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…)

12/20/16 4:41pm
Screamer's Pizza set about dominating the city with vegan pizza this year. Via Facebook.

Screamer’s Pizza set about dominating the city with vegan pizza this year. Via Facebook.

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

Here’s a joke for you! Why did the meat eater cross the road? Because they saw a vegan minding their own business on the other side and were FURIOUS. Bam! Roasted like a squash! Sam and I have published an all-time high #vegancontent on Brokelyn this year and have dealt with the occasional snide anti-vegan comment, because the personal decisions about what you eat definitely are anyone else’s business.

But dumb jokes aside, after many years of New York’s culinary scene fetishizing putting meat on every part of the plate (and charging a lot for it, too), vegan food is finally on the come-up. And it’s come a long way from the elder years of granola-peddling hippies and soy-based chicken substitutes — vegan food went punk, high class and down-home all in one year. And since we’re a budget-minded blog, we like to gently remind you the cost your dietary decisions have on the planet. Here’s the best of Brooklyn’s vegan food this year: (more…)

12/08/16 1:35pm
Anti-capitalism lives on with a cash-optional coffee shop opening in Williamsburg

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…)