07/28/15 10:48am
Hang out with the rest of these beer and wine lovers, since you're one. via Tap + Cork

Hang out with the rest of these beer and wine lovers, since you’re one. via Tap + Cork

It used to be someone who made their whole life around the enjoyment of beer and wine was called “a drunk.” These days though, society has grown up, so now we call these people “snobs” or “Brooklynites,” and there are plenty of events that cater to their (your/our) tastes. One of the best events catering to lovers of beer and wine is the Brooklyn Beer and Wine Festival, which is returning to the Bed-Stuy Restoration Plaza in August for a third straight year of a full day of sampling the best local beer and wine the borough has to offer. Or actually, two days this year, as there’s a first day that’s shrouded in secrecy. (more…)

The Sandwich Shop-Grand Street Restaurant Week-Brooklyn-Brokelyn-Cheap Eats-001

Looks good, huh? Image via The Sandwich Shop

Grand Street Restaurant Week has returned! After a very successful restaurant week this past February, the Grand Street Business Improvement District is setting up a summer week for you to fill those bellies with great deals on delicious food from various Grand Street restaurant in Williamsburg. From August 3-9, you can visit anyone of the 16 participating restaurants for lunches as cheap as $10 to dinners that will only run you about $30. We know, you’re probably drooling all over your phone, keyboard, or stranger on the train while reading this. So much so, you don’t know which ones to choose. You can’t go wrong with any, but let us offer some recommendations to help you out. (more…)

07/24/15 9:49am
Brooklyn Kolache's yard even has an umbrella for protection from glare/extra productivity. Photo by David Colon

Brooklyn Kolache’s yard even has an umbrella for protection from glare/extra productivity. Photo by David Colon

What is the one thing New Yorkers need to survive and is everywhere? Coffee. What is the one thing New Yorkers need to survive but is hard to find? Nature. That why we’ve compiled a list of great Brooklyn coffee shops with gardens, outdoor patios or backyards, where caffeine and the great outdoors (or as great as they’re gonna get) meet. Be sure to enjoy these places while you can, because before we know it, Snowpocolypse 2016 will be knocking on our doors. (more…)

07/23/15 1:28pm
tk. via Facebook

Mmmmm…ice cream cone. via Facebook

Yeah, it’s summer. Yeah, it’s hot. Yeah, we all want ice cream. But Mr. Softie has some real competition this year, as Brooklyn has flooded with artisanal ice cream shops that bring flavors beyond your wildest dreams. Vanilla and chocolate…that’s so ten years ago.

But with the hype and happy taste buds, comes rapidly reduced pocket money, so we went around the borough, scooping and tasting, to find who serves up the cheapest artisanal ice cream cone in Brooklyn. And then how much the other ones cost, for good measure. (more…)

07/23/15 10:53am
Pierogies anyone? They're cheap! Photo by Bethany Bandera, via Facebook

Pierogies anyone? They’re cheap! Photo by Bethany Bandera, via Facebook

The good thing about living here and and eating cheap is you don’t have to be saddled with the same old cheap stuff you’ve been eating for a whole year. You can still be culinarily polyamorous even if you’re financially limited, because people are either opening new restaurants with good cheap stuff or just pointing out places you hadn’t known about before. Take New York Magazine‘s 30 best new cheap eats in New York, which is full of cheap new places you should try, with 9 of the of 30 places in Brooklyn. After all, why add long transportation to part of the opportunity cost of eating new cheap food? (more…)

07/22/15 1:00pm
Matt Torrey's.

Matt Torrey’s.

Matt Torrey’s
46 Bushwick Ave. (Ainslie St.), East Williamsburg,
(718) 218-7646

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What it is: An elegant and casual hideaway (think candlelight and frozen pizzas) nestled between the Graham Ave. and Grand St. L train stations.

Why we love it: Matt Torrey’s balances quieting down and turning up among the late 20s to mid-30s set in East Williamsburg and Bushwick. Whether you’re in the mood for a slow-sipped cocktail or a few frothy pints, Matt Torrey’s has your back.

The bar boasts 15 New York State craft beers on tap along with a variety of bottles and cans, food until 3am (meat and cheese plates, pressed sandwiches) and sleek decor that’s good for a meeting, a date or a group outing. Wooden accents lend to the sophisticated atmosphere, with floors made of antique oak reclaimed from a 100-year-old Virginia farm house and floor-to-ceiling windows providing a corner view of the street where no one’s looking in.

What to order: On tap, you’re likely golden with a Sixpoint, Empire or Southern Tier–the draft selection features new brews from around the state, so you’ll want to check the menu for the latest offerings. A worldly bottle selection includes several Hitachino ales hailing from Ibaraki, Japan and Innis & Gunn’s Oak-Aged Ale from Edinburgh, Scotland.

Regular tip: The bar serves free bagels on Saturdays and Sundays, along with $4 bloody Mary’s and mimosas.

07/20/15 11:45am
diamond 1

Images by Sarah Bibi

The Diamond
43 Franklin Street , (between Calyer and Quay)
(718) 383-5030

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What it is: The Diamond is a Greenpoint staple that’s chill, out of the salmon stream of the drinking fish and it exudes an obvious passion for selecting and educating patrons about rare, interesting beers from around the world and drinkable domestics from stateside sellers.

Why we love it: A comprehensive list of eight drafts, a cask and 30 bottles and cans classified by strength are neatly described and enthusiastically served by the bar’s owner and bartenders. Expertly selected high-alcohol and other rare brews are complemented by 8 or 10 sessionable beers at all times, so try out a strong one and stay for several more. Other perks are good music (the real rock ‘n’ roll, not the other kind–in fact, they’ve been named as having one of the 8 best jukeboxes in Brookyln), fun games that aren’t cheesy to play (shuffleboard!) and a back patio where you can sit in a gondola.

Who to bring: Bring a beer lover who likes a quiet spot on a weekday, or a crowded spot on the weekend. You brainy friends for trivia nights that benefits BARC and are hosted by drag sensation, Gusty Winds.

What to get:  If you’re looking to dine, there are Tuck Shop pies and boiled peanuts on the reg but look out for food pairing nights, showcasing chef events or mac and cheese competitions. Yup, mac and cheese competitions.

The beer menu is like a little encyclopedia and trying new brews from around the world never gets old. Instead of going for your usual favorite, try a sour or an extra special bitter and let your palate be surprised by how inoffensive these seemingly aggressive beers can actually be. Or, wash down a pot pie with a few sessions from the 4.5%-or-below menu.

Regular tip: The owner, Dave, is into skiing and skiing with friends and organizes trips to Plattekill Mountain for $45 bucks, including carpool rides and a two-hour free open bar afterward at, you guessed it, The Diamond.

07/18/15 10:47am

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Clodagh McGowan, a Queens reporter for NY1, did a great video this week on the Queens Beer Book. We can’t embed but please click on the picture of in-house beer expert Cat Wolinski to see our nifty little bar and brewery discovery guide in action. Then click on this to enjoy your own beer-fueled explorations:

07/17/15 1:00pm


The Graham
151 Meserole St. (at Graham)
East Williamsburg

What it is: The Graham opens its doors to the neighborhood with totally inviting bartenders and a pretty exquisite happy hour – $2 off everything 3-8 daily.

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Why we love it: It’s not too common to walk into a bar and immediately feel like you are one of the crew’s gang. You can go in by yourself and be guaranteed a good conversation with a bartender, or stop in with your friends who, “just wanna dance” on Saturday night for its DJ and dance floor in the back… you could even take your momma out for their Saturday and Sunday brunch. Catch up on your favorite shows here with HBO sunday night screenings.

What to order: Ask for a recommendation from its 30+ rotating craft beers. If you are hungry and finishing up your night, you should note their all-night snack menu totes deviled eggs, cheese and the works. Try a $1 taco from Monday to Friday. Weekend brunch comes with a bloody mary, complete with a meat straw and blue cheese stuffed olives.

Regular tip: The Graham is home to what it claims is the oldest operating pinball machine in New York City: a 1978 Playboy game.

07/15/15 11:00am
Montana's Trail House.

Montana’s Trail House.

Montana’s Trail House
455 Troutman St., (Scott Ave and Cypress Ave.), Bushwick,

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What it is: Montana’s Trail House is a restaurant/bar with an Appalachian-based high-low menu.

Why we love it:  You’ll be tempted to stay the weekend at Montana’s, a comforting and warm bar that feels like a secluded cabin, only with hot bartenders and rootbeer-braised brisket. We’ve seen people come in with a couple of friends, a Tinder date or a large group of people – although obvs advance notice is recommended for the latter.

What to order: Nate Courtland serves up some locally based, warm you to the bones, food until the wee hours with their main menu ending at 11pm and their late night bites raging until 3am. If you’re looking for something sweet to order, grab some date cake. Or if you don’t think you are looking for something sweet, still order the date cake. From 11 to 3 you can order fried pickles and wash them down with a $2 Bud. Their hot toddies are bizarrely and addictively good.

Regular tip: Montana’s Trail House makes their own homemade switchel, which is a vinegar, ginger, maple brew aged in bourbon barrels. You can have it mixed with soda water or in the Switch Back, an eight buck cocktail with Ol’ Overholt.