Alcohol is mankind’s fourth greatest accomplishment, behind indoor plumbing, the 1986 Mets and Ava Luna. But for all of its miraculous properties — like keeping us warm and encouraging us to recall that embarrassing childhood story — it contains no essential vitamins and minerals. Try subsisting on a liquid bread diet: you’ll end up a drunk emaciated husk like one of those starving zombies at the end of 28 Days Later. So what are you supposed to do if faced with the nightmarish choice of either drinking or filling your body with life sustaining nutrients? You consult the Brokelyn guide to beer and food specials is what.
(All food specials are daily unless otherwise noted. If you’re planning a dinner around this, make sure to call the bars to check first! DISCLAIMER: these bars offer you the food out of the goodness of their hearts. Please be a decent Brokelynite and don’t take advantage of the offers without spending at least a bit of money too!)
THE GOOD-ENOUGH-FOR-A-FULL-MEAL DIVISION
Rotate your visit to these bars just right and you’ll never have to pay for food ever again. You will, however, probably have to pay for booze still.
The Brazen Head, 228 Atlantic Ave., Cobble Hill, (718) 488-0430
Free wings on Monday from 5pm until they’re gone; cheese and cracker spread on Wednesday; bagel and cream cheese spread on Sundays to compliment Bloody Mary specials.
LoneStar Bar and Grill, 8703 Fifth Ave., Bay Ridge, (718) 833-5180
Trekking down to Bay Ridge for happy hour from 5 to 7 can get you cheap drinks and free food every day: options vary from baked ziti to ribs and hot dogs (not mixed together).
Full Circle Bar, 318 Grand St., Williamsburg (347) 725-4588
Buy a can of Gennessee Cream Ale and you have the choice of a free hot dog or soft pretzel. We say save your pretzels for use as a new bun after the next beer.
The Mark Bar, 1025 Manhattan Ave., Greenpoint, (718) 349-2340
The free popcorn is just the tip of the iceberg. Everyday at 6 the bar orders a pizza from nearby Triangolo and puts out a salami and cheese spread. On Sundays, come early for free bagels.
Mullane’s, 71 Lafayette Ave., Fort Greene (718) 797-7606
Free happy hour hot buffet Monday-Friday at 5 pm featuring a rotating selection of food to tide you over till dinner, including French fries, lasagna, meatloaf, grilled cheese or quesadillas.
THE PIZZA DIVISION
Is there a better deal in town than a place that gives you a whole personal pizza just for ordering a beer? The best part about bar pizza is that you can pretend you’re taking proactive steps to soaking up all that beer you’re drinking. You aren’t really, but we tell ourselves small lies to get through every day. Even though The Charleston ended its beer-and-pizza offer earlier this year, plenty of ovens are still burning for you:
Alligator Lounge, 600 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg, (718) 809-4440
Free pizza with every drink purchase
Lulu’s, 113 Franklin St., Greenpoint, (718)383-6000
Free pizza with every drink purchase
The Commodore, 366 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg, (718) 218-7632
Free cold pizza brunch every Sunday starting at noon
Enoteca on Court, 347 Court St., Carroll Gardens, (718)243-1000
Before sitting down at this Italian restaurant, make sure you stop by the bar where buying your first beer earns you a free small pizza.
South 4th Bar, 90 South 4th St,, Williamsburg, (718)248-7478
Pizza delivered every Sunday at 1, 3, 5 and 9
THE BITE-SIZED SNACKS DIVISION
Everyone knows pretzels are an insidious (though usually successful) plot to make you thirsty and buy more booze. These bars don’t need tricks like that, but they will provide you something to nosh on while you’re there.
The Levee 212 Berry St., Williamsburg, (718) 218-8787
Bushwick Country Club, 618 Grand St., Williamsburg, (718) 388-2114
4th Ave Pub, 76 Fourth Ave., Boerum Hill, (718) 643-2273
High Dive, 243 Fifth Ave., Park Slope, (718) 788-0401
Angry Wade’s, 224 Smith St., Cobble Hill, (718) 488-7253
South, 629 Fifth Ave., Windsor Terrace, (718) 832-4720
Canal Bar, 270 Third Ave., Gowanus, (718) 246-0011
Pete’s Waterfront Ale House, 155 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn Heights, (718)522-3794
Lock Inn, 949 Grand St., Williamsburg, (718)302-0810
Abbey Bar, 536 Driggs Ave., Williamsburg, (718)599-4400
Redd’s, 511 Grand Street, Williamsburg, (718) 218-9429
Huckleberry Bar, (On Mondays for movie night) 558 Grand Street, (718)218-8555
Black Rabbit, 91 Greenpoint Ave., Greenpoint, (718)349-1595
Cherry Tree, 65 Fourth Avenue, Park Slope, (718)399-1353
BARBECUE DIVISION (seasonal)
There may be flurries outside your window now but we’ll be lamenting the hot garbage smell of summer before you know it. Summer also means taking advantage of bar patios and backyards, and eating as much dead flesh as you can stand. Oh, and veggie burgers too.
Macri Park, 462 Union Ave., Williamsburg, (718) 599-4999
Saturdays and Sundays, the bars hosts barbecues with hamburgers and hot dogs (meat and veggie) throughout the summer. Free with a drink.
Rock Star Bar, 351 Kent Ave., Williamsburg, (718)599-3052
When the weather gets warm, the grill is open Friday through Sunday starting at 5pm, serving free burgers and dogs.
Metropolitan, 559 Lorimer St., Williamsburg, (718)599-4444
The grill is open every Sunday from Memorial Day through the end of September, serving burgers, dogs and veggie burgers. Free with a drink. PLEASE NOTE: This is a gay bar and the bartender kindly asked to not be deluged by hungry straight people. Hungry gays more than welcome.
t.b.d, 224 Franklin St., Greenpoint, (718)349-6727
Eat the end-of-summer blues away: while the bar charges for BBQ on the weekends from September until it’s too cold to grill, they serve the leftovers for free on Monday nights. Options include burgers, dogs, sausage and sweet sausage, kielbasa and grilled veggie pizza.
THE TOO-GOOD-TO-LAST DIVISION
A few of Brooklyn’s favorite free-grub deals have gone the way of the buffalo (wing):
The Charleston (Williamsburg):
The free personal pizza with each beer is no more. The pizza kitchen was replaced by a a Cajun pop-up restaurant, which you have to pay for. UPDATE 3/15/2011: Pizza is back at The Charleston, but pies now cost $1 (still a pretty good deal).
Washington Commons (Prospect Heights): Once the home of free hot soft pretzels on demand, the bar now says construction in the room is preventing pretzel service for the immediate future.
Trash Bar (Williamsburg): The rock and roll dive performance space recently said “later” to its free tater tots; the tiny tots now will set you back $2.
What are your favorites? Did we miss any? Tell us in the comments!