09/03/15 1:34pm
Because it's not just a matter of taste. via Extra Fancy

Because it’s not just a matter of taste. via Extra Fancy

Ahhh, Labor Day: it hastens ever closer, bringing with it the cruel reality of summer’s end, reminding us of winter’s inevitable return. But we mustn’t fret. For here, in the best borough of them all, we have ways of making summer last all year long!  We’ve got slushy frozen drinks even in sub-zero temperatures (well we did, at least), tiki bars serving island-style cocktails whatever the season…and best of all, we can enjoy some damn fine seafood anytime we want.

As a New England native, I think I can boast a fair bit of a authority on the shellfish and mollusk offerings here in Brooklyn. And there are a lot of ’em to choose from. So, here’s a roundup of the best Brooklyn spots for lobster, clams, crab and oyster—all available well after this delightful August heat and humidity is a thing of the past. (more…)

09/02/15 1:59pm
If he can learn to do it, you can learn to do it.

If he can learn to do it, you can learn to do it.

As it gets colder outside, you might find yourself less willing to go out to restaurants, and even feeling a twinge of regret for making a delivery guy bike through the snow to bring you some Chinese food. That means firing up the oven and cooking for yourself. Fear you don’t have the skills to do that? Don’t worry, we found some affordable CourseHorse classes that will teach you to cook, without instructors that are gonna get all Gordon Ramsay on you. (more…)

08/31/15 1:00pm

via Flickr user nycbone

via Flickr user nycbone

Brooklyn Ice House
318 Van Brunt Street (Pioneer Street and Visitation Pl), Red Hook
(718) 222-1865


What it is: Red Hook dive bar supreme with an in-house meat smoker, 60 plus beers from around the world, a classic jukebox, a bevy of board games to play in snazzy red vinyl booths, a backyard in which to drink the day away and friendly bartenders and regulars to welcome you in every day of the year, holidays included.

Why we love it: We’ve got proof of our love: the Ice House has been a Beer Book participant for five years strong, harkening back to our 2010 debut with Beer Book 1.0! It’s the kind of place you don’t forget, where you’ll make the long haul out because you know it’s worth it.

What to order: One of the aforementioned sixty plus beers from around the world! Two pulled pork sandwiches for $5 and a side of onion rings.

Regular tip: Help yourself to Hershey’s kisses on the bar, because the Brooklyn Ice House loves you.

08/31/15 9:31am

Want to be Brooklyn’s next top brewer? Read on!

When it comes to quality craft beer, New Yorkers are spoiled for choice. But for enthusiasts interested in the ultimate in small-batch brews, there’s one option that can’t be found in any of the city’s numberless watering holes — and that’s one you concoct yourself, in the comfort of your very own kitchen. Unsure where to begin? Enter the experts. John LaPolla and Douglas Amport, co-owners of Prospect Heights homebrew shop Bitters & Esters, have the answers you need to master home brewing, starting with these five tips, specially tailored for those new to the art of brew. (more…)

via Facebook

via Facebook

Royal Palms
514 Union Street, (Third Avenue and Nevins Street), Gowanus,
(347) 223-4410

Facebook • Twitter • Website • Instagram

What it is: All-things-Florida-themed shuffleboard court with a full bar and rotating food trucks.

Why we love it: For those of us who spent grueling family “vacations” with our grandparents in retirement homes across Florida, the prospect of going to the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Court might sound like a major trigger. Fear not! Going to the spacious Royal Palms is like the real kind of Florida vacation, heretofore depicted in daydreams and vintage postcards: aqua colored everything, flamingo wall paper in the bathrooms, shuffleboard puns and cabanas. This venue is best enjoyed in small groups so you can take advantage of your hour of court time and still have a couple people on your team’s side to chill with. Note that the courts are long and you play next to an opposing team member. It’s a great way to have some flirty competition with a work crush, while literally being on the same team as your conveniently far away boss. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to play, as a staff member will give you a complementary tutorial. Weekly activities range from drag queen bingo to a new monthly Funk & Soul Dance Party (finally, South Brooklyn)! Check their Facebook and Twitter periodically for one-off parties that are usually free. Even if you don’t shuffle, it’s still a great place to bring a pal and escape the cramped and pretentious bars of NYC.

What to order: As you would expect, Royal Palms specializes in fun, fruity cocktails. However, they have several craft beers on tap for your Beer Book pleasure. One of the most unusual and delightful features of this space is that the nosh is provided by a different food truck every day. A member of their delightful waitstaff will serve you drinks, so you’ll never miss a second of the game.

Regular tip: League nights are Monday and Tuesday, so don’t expect to reserve a court! Also, the guy on the scooter is a co-owner, so no snickering.

08/27/15 1:55pm
Two tacos from Chinantla for just five dollars equals the elimination of hunger from your stomach. Photos by David Colon

Two tacos from Chinantla for just five dollars equals the elimination of hunger from your stomach. Photos by David Colon

Has this ever happened to you: You find yourself in Bed-Stuy and you’ve got a rumbling stomach but not a ton of cash? Maybe you live there, maybe you’re just visiting a friend, but either way you need to eat something cheap and fast, before a serious case of hanger gets you in trouble. Well don’t fear, you’ve got this handy list of cheap Bed-Stuy eats that you can get for under $10, guaranteed to leave you feeling full and satisfied. (more…)

08/27/15 1:15pm
I scream, you scream, etc. via flickr user Chun Yip So

I scream, you scream, etc. via flickr user Chun Yip So

The dog days of summer are upon us, where all you want to do is lay out in the sun and eat ice cream. And usually, only one of those two things is free. But today, you can do both without spending a dime, because Van Leeuwen is giving away ice cream tonight! According to Gothamist, the dessert-isans will be offering up gratis scoops of ice cream at their new flagship location in Williamsburg (204 Wythe Avenue).  (more…)

Alchemy Bar

Alchemy Restaurant & Tavern
56 5th Ave. (5th Ave. and Bergen St.), Park Slope

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What it is: A cozy, low-key pub in Park Slope with a rotating set of hard-to-find beers, an extensive cocktail menu, and excellent food.

Why we love it: Alchemy is the perfect place for a date, a casual meal, or enjoying a quiet drink and a book. Its die-hard set of regulars and bartenders who remember your name make it feel like a local pub. You’ll also find secluded tables and booths if you’re looking for a little privacy and a great outdoor patio if you’re looking to chill outside during the summer. Need WiFi? They’ve got that, too.

You won’t find greasy bar food here. Four different menus — breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner — have something for the vegan, the veggie, the foodie, or the guy who just wants a good burger. The chorizo eggs (brunch) is a great way to start a Sunday, while the wild mushroom barley risotto with truffle oil (dinner) is one of the many uncommon treats you can share with a date. And if you do have a hankering for some chicken wings, you can get those, too, during the way affordable weekday happy hour.

What to order: Alchemy’s beers rotate every couple of weeks, but you’ll always find a stout, an IPA, a pilsner, an ale, and special seasonal beers on tap. Pair one with the gooey shells and cheese or the Monday Mussels deal—a dozen mussels for six bucks!

Regular tip: The bar was named Alchemy because at the time the owner was reading up on the ancient art of chrysopoeia, thanks to the Da Vinci Code.

08/21/15 10:16am
Coffee shop or bar? These places, like Greene Grape Annex, are both. Photo by Tim Donnelly

Coffee shop or bar? These places, like Greene Grape Annex, are both. Photo by Tim Donnelly

The Williamsburg Starbucks made news this week by starting to offer beer along with their soy-frappe-cappuccino-whip-drinks. Count us among the unimpressed. Starbucks may be good at cake-pops and pumping out a Pumpkin Spiced Latte in under fourteen seconds, but the borough is filled to the brim with local spots that serve up the coffee/beer combo without sending most of your money back to Seattle. Whether you’re craving a post coffee stout in Park Slope or an IPA with your espresso in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn coffee shops offer you many (better) options than beer from Starbucks.

08/19/15 3:59pm
You've got a whole month to get acquianted with Sweet Science's shrimp and grits, for less. via I Don't Do Clubs

You’ve got a whole month to get acquianted with Sweet Science’s shrimp and grits, for less. via I Don’t Do Clubs

If there’s one thing we can get behind without hesitation around here, it’s the city’s many themed restaurant weeks. Well, except for the actual Restaurant Week which has a terrible history of short-changing Brooklyn. However, Caribbean Restaurant Week? Grand Street Restaurant Week? Italian or Russian Weeks? Yes to all of those. Now there’s a new restaurant week in town that’s here to make eating out an affordable experience, except it’s even better than usual because it’s lasting a whole month. Let’s all welcome and throw money at Black-Owned Restaurant Month, which offers $35 three-course meals in September and is looking like the only good thing about summer turning into fall (unless the Mets hold on and make the playoffs). (more…)