn.

04/03/15 2:12pm
oaxaca taco

More of this in Brooklyn? Sign us up. via Facebook

You can never have enough tacos in your life, as the old saying goes, so we suppose that means that you can never have enough taco news either. Today’s taco news is happy news indeed, with DNA Info reporting that not only has Mexican staple Oaxaca Taqueria opened a new location near the Navy Yard, but we’re also getting two more Oaxaca outposts in Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights soon. Looks like you won’t have to rely on the taco man coming by every afternoon if you want a snack. (more…)

Spam Bushwick from Brooklyn Independent Media on Vimeo.

As a blog all about championing Brooklyn, we’re pretty forgiving of our borough’s more out there attempts at staying true to oneself, whether it’s adult pre-school, artisanal porridge or even a whole shop devoted to mayonnaise. Leave it to Bushwick though, to really push the boundaries of what’s acceptable, with the Brooklyn Independent Media bringing us a short profile of a pair of artisanal spam-makers who call the neighborhood home. We’d call them “humble artisanal spam makers,” but they seem pretty impressed with their “frivolity,” “experimentation” and elevation of spam into “something more than people could have imagined” it to be. (more…)

Pickle Shack. Minus the pickles.

Pickle Shack. Minus the pickles.

Pickle Shack
256 4th Avenue (between President and Carroll), Gowanus


What it is: This vegetable-focused bistro and beer bar is a bright spot amid the blight, an oasis in the Fourth Avenue desert or any other cliché you can think of that translates to “really surprising and special food and beer in an unexpected location.”

Why we love it: We love burgers as much as the next guy but just because we’re drankin’ doesn’t mean the food needs to be a meat-and-grease feast. Pickle Shack keeps it classy and light with smoked tofu, kale salad, artichoke dips and other stuff that feels like an indulgence but not an arterial train wreck. There are dozens of beers to choose from and the taps run heavy on the Dogfish.

What to order: Try the transformative fried hop pickles ($6)smoked tofu bahn mi ($12, topped with a house-fermented kimchee of local greens, avocado, aioli, quick pickled carrots), the veggie burger ($14) and the hot smoked Carolina BBQ pulled oyster mushrooms ($14), as deliciously whack as they sound.

Regular tip: If you like the pickles, get ‘em to go at the Brooklyn Brine store, around the corner at 574 President (between 3rd and 4th aves).