04/12/17 11:32am
01-The-Islands-Caribbean-Brooklyn-Restaurant

Photo via MightySweet.com

In a tiny restaurant with an impossibly small kitchen, two business owners are closing up for the night. The Islands, a neighborhood Caribbean restaurant near the intersection of Washington Ave. and Eastern Parkway, has become a staple of a rapidly changing section of Brooklyn and, in some ways, a reflection of Washington Ave. Yesterday, the doors closed on the famous location to make room for a new condominium. The owners, Marilyn Reid and Shawn Leitchford, plan to reopen a much larger location a few blocks down Washington.

“This street right here is the end of Crown Heights and where Prospect Heights begins. Washington is unlike any other street in the neighborhood.” Marilyn says, when asked about why they stayed on the same street when opening the new location.

For 16 years, Marilyn and Shawn have been cooking sumptuous Jamaican dinners in a restaurant only 220 square feet in total, and that includes a dining area upstairs which seats about 20. During past summers the front have doors remained open and a few tables were placed outside for additional space. The restaurants’ tiny size has, in part, lent to its word of mouth popularity, a factor which helped keep the doors of the establishment open for nearly two decades. I tell Marilyn that when I moved to the neighborhood several years ago The Islands was often listed as one of the primary highlights right behind Prospect Park. (more…)

03/15/17 10:59am
Coney Island Brewery is always ready for a party

Coney Island Brewery is always ready for a party. Photo via Coney Island Brewery

Brooklyn’s burgeoning beer scene is buzzing faster than we can get a buzz on an empty stomach. Keep up with the borough’s beer-centric happenings with this monthly installment of Brooklyn beer news, including can releases, beer festivals, brewery nights and other beer celebrations around the borough. (more…)

03/14/17 11:44am
Bushwick, $825/month. Someone lost their security deposit, but at least they had fun

Bushwick, $825/month. Someone lost their security deposit, but at least they had fun

Brooklyn’s rental market is way scarier than the blizzard: we’d deal with Stella twice a week every week if we could only rent in Park Slope for under $1,000 a month. Alas, times are tight, but check out these picks we found, and don’t forget to try out Brownstoner’s listing service before you go sloughing through Craigslist. (more…)

06/16/16 3:17pm
Farewell, Brooklyn's best punchline: The artisanal mayo store got priced out (but maybe not for good)

Empire Mayo’s Vanderbilt Avenue home now has a for-rent sign outside. Photo by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn.

Nothing has ever landed on our doorstep in quite such a neatly wrapped bundle of punchlines as the Brooklyn artisanal mayonnaise store, which opened in Prospect Heights in 2012. It became shorthand for just how far Brooklyn’s food preciousness had gone, rescuing even lowly mayonnaise from the depths of low-class condiment prison into Empire Mayo’s small shop on already excessively cute Vanderbilt Avenue. SNL joked about it, Good ran a story titled “Why mayonnaise matters in the gentrification debate,” the Wall Street Journal wrote simply “Yes, artisanal mayo.”

You might need a new small business strawman to pick on soon: Empire Mayo is closing its store at the end of July, though the brand will probably live on online or in another store TBD. (more…)

05/03/16 3:52pm
The 5 best spots for Haitian food in Brooklyn, and how to order like a local at each one

Chiktay herring at La Caye. Thank me later.

I grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and I never really felt like I “fit.” The neighborhood was largely Caribbean, but the only people I had interactions with were my fellow Haitians. Most of the kids in my school were either Irish or Italian, and I was one of three black students in my class. It’s safe to say I didn’t identify with any of my peers on a cultural level — especially where food was concerned. New York is America’s little melting pot, and there are dozens of restaurants that represent each respective country. But this has never been the case with Haitian restaurants.

Once I got to college, I made it my duty to throw house parties for my friends whenever I came back home to Brooklyn between semesters. I would beg my mother to prepare a buffet of traditional Haitian food for my friends to try. Everybody loved those parties, and I’ve wanted to share the food with friends and strangers ever since.

Good Haitian food takes love and time— from cleaning the meat, to seasoning it using authentic imported spices, to ritual meals like soup joumou, a yellow pumpkin soup we eat on New Years’ Day. And while I’d love to have my mom cook you all some Haitian food, it’s much easier to share my secrets about where else you can get the good stuff. So here’s a list of the best Haitian restaurants in Brooklyn. If you’re feeling really adventurous, double down (get it?) with our Caribbean snack crawl picks along the way.  (more…)

01/20/16 10:00am
Free! Free! Free! via Flickr user Kent Wang

Free! Free! Free! via Flickr user Kent Wang

Brooklyn is a land of so much culture, with the beating heart of it found in the Brooklyn Museum (seriously though, they don’t tell you this, but there’s a literal giant beating heart pumping culture into the borough in a secret sub-basement in the museum). All that culture takes money, but sometimes you don’t have the cash to see it. Well, leave your squeamishness about giving tiny donations at the door behind, because starting Jan. 21, every Thursday night at the Brooklyn Museum will have free admission from 6pm to 10pm, per a press release from the Museum. (more…)

01/12/16 1:00pm
j'eatjet? brunch

At j’eatjet it’s more like moremosa, Photo by Dave Rosado

[We updated this list for January 2016 and added some new spots so everything is up to date!-ed.]

Brunch: it’s that magical meal that’s somehow both over- AND underrated. It’s a great way to start a weekend or coast through a Sunday morning hangover, a meal where you can order a boozy drink and loudly proclaim “It’s five o’clock somewhere, right? Who cares? It’s brunch o’clock here!” to the hearty enjoyment of nobody, because come on. Brunch can also be expensive, as day drinking is apparently a fancy affair once you introduce a fruit cup to the occasion.

Still, there’s no need to be one of the five richest kings of Europe to get your boozy brunch on. Instead of buying a sixer of Milwaukee’s Best to drink alongside some hastily-made scrambled eggs at home, class it up by heading to these eighteen restaurants (!) which offer the best Brooklyn unlimited brunch drink specials.  (more…)

01/05/16 9:15am
It's hotter than you know. Photo by Daniel Lahr, via LiveScience

It’s hotter than you know. Photo by Daniel Lahr, via LiveScience

It’s Tuesday, the fifth day of the year, and we’re finally leaving things like 2015’s extended summer and Charlotte Flair being a face and staying home and being boring behind. The easiest way to avoid that last one is to look at the Brokelyn Events Calendar, but especially these awesome things I found on it, which are not just the best picks from the events calendar but the best picks for how to spend your night in general. (more…)

01/04/16 9:47am
Pick the right one, or they might murder you next

Pick the right one, or they might murder you next

Well, it’s the first Monday of 2016, and after the long weekend we just had, your first thought was probably to go back to bed instead of waking up for work. Maybe you’re even still in bed now, reading this on your phone. Technology these days really is a miracle. Anyway, you gotta get up and go to work, but there’s also a bunch of great ways to spend your first Monday night of 2016, per the Brokelyn Event Calendar. So there’s that to look forward to! (more…)

12/22/15 11:59am
Say goodbye to 2015 in style at any of these great parties. via Facebook

Say goodbye to 2015 in style at any of these great parties. via Facebook

There are only a few more days of 2015 left! Whether you are filled with hope, melancholy or dread for the upcoming year, don’t let the old one go out with a whimper. Even if you didn’t get invited to any killer house parties this year, you don’t have to schlep into Manhattan to find an awesome party. From booze to burlesque and food to fireworks, there are plenty of Brooklyn New Year’s Eve events and activities in every neighborhood to fit any-sized budget. (more…)