review

Greenpoint Veggie Burger Diaries: The Habitat

While I appreciate the wholeness of a portobello mushroom burger in the sense that it’s not a bunch of random chopped up ingredients, for some reason I steer clear of it. Portobello’s are big mushrooms and along the way I’ve come across big flavorless, chewy portobellos, so the The Habitat “Build Your Own” Portobello Burger was my big coming out. And it was big!

The last mushroom burger I had was at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park at least 5 years ago – and that was a cheese stuffed and fried mushroom burger with cheese fries and a strawberry shake. Needless to say I was left in a state of disgusting cheesy ecstasy.

You should have to prove that you’re not a guiltless glutton before being granted the decision making power to build your own burger. Continue reading

Category: Eat & Drink, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Greenpoint Veggie Burger Diaries: Mother’s

Mother's Veggie Burger

While Mother’s (347 Graham Ave) is technically NOT in Greenpoint – it is the veggie burger that inspired the new Greenpoint Veggie Burger Diaries series, in which I review all the veggie burgers in the neighborhood. This series will include all veggie burger options, like portobello mushroom and bean burgers.

As a newly converted vegetarian, I love a good burger and my recent carnivore flavor palette hardly accepts “fake meat” as a substitute. That being said I can remember countless evenings of insomnia after eating a huge burger while my digestive system suffered processing all the fat.

Before I was a vegetarian I used to get the veggie burger from Mother’s – topped with bacon – partly to piss off a bossy vegan friend, but mostly because it was so delicious and never left me feeling the way meat burgers make me feel.

I’d be surprised if the veggie burger at Mother’s isn’t a regular boca burger, but it’s the fixins: red onions, crunchy pickles, optional cheddar cheese, the perfect sesame seed bun, chipotle mayo and the most delicious shoe string (or sweet potato) fries that keep me coming back.

Plus it’s a good deal at $7. Add-ons are: Cheddar, Swiss, Pepper Jack Or American $1; Bacon, Fried Free Range Egg, Hand Cut Fries (Regular Or Sweet Potato) Or Small Green Salad $2; Basket Of Fries $3.

They have great beer on tap, including my new favorite Bronx Pale Ale, and it’s the perfect spot for an easy and cheap after-work meal.

What do you think of the veggie burger at Mother’s?

Where is the best place in Greenpoint (or very closeby) to get a veggie burger?

Category: Eat & Drink, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Van Leeuwen Vegan Ice Cream Rules! (And it’s GMO-FREE)

Attention all you ice cream freaks who happen to be vegan, Van Leeuwen (632 Manhattan Ave) just rolled out a new line of Vegan Ice Cream – and it rules!  So stop feeling sorry for yourself and grab some VEGAN ice cream.

I taste tested Van Leeuwen’s vegan ice cream at a non-vegan dinner party in which I was asked to bring dessert. More specifically I was asked to bring Tiramusu, but no Italian bakeries were open and besides I don’t eat Tiramisu unless my cousin Roseanne makes it. So vegan ice cream it was and everyone loved it! It was gone in a few minutes and everyone wondered wanted more.

Personally I preferred the chocolate, which was extremely rich, creamy and chocolately. It has an underlying hint of coconut in a very delicious way. I am looking forward to new weekly flavors!

We chatted with the folks at Van Leeuwen about this new and miraculous vegan creation. Continue reading

Category: Eat & Drink | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Sex Below Deck” – Greenpoint’s Newest Cocktail Bar Alameda Delivers

© michael groth for hOmE

Greenpoint is blowin’ up, and we all know it. Case in point: Alameda (195 Franklin St,) opened by design gurus the Haslegrave brothers, is their first brick-and-mortar space. Evan and Oliver’s design company Home is responsible for the interiors of The Manhattan Inn and Paulie Gee’s, so we certainly expected the old-school charm of rustic wood accents and loads of exposed brick in this new space.

Upon first glance, Alameda pops in a way that other Greenpoint examples of the Haslegraves’ work doesn’t. Clean white walls adorned with glossy white tile open the space up infinitely, and are accompanied by nautical detailing in both the light fixtures and molding. In fact, a gentleman seated next to me at the bar remarked that the space felt like it should be on Tatooine. It felt like drinking in the below-deck bar of ship from the future that I was absolutely going to sail upon one day. I felt home.

© michael groth for hOmE

The cocktail list at Alameda is perfectly curated, with several standouts utilizing different liquors in their most elevated incarnations. My personal favorite was the Roberto Burns, a smoky mezcal delight with a generous orange rind strip served over a single ice cube. This drink is like sex below deck.

A friend enjoyed the Pita Amour, a lovely tequila concoction served up with a lime wedge. Petite, clean, and delicious.

The Phil Collins, a gin and Lillet stunner, could’ve nearly been called a salad; it had so many fresh accoutrements, including mint, lemon, and lime. An ideal summertime cocktail, folks, and I trust you won’t forget the name.

The edibles menu pleased us very much, as did the prices. Though a $17 foie gras breakfast sandwich is on offer, most items are more moderately priced around $10. A standout item on the current menu is a roasted fruit and goat cheese sandwich on baguette, the perfect combination of tang, crunch, and tender fruit without the syrupy sweetness of most jams. Along with the $9 cheeseburger (which feels like a grown-up version of In-N-Out,) their killer cocktails, and the spacious bar area and actually comfortable booths we have a winner here. Or, as I have been describing it to all my girlfriends, “our new GPT go-to.”

Category: Eat & Drink | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Eagle Trading Company: New Greenpoint Cafe – Review

This article made possible by a donation to our Writer’s Fund by Greenpoint Veterinary Hospital.I had taken a nasty spill on the way to Eagle Trading Company (258 Eagle St). The quarter inch of snow on the streets got the best of my nearly bald bike tires, and I broke most of the fall with my shoulder.

Eagle Trading Company offered a perfect place to lick my wounds and warm up after the embarrassing tumble. ETC (Eagle Trading Company) promised me Manhattan clam chowder and coffee to succor newly forming bruises.

Essentially a TARDIS (look it up if you’re not versed in Dr. Who), the space is deceptively small from the outside, but massive once inside. Cavernous in just the right way, ETC inhabits what was formerly an abandoned storfront and what was an abandoned bodega before that. The TARDIS comparison is an apt one. Once inside ETC I was immediately struck by how welcomingly anachronistic it was.

Continue reading

Category: Eat & Drink, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Grab Your Coffee & Run: Best In & Out Coffee Shops in Greenpoint

espresso greenpointDuring the holidays, time is on fast forward and we need our caffeine fix without a lot of waiting around. Here are some of the best coffee shops in Greenpoint for when we are on the go. That being said, I don’t care what kind of a rush you are in, never order you espresso in a to-go paper cup (the blasphemy!) and don’t forget to tip your barista.

Variety (145 Driggs Ave)

Excellent brew and my favorite cappuccino in the hood, the space was designed just for a coffee line. These efficient baristas magically fill orders so the wait is never long.

• Champion (1108 Manhattan Ave)

If you live this far up Manhattan, you will need a warm coffee to help you speed walk to the train. Champion has some of the best espressos in Greenpoint and some of the most on point baristas who will get you on your way without a lot of fuss.

Cup on Norman (79 Norman Ave)

Located steps from the G on Norman Ave, Cup, which has the best espresso in Greenpoint also has some of the quickest and friendliest service so you’ll be out the door in minutes.

Cookie Road (94 Franklin St)

Another café just large enough to grab your coffee order and a slice of frittata or a cheddar biscuit.

Five Leaves (18 Bedford Ave)

You don’t even have to waste time going inside, Five Leaves’ coffee window serves strong brews right out of their window on Bedford Ave.

Upright (860 Manhattan Ave)

If you catch the G at Greenpoint, check out Upright, rated the second best espresso in Greenpoint on our tour, they also have fun latte flavors and offer almond milk for anti-soy vegans.

Category: Eat & Drink, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , | 0 Comments

BrisketTown Brisket & Ribs Review

briskettown brisket

Disclaimer: I grew up in Queens on my Nonna’s red sauce, so I am no judge of barbecue. That being said, I was honored to be invited to the Family & Friends Dinner at BrisketTown (359 Bedford Ave) in Williamsburg last night for a preview and I loved every minute of it.

Finally I would try Daniel Delaney’s cooking after many failings on my part to attend his awesome foodie parties. In June, I bailed on a hot dog movie night because I got caught with some illness (that hurt), then I missed his Rooftop Craw Fish Boil because we just needed to get out of town during one of those nasty heat waves. I signed up for a BrisketLab at Little Field and realized at 11pm that night that I forgot, and the worst offense – we made it into his apartment for his Fourth of July party with a 12 pack and a Banana Cream Pie, saw a crowd of people, had an anti-social “we can’t talk to anyone” moment, brought the beer and pie home and ate it all like two fat weirdos while listening to firecrackers on Sutton St.

What a friend I am! (Sounds like something a rotten family member would do.)

When I arrived at the door, flying solo with a bottle of whisky for Daniel and a bottle of wine for me (it’s BYOB), Daniel walked out, looking cool as a cucumber with his white apron on and a confident smile. He got this. Continue reading

Category: Eat & Drink, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rawpothecary: Hipster Juice or Hipster Cure?

While trying to figure out the point of this “hipsters deserve to die” ad on the G train (Is Die Hipster campaigning?), my Mom asked in a very concerned voice, “Jen are you a hipster?”

“What does that even mean?” I said.

It was like she was asking me if I murdered my father. She was scared of the truth and I didn’t know how to answer.

My Mom is the least nosiest mother in the world. When it came out that I have a (platonic) wife during a very short spell of being single and my Uncle George (the only person who reads my other blog) emailed to ask her if I am gay, my Mom replied, “I don’t know.”

“You don’t know if I’m gay?” I said. She would after all be the first person who I would tell.

“It’s your life, Jen, you can do whatever you want.” She thought I was gay.

She is the Mom who never interferes and let’s me “live my own life,” while she “minds [her] own business” and now she was was straight up calling me out – not for being gay – for being a hipster.

This hipster thing is really hitting a nerve in outer borough Mom’s everywhere and I think the media has something to do with it.

When my Mom asked me that it made me realize that being a hipster is more being The Other, it is what other people think about you in relationship to how you are different from them. I don’t know what inspired the question from her, but that “otherness” isn’t always a good thing.

I like art and good food and I consume both with all of the money I make at my “creative job,” (human photocopy machine of expensive clothes made in China mostly) – but I have no style, my ass is way to huge for skinny jeans and I wish I had one of those God damn trust fund everyone talks about.

We’ve already gone down this treacherous road before. I am not trying to start a war here, but the buzz word hipster is really everywhere.

When I see it used, I wonder, don’t these companies know what a bad connotation the word has? Don’t they know the accusatory nature of it? The defensive mode it puts people in? The anger and bitterness it stirs up? The concern it raises in non-pushy Moms?

When I was waiting online at The Garden, I saw this juice in the refrigerator called “The Hipster.” I wondered, do they want hipsters to buy this? Or is it a cure for being a hipster? Or is it for people who want to become hipsters? Like people who buy Smooth Move Tea; clearly things are not moving smoothly. We can all dream.

Maybe it would help me figure out if I am a hipster or not, once and for all, or at least to give my Mom a straight answer.

“The Hipster” is a raw juice is made up of hemp seeds, date, coconut water and purified water and costs $6.49! The back asks “Allergic to nuts?” (Definitely not, Mom!) But, if you are, fear not, it is a seed milk, not a nut milk. Sigh.

The “Hipster” blend contains “all 20 amino acids including the 8 our body cannot make on its own,” which made me think of this juice as some sort of transformative super hero concoction, giving me powers (or amino acids) that I don’t normally have.

My hipster superpower would be “The Magic Trust Fund,” everything I look at would turn into money and more money and more money!

Sick as a dog, I gave it a shot. The first flavor that immediately hit my palate was corn husk. You know when you’re munching on an ear of corn and you suck at the juiciness under the corn kernels? It tasted like corn husk juice. Not bad, but a little weird.

After a minute, I tasted the hemp flavor. What I like about seed and nut milks is that they really resemble milk but aren’t nasty like cows milk, which I have a natural aversion to since childhood when my Mom would make me hold my nose and swallow it down because everyone in the mid-80s was concerned about protein.

“You’re not getting enough protein!”

After I finished it (it was tasty enough to finish) I still had a cold and I didn’t grow a beard and I still can’t fit into skinny jeans. My bank account still has just enough to cover rent and pay for some dinners out, so I have not made the full transformation into Brooklyn Hipster Superhero Magic Trust Fund Genie yet. If not now then when???

Once I do, I will formally make an announcement.

In the meantime, if you hate cow milk and are allergic to nuts, don’t get turned off by the name if the price doesn’t scare you. Rawpothecary’s “Hipster” blend will get you all the vegan, dairy and nut free protein you need.

Am I hipster? I think other people care more about the answer to that than I do.

Does the buzz word hipster work for selling stuff and getting reviews on awesome blogs? Hell yeah!

What would your hipster superpower be?

Category: Culture, Eat & Drink | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Milk and Roses Chef Makes Simple Bread Pudding with Broccoli Rabe, Egg and Chili

egg broccoli rabe bread chiliThe most satisfying dishes are often the most easy and simple to prepare. When I met with Chance Jones, the new chef at Greenpoint’s Milk n’ Roses, a cafe and wine bar that has just rolled out a new menu, I asked him to show us how to make the simplest dish on the menu.

He chose the Acuasale all’Uovo, which is Traditional Southern Italian Bread Pudding, Broccoli Rabe, Soft Egg & Chili.

This was the first time I have ever seen bread being boiled! It was a fascinating technique and the results were very delicious.

Boil day old bread with chopped and clean broccoli rabe in generously salted boiling water. Meanwhile, fry an egg in chili oil, and top it with more chili flakes. Cover it. Then drain the bread and broccoli rabe and toss with more chili oil. Add the egg on top and that is it!

It was the perfect rainy day lunch.

Don’t you agree that Milk n’ Roses should add this simple hearty dish to their brunch menu?

I am definitely going to try to make this at home… perhaps sweeten it with some milk and honey (no egg of course!) and maybe top it will some berries.

Category: Eat & Drink | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Longest Walk For Potato Chips & Espresso: Whirly Bird Breakfast Taco

You have to love how incredible search engines are. A while back I heard about a taco joint in Williamsburg that makes breakfast tacos with potato chips sprinkled on top, a major hook, but I couldn’t remember the name so I typed into the google: “breakfast taco potato chips” and there was the article, New York Magazine’s The Most Important Taco of the Day, featuring Whirlybird breakfast taco: Continue reading

Category: Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 0 Comments