08/03/16 10:16am
Wet your willy: new bar Do or Dive opens Thursday in former Do or Dine space—with free open bar!

Do or Dive, a new bar from the owners of Lucky Dog and Skinny Dennis, opens Thursday in the former Do or Dine space. All photos by Kate Mooney/Brokelyn.

Since Bed-Stuy’s eclectic, pun-inspired eatery Do or Dine unexpectedly shuttered last September, neighborhood folks have long awaited news of the next establishment to inhabit the space at 1108 Bedford Avenue, right next door to Dynaco. Well, no need to wait any longer: On Thursday, Do or Dive, a new bar from the owners of Lucky Dog, Skinny Dennis and Rocka Rolla, opens its doors to the public with a free open bar from 8-10pm.

We couldn’t help but notice, the name is literally one letter different. “With Do or Dine, they wanted to do a fine dining restaurant, and we wanted it to be a dive bar, so it worked out for us to become Do or Dive. We don’t have to make a new sign! We’re broke and out of money!” co-owner Sal Fristensky joked.

The owners include Fristensky, William Mackin, Brenden Jones, Steven Pandolfi and Roni Dotan. Curious what to expect from the new project from the folks behind bars like Skinny Dennis, a honky tonk named after country musician Skinny Dennis Sanchez, and the hard rock/hair metal-infused Rocka Rolla (after a Judas Priest album)?

“This is just totally a dive bar,” Fristensky told us. “It’s a cross-breed of all of our bars. Maybe closest to Lucky Dog.”

It will be dog-friendly, he said, his black french bulldog, Ammo, roaming around at our feet. And most crucially, they will be serving “that coffee thing, ($7)” as a sign behind the bar reads, which means the one and only Uncle Willie’s Frozen Whisky Coffee—aka the love of my life—previously, only available at Skinny Dennis and Rocka Rolla. This will be a welcome danger, as I live down the street; if you don’t hear back from me after Thursday, it’ll probably be because I drowned in the slushy machine.  (more…)

08/01/16 9:19am
Can you get bedbugs from soda?

Can you get bedbugs from soda?

Say it’s the middle of a New York City heatwave and you pop into a bodega looking for a refreshing name-brand Ginger Ale. Instead you come across the bottle in the photos above, staring back at you with obvious disdain for the normal expected patterns and packaging standards you’re used to seeing in the refrigerated cases across the city. Seems legit, right?

Our music editor Lilly Vanek spotted this in a bodega in Harlem last week, on the shelf with the rest of the sodas. Presumably the labels got ripped off at some point and the shop owner (or their kid), eager to not let the product go to waste, created a new one — though most branding experts will probably advise against putting a frowny face on your packaging. But bad news all you aspiring artisanal packaging bodega artists: we checked with the city and this is definitely not legal.  (more…)

07/28/16 1:15pm
Vegans rejoice! Clementine bakery expanded to a huge new space, with plans to serve booze too

Epically delicious cupcakes, baked by Clementine. Photo via Clementine Bakery

It’s rare that we hear good news about small businesses in Brooklyn, especially in the service industry, what with rising rents causing several eateries to shutter every month. While it’s tough out there for all food joints, we’ve noticed vegan restaurants having an especially tough time as of late, with Boerum Hill vegan restaurant M.O.B. closing last week. But maybe things are turning around for vegan businesses. Greenpoint became home to Screamer’s, the city’s first all-vegan pizza slice pizza joint, in June. Now another cafe that serves up delicious vegan baked goods and sandwiches is making a huge expansion too.

On Friday, popular Clinton Hill Clementine Bakery expanded to the much bigger space next door at 395 Classon Ave., taking over the former space of NeroDoro, the corner cafe that shuttered at the end of May, (R.I.P.). Clementine will hold onto its previous space at 299 Greene Ave., but use it for wholesale, while the new space will serve as the main cafe. We’re excited to see the popular neighborhood spot, which appeals to vegans and omnivores alike, able to expand its operation and become an even greater presence in Clinton Hill.

“The business was really growing, so we were happy to be able to use this space as a cafe and keep the old space for our wholesale business, which is also growing,” general manager Marcella Maki told Brokelyn. (Their vegan pastries and cakes, which include some gluten-free options, are available to order and can be found at cafes and storefronts throughout Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan.)

The new iteration of the bakery was bustling this morning, filled with folks working on laptops, reading, or chatting with each other while sitting in front of the open windows, looking out onto Classon Ave. It gets better: Soon they’re adding beer and wine too.  (more…)

07/27/16 4:46pm
Reuben egg rolls at The Regal make for a heckuva post-bar snack.

Reuben egg rolls at The Regal make for a heckuva post-bar snack.

This post sponsored by The Regal

Amidst a sea of artisanal pizzas, ramen burgers, and gluten free chia bowls, Williamsburg has left few stones unturned when it comes to creative dining. Luck for you, you have us. And we are here to put you onto some otherworldly shit: the Reuben Egg Roll.

That’s right. A Reuben sandwich in. An. Egg roll.

If you’re an avid fan of the hot, melty American classic – often stuffed to absurdity with tons of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing — *ahem* we’re looking at you Carnegie Deli — the classic combo on Rye takes on a new form at The Regal Diner and Cocktail Bar and will absolutely give you life, even into the wee hours (serving food until 3am and cocktails until 4am on weekends) of some of your not so “pinky up nights. Just think about the handheld fried goodness coming your way after hitting local bars. (more…)

07/27/16 9:40am
Ikea is giving out free meatballs all week at select locations throughout Brooklyn. Photo via @ikea_brooklyn on Twitter

Ikea is giving out free meatballs all week at select locations throughout Brooklyn. Photo via @ikea_brooklyn on Twitter

Forget the clean lines, uniform aesthetic, and seamless assembly of the sterile-chic furniture supplier; for many Ikea shoppers, the Swedish meatballs are the real draw. But unless you live in Red Hook, or your big romantic move is bringing dates to play house in a reenactment of the quirky-cutesy-grating scene from 50 Days of Summer, you probably only hit up Ikea once or twice a year, at the most.

That means you’re only eating Swedish meatballs once or twice a year at the most! But, as a small summer treat, and a pretty straight forward promotion, Ikea Brooklyn is parking their food truck at select locations throughout Brooklyn and giving out free meatballs all week!

Yesterday, we spotted them at Grand Army Plaza, parked right in front of the Brooklyn Central Library. Follow @ikea_brooklyn and the hashtag #togetherweeat on Twitter to track their whereabouts over the next few days. (more…)

07/25/16 4:35pm
Here are five BK spots where you can tune into this for the week. Photo via @itgovandrebauer on Instagram

Here are five BK spots where you can tune into this for the week. Photo via @itgovandrebauer on Instagram

Leaked emails and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation aside, the DNC kicks off today at 4pm with the theme of “united together” and will march on forward through Thursday night, with surely at least more gusto than the 51-foot-joint that deflated straight out the gate in DC earlier today. This week will have a star-studded lineup, a welcome change from last week’s horrors.

Tonight, Elizabeth Warren is the keynote speaker, and we’ll also hear from Bernie, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and Michelle Obama. Tuesday night, Bill Clinton headlines, Wednesday Obama and Biden take the stage, and finally, on Thursday, Hillary, after an introduction by Chelsea, will accept the nomination.

While we didn’t hear word of any official BK watch parties, nor any Chillary Clinton frozen specials, we did find five Brooklyn bars where you can get your DNC drink and watch on this week, with a few happy hours to boot. We’ll be adding to the list throughout the week; if you know of anywhere, send us a shout out in the comments! (more…)

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…)