12/08/16 1:35pm
Just some of the miscellany you'll find in this coffee shop / art project space. via IG user @stefpix2

Just some of the miscellany you’ll find in this coffee shop/art project space. via IG user @stefpix2

It’s no secret that your coffee addiction runs you a hefty annual tab. And with third-wave shops in almost every BK neighborhood these days, you may end up dropping $4-6 on drip because it’s French Press, or pourover, or just plain pretentious. But thankfully, there are still a few caffeine-addicted artists kicking around Brooklyn who actively oppose capitalism, and are making a powerful statement about just what “coffee culture” should really mean by creating a cash-optional café in Williamsburg.

Created by artist Fran Illich and freelance curator Juliana Cope, the AridoAmérica Winter Plan will serve as a café and gathering space where patrons can forgo the monetary cost of their coffee and opt instead to barter goods or services in exchange for a cup. Illich told the Brooklyn Paper that he was seeing a lot of people in New York “looking for a shelter, a safe space to talk, to drink some coffee, eat, cry,” and was inspired to run the alternative coffee shop as a “four month art project” to show people that there are “things more important than money.”

So, starting tomorrow (Dec. 9) through March 30, you can skip your regular morning coffee spot and head over to El Museo De Los Sures gallery (120 S. 1st St.) in Williamsburg, where a cup of coffee is only as valuable as you believe it to be. Sounds a little like most other art, doesn’t it? (more…)

11/21/16 2:01pm
via Flickr user randar.

via Flickr user randar.

Some campaign promises may still come true even though Hillary Clinton lost the electoral vote. From Bloomberg today:

In the presidential election, food carts became a symbol of immigrant rights after Marco Gutierrez, founder of Latinos for Trump, warned on MSNBC that a win by Democrat Hillary Clinton would lead to “taco trucks on every corner,” a threat some Mexican food lovers took as good news.

City lawmakers now bet that increasing the number of cart permits will curb the illegal market. The price would jump to $1,000. The measures also would establish an agency to conduct sanitary inspections and ensure the vendors don’t encroach upon the community.

(more…)

11/16/16 1:21pm
Where to comfort-binge on the 8 best nachos in Brooklyn

Mmm. Nachos. Photo by Erin Phillips / Brokelyn

I love nachos. But honestly, who doesn’t? An order of nachos is a plate of joy placed right in front of you and is sure to bring happiness with each gooey, yummy bite. Nachos are also served en masse and are usually just sliiightly too expensive for someone to afford alone, thus inviting friendship and camaraderie. New to the area or want to make more friends? Order some nachos and watch your friend count rise.

For the last couple of years I’ve been on a quest to find the best nachos but I also recognize that rankings may vary depending on what mood you’re in. Some nachos are better for the melancholy post-election binge, while others suit the humbug seeking a taste of ‘Old Brooklyn.’ Here’s a roundup of the best nachos in Brooklyn, sorted to fit whatever mood you find yourself in on the night you indulge. You’re welcome. (more…)

11/07/16 1:24pm
Luke's Diner doesn't even serve this flavor. Via Ample HIlls.

Luke’s Diner doesn’t even serve this flavor. Via Ample HIlls.

Perhaps you are a diehard Gilmore Girls fan who is counting down the days until you reunite with your Stars Hollow friends over Thanksgiving weekend. Or maybe, hypothetically, your girlfriend and friends are so obsessed with the show they are throwing a Stars Hollow-themed party this weekend that has its own website and comes with mandatory cosplay requirements (hypothetically). Either way, Brooklyn’s Ample Hills just released the perfect ice cream to add to a junk food binge that would make Rory and Lorelai proud: The ice cream, called They Scoop Gilmores, Don’t They?, is available now and, naturally, it’s coffee flavored. (more…)

11/01/16 2:41pm
Bar Velo, a vegan cyclist's paradise.

Bar Velo, a vegan cyclist’s paradise. All photos by Sam Corbin/Brokelyn.

On the same unassuming Broadway corner under the subway tracks in South Williamsburg where the former Café Moto used to welcome patrons for new American fare and live jazz, now sits Bar Velo. On the outside, the trappings are the same: rusted metal front door with a kitchen-style keyhole window; neat chalkboard font promising live music inside; in place of a “BAR” sign, a cruiser bike, hanging about eight feet overhead and jutting out onto the sidewalk on the South side of Broadway.

On the inside, a flatiron layout pinches the space toward the entrance. Tour de France art and cycling paraphernalia lines the walls. Decorative taps sit next to real ones, and sprigs of fresh herbs poke out of glasses at the bar.

Does it get anymore Williamsburg than this? (Spoiler: It does.)

We got to chow down on an all-vegan snack menu, decidedly the standout feature of the bar (as per Brokelyn’s vegan-heavy editorial staff). $9 for lentil paté may seem steep — let’s be honest, it is — but with a dearth of cheap all-vegan bar menus in the borough, Bar Velo has pretty much “cornered” the market (get it? Because they’re on a corner).

Since Brokelyn is also your premier source for all things two-wheel friendly, this caught our eye. And in honor of World Vegan Day (a real thing), it ought to catch yours, too.  (more…)

10/21/16 1:31pm
Drink and eat all you want and just pay by the hour at Glass Hour. Via Facebook.

Drink and eat all you want and just pay by the hour at Glass Hour. Via Facebook.

Loitering has been a problem for coffee shop owners for so long that we’ve gone through several cycles of addressing it in New York City. First came limiting laptop hours and eliminating outlets, then things like timed wifi. Britcom hit Fleabag skewered the annoying laptop camper in its inaugural season this summer, which means it’s far from just an American thing. It’s a tough balance for businesses to strike between enabling the long, languorous cafe afternoons that can be good for productivity and community while also limiting the freeloaders who just want your wifi and free coffee refills while they turn a table into their personal office space.

But what if a cafe embraced lingerers instead of chasing them out? That’s the premise of Glass Hour, a new “anti-cafe” and “new-age working space” that opened in Williamsburg on Aug. 26, where customers can eat, drink and play their games as much as they want; they pay by the hour they spend there, not by what they consume. It’s a hybrid of a coworking space and a coffee shop. But will it work?  (more…)

10/12/16 9:57am
Mom knows what you want.

Mom knows what you want.

Get on a Slack channel with Santa or send a Yahoo email to your mom because there’s a brand-new hot toy in town just in time for the holiday season: Seamless and Grubhub just started offering gift cards for the first time. Consumerist reports the delivery services, which are part of the same company, announced the arrival of gift cards last week as a way to gift your friends and family with the magic of food that you order by touch without having to talk to another living human.

They’re only available online, not in physical form (which, be honest, you would lose anyway), though you can print them out if you want. You can personalize them for any occasion, including adding your own photo, and buy them in any amount between $10 and $1,000 (General Tso’s tofu for dayyyyyyyyyyys). And there’s no expiration date. (more…)

10/07/16 2:04pm
Someone finally found a way to improve on the pickleback and it's genius

We’re firing our whole R&D department for not thinking of this first. Via screenshot.

The creation of the pickleback is one of Brooklyn’s proudest bar traditions. As legend has it, the pickleback originated at Bushwick Country Club, where a bartender used the salty brine as a clever cover up for the biting taste of cheap whiskey shots. Like most things that are truly New York, they disgust people who live elsewhere in the country. But for the past decade that they’ve been around, the pickleback, a perfectly simple libationaly coupling, has resisted most attempts at improvement and deflected the allure of the artisanal rebrand, especially since Bushwick Country Club started with McClure’s pickle juice, meaning there was nowhere to go but down (the LES’s excellent veggie restaurant Dirt Candy offers one with beet juice but since they use vodka, that seems like its own creation all together).

Until now, that is: Someone has finally improved on the pickleback … by adding even more pickle. Food site Delish this week has brought us a pickleback innovation so simple we’re mad we didn’t think of it ourselves: putting pickleback shots in scooped-out pickles. (more…)

10/07/16 10:02am
Enjoy a cheap drink outside at Bed Vyne brew. via Michael Semensohn / Flickr

Enjoy a cheap drink outside at Bed Vyne brew. via Michael Semensohn / Flickr

The weather is finally cooling down, which means it’s out with the jorts and in with the jackets. Mmm, sweata weatha. ‘Tis the season to wander outside, enjoying equal parts cool air and warm sun. And here’s your excuse to do it: The Bridge Street Development Corporation is hosting a foodie crawl through Bed-Stuy!

In step with Spike Lee’s Netflix comeback, Bed-Stuy is getting another day in the sun with “Feast Bedstuy,” a 2.5-hour smorgasbord of shopping discounts, food & drink specials and good vibes along Tompkins Ave. between Halsey and Quincy Sts.

Making the most of a neighborhood crawl is all about timing, mapping and planning in advance. Luckily, we did that part for you: (more…)

10/06/16 3:50pm
Union Hall is for indulging your inner Belle's library fantasies.

Union Hall provides ales and ambiance, perfect for getting lost in a novel.

We often can’t help ourselves from buying a book whenever we pass a bookstore. We’ll save money for beer, of course, because we want to devour our literary haul with some lagers in one of our favorite reading venues: a bar! Not all bars are equal in the eye of the reader, naturally. Who wants to read where jaeger bombs are the norm? To save you the time searching, we compiled a list of fifteen places we think are the best Brooklyn bars to read in, along with suggestions on what to read.

Since most normies converge on pubs when night falls, these places are best read in during the day. But a good number of them remain quiet enough on weeknights to take in some text. Just remember to take care of your bartender if you’re going to spend a lot of time there.  (more…)