07/18/16 10:49am
Friendship savers you can savor: BK restaurants both vegans and stubborn carnivores will enjoy

The menu at Glady’s is a peace treaty between vegans and omnivores. Via website

A vegan, a vegetarian, a pescatarian and an omnivore walk into a restaurant. Just kidding, they’d never agree to eat anywhere together. We’ve all been there: You eat anything, Cindy is a vegan and Tom is a weekend-vegetarian who occasionally eats fish. Now try finding a restaurant that all of you are excited to go to.

But guys! Cindy is the coolest, and you don’t want to spend a lifetime not going out to dinner with her! Tom’s cool too, but more malleable on the subject. Is there a way to bridge the gap between the two worlds without sacrificing taste, paying way too much for a single meal or listening to each other grumble? Of course, all vegan restaurants are also omnivore-friendly but what about that stubborn friend who feels like they will die if they don’t eat a dead animal for every single meal? Brooklyn is home to many restaurants that can appease every diet without starting a civil war across the table, if you know where to look.  (more…)

07/15/16 8:51am
It's the final chowdown!

It’s the final creamdown!

“Your freezer looks like if your mom’s shitty boyfriend was trying to teach you a lesson. Like, ‘you’re going to eat all the ice cream!’.’’
—Judge Eric Silver

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July to be National Ice Cream Month. So too must we proclaim a winner of the 2016 Brokelyn Ice Cream Bracket. (Enormous respect for ice cream is pretty much the only thing Reagan and I have in common.)

Years of training (to eat ice cream), sacrifice (forgoing other food in favor of ice cream), and talent (at eating ice cream) have prepared us for this moment. One humid summer evening in Brooklyn, four judges tasted 24 flavors from 12 Brooklyn ice cream shops. The deliberations were tough, but the rewards were sweet. After hours of discussion, disagreements, and tummy aches, we were able to name a winner. Let’s take a look at the final scores. (Get caught up on the first four installments of the bracket here!). (more…)

07/12/16 8:00am
All the ice cream flavor, none of the interspecies breast milk.

All the ice cream flavor, none of the interspecies breast milk.

We may be ice cream aficionados, but we’re not purists. And it didn’t seem fair that our trusty vegan Brokelyn editors (and anyone with a lactose intolerance) were left out of the bracket. So we rated vegan flavors as a sidebar competition before embarking on the bracket, a non-dairy amuse-bouche to our ice cream bracket entrée.

“It’s like A League of Their Own but for vegans,” judge Eric Silver said. While some of these don’t stand up to their dairy counterparts, others became our favorites of the entire competition—regular ice cream included.

Technically these aren’t all vegan ice creams — some are sorbets — but they’re all summer treats for our dairy-less friends.  (more…)

07/11/16 8:52am
Which ice cream will come out victorious?

We’re down to two flavors and it’s time to get fudgin’ serious.

[Get caught up on round 1 and round 2 here]

This is it, the LeBron vs. Curry of our ice cream competition. I think we’ve all gotten a little wiser and a little fatter. With any luck, we won’t be completely sick of ice cream for the rest of the summer.

We’ve tried to remain impartial, but after two rounds of tasting, we’ve developed biases. We’re advocating for the flavors we’ve begun to love from our individual judging rounds. Even after tasting the more artisanal ice creams, Hartnett is still impressed by Uncle Louie G’s Vanilla — and she’s convinced Morawa. Meanwhile, Silver is arguing for Blue Marble’s Sea Salt Caramel. “It’s got that wow factor,” he tells us, more than once. (more…)

07/07/16 12:00pm
Soccer fans pack in for the match at Woodwork. Photo via Facebook

Soccer fans pack in for the match at Woodwork Bar in Prospect Heights. Photo via Facebook

On Sunday at 3pm, Portugal will play the winner of today’s semifinal match—Germany or France—for the EuroCup Championship. Whether you’ve been a football fanatic this past month or will be watching fresh-eyed, Sunday’s match will certainly deliver, regardless of which team advances.

Portugal’s star Cristiano Ronaldo was sensational yesterday against Wales, whom Portugal defeated 2-0, scoring the first goal on a header in the 50th minute and assisting teammate Luis Nani for the second only three minutes later. Both France’s and Germany’s squads dominate with young talent, 23-year-old midfielder Paul “Pogboom” Pogba and 25-year-old striker Antoine Griezmann leading the crusade on France’s side, and 20-year-old Joshua Kimmich holding it down at right back while 22-year-old Emre Can shines at midfield for Germany.

But even if you don’t really care about soccer, a 90-minute air-conditioned and beer-fueled respite from the dead heat of the afternoon (the high is 85 degrees on Sunday) would get anyone cheering. So here’s a list of bars and event spaces where you can catch the match! (more…)

07/06/16 1:57pm
It’s July Good Beer Month! Here’s where to make (and drink) the most of it in Brooklyn

Celebrate good beer at The Gate

Now that you’re over your July 4th hangover and settled back into the dingy depths of back-to-work woes, it’s time to put the focus back on booze-related news: July Good Beer Month.

July Good Beer Month is a celebratory extension of the Good Beer Seal, a city-wide stamp of approval for beer bars. The Seal was founded in 2009 by craft beer restaurant owners, Jimmy Carbone (Jimmy’s No. 43), Ray Deter (formerly of d.b.a.), Ben and Mike Wiley (Bar Great Harry), Gary Gillis (Burp Castle, Standings), and Dave Brodrick (Blind Tiger), created for the purpose of pointing out the handful of good craft beer bars in the boroughs. After the Seal hit 40 bars in 2012, its founders and members decided to recognize the growth of craft beer in NYC with a month-long celebration each July, acknowledging good beer purveyors and the work they do serving and educating their patrons and communities on better-made alcoholic beverages.

As of 2016, 64 bars have been stamped with Good Beer Seal approval, with 24 right here in Brooklyn. Though they’re not all calling attention to their Good Beer Seal status, they’re hosting a variety of events, from tap takeovers to brewery nights to charitable beer tastings, all month long. So, before you reach for another Corona (I know, I know, you found your beach), consider visiting one of the great Brooklyn venues where every month is good beer month. (more…)

07/06/16 9:06am
Which ice cream will come out victorious?

Which ice cream will come out victorious?

The first round yesterday was our largest elimination, cutting down 12 flavors to four. Ultimately, Brooklyn Bell, Blue Marble, Uncle Louie G and Ample Hills moved on to Round 2.

Here’s the rub of the bracket system. According to the scores, Ample Hills’ only just eked out a win over the competition, and their overall score was less than that of, say, Davey’s. (“It was that Vanilla Bean,” Morawa said. “I rated it really high.”) But it was best in the quadrant, so it moves on to the next round. Look, I don’t make the rules, that’s up to the NCAA.

In Round 2, the ice creams start with a clean slate and judges can change their scores from round to round. For example, if Eric Silver gave Blue Marble’s vanilla an 8 in the first round, he could use the new ice cream expertise he gained in the last 20 minutes and rate it a 10 in Round 2. As a reminder, we rated the shops on their vanilla and their most popular flavor. Only four will survive this round! Let’s dive in. (more…)

07/05/16 11:08am
Which ice cream will come out victorious?

Which ice cream will come out victorious?

Happy Summer, New Yorkers! We’re officially post-solstice and now that we’ve gotten all that freedom out of our systems, it’s time to honor the most important summer holiday: National Ice Cream Month. And what better way to celebrate than by yet again doing a bunch of research no one asked for?

Inspired by FiveThirtyEight’s Ultimate Burrito Bracket, I set out to find the best ice cream in Brooklyn. This led to many weeks of existential contemplation: what makes something the “best” ice cream. Is it the most original flavor? The creamiest? The most refreshing on a hot summer day? How much it reminds you of childhood summers? Furthermore, is it fair to compare, say, OddFellows’ Miso Cherry with a classic Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough? How does the shop affect the experience? And isn’t that what ice cream is: an experience? It’s summer and comfort and cool down and love. (Well, as long as you aren’t actually working at one of these shops, serving the sweaty, sun-addled masses.)

In the end, we actually ended up determining the best ice cream shop, rather than flavor, in Brooklyn.

Is our research scientific? No. Is it delicious? What, do you think we ate 30 pints of ice for the sake of selfless journalism? But we put together a fair fight, and in all honesty, you’d be well served by any of these ice creams. (more…)

07/01/16 9:00am
Soak up the sun: Brokelyn's 2016 ultimate guide to Brooklyn outdoor bars!

Soak in the sun all summer long at (clockwise from top left) Bar Chord, Our Wicked Lady, Margarita Island and a bunch more bars in our guide.

Y’all, we did it. We survived a blizzard, Ted Cruz, a weird season of Broad City, and that one night in May when we had to pull our coats out from under the bed again. Dreams of a margarita-soaked Brooklyn summer kept us warm through those cold nights— but wake the fuck up, it’s finally here! Now is your chance to fling off your comforter, don your mom jorts and man-spread all over the most wonderful time of the year: outdoor drinking season.

Eager to suck down a pitcher of sunshine but not quite sure where to go? Waste no time in the group text: Team Brokelyn has compiled a comprehensive list of nearly 175 spirited spots across the borough where you can drink outside. From wine bars to dives to every sidewalk seat in between, we’re passing along our notes on each bar’s vibe and spilling our secrets to navigating the drink menu without spending your summer allowance all in one place.

Don’t spend the prime of your young adulthood watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix — get out there and get tequila drunk! Outdoors! Simply click the ‘hood you’re headed to and let us be your patio spirit guides (and don’t forget to cop one of our new Brokelyn tank tops so you can be your best summer self).  —Meghan Stephens (more…)

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 who 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 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 reflect this. From now until October, locals get to taste how some of these different cultures cross-pollinate their menus. (more…)