6 Greenpoint Cafés Serving More Than Your Average Latte

Budin's Secret Licorice Latte
Budin’s Secret Licorice Latte  Photo by Lucie Levine

New York has run on coffee since at least 1668, when the first written reference to the drink in America noted that New Yorkers were imbibing a brew made of roasted beans flavored with sugar, or honey and cinnamon. Following the Civil War, our beloved borough became the center of the national coffee trade. By the turn of the 20th century, 86% of the nation’s coffee docked in New York Harbor, and John Arbuckle’s plant on John Street in DUMBO roasted more coffee than any other building in the world.

Today, Brooklynites are pioneering the “third wave” specialty coffee craze, and our local roasters are flavoring their drinks with a lot more than sugar or honey and cinnamon. In the name of investigative journalism, I set out to sample some of that local flavor. In Greenpoint alone, that means turmeric, lavender, licorice and other assorted delights. These are not your average pours and they’ll run you more than a regular coffee, but if you’re looking to splurge on something special, read on for Greenpoint’s most exciting coffee concoctions. Continue reading

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One Last SummerScreen, Burmese Food, Motorcycles, Brooklyn Mile— What’s Happening, Greenpoint? (8/16–8/22)

♦ SummerScreen: I Know What You Did Last Summer @ McCarren Park, 6pm, FREE, Let’s toast … to us, to our last summer of immature, adolescent decadence, and to the final SummerScreen of the season, More info
♫ Big Huge, Velveteen Rabbit, Barbed Wire, Navy Gangs @ Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave), 8pm, $10, Buy tix

# Burmese Food Fest @ Rangoon NoodleLab (24 St. Nicholas Ave), 5pm, FREE,  More info
♦ The Russians Are Coming: Red Dawn @ Videology (308 Bedford Ave), 9pm, $12,Watch the classic tale of how teenagers save the world from evil Soviet forces. Because we all need a little Patrick Swayze right about now, Buy tix
♫ DJ Bone, Analog Soul, Sofia Kourtesis, M Parent @ Good Room (98 Meserole Ave), 10pm, $15, DJ Bone is steeped in Detroit history and is amongst the most technically accomplished techno DJs in the world, Buy tix
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Nightmares Are Real: Juggalo Invasion Happening In Williamsburg

The infamous Insane Clown Posse and presumably, their posse of clown-faced juggalos, are bound for Brooklyn with a show at Villain (303 Kent Ave) in Williamsburg on October 23rd where they will perform their classic hiphop album The Great Milenko in its entirety. Why should you be afraid? Well, according to Wikipedia, these are some of the identifying characteristics of juggalos: Continue reading

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Climate Change, Architecture and Design Take Center Stage at A/D/O

Talking Tropics via Prototropic's facebook page
Talking Tropics via Prototropic’s facebook page

Design and architecture buffs abound here in Brooklyn, and Greenpoint has even been called the home design capital of the borough, but Talking Tropics, a new series of discussions at A/D/O, the creative design hub at 29 Norman Avenue, is putting Tropical cities like Shenzhen, Rio and Chennai at the center of “a conversation about climate change and the future of design, architecture and construction in island and waterfront cities.”

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Chef Sheldon Simeon Celebrates Hawaii at MOFAD

Image courtesy of MOFAD

Chef and restaurateur Sheldon Simeon is in town bringing the tastes, flavors, and ingredients of traditional and modern Hawaii foods to the East Coast. His love and appreciation for his home state’s culinary traditions have taken him from Maui Culinary Academy to the finals of Top Chef to opening up his own restaurant on Maui, Tin Roof. Our writer Ankur Parikh caught up with Chef Simeon to discuss what the difference between Hawaii food and Hawaiian food is, and why he considers himself ‘Filipino,’ not ‘Hawaiian.’ If you want to get a taste of Chef Simeon’s cooking, he’ll be at MOFAD (62 Bayard St) Thursday evening and is also hosting a BBQ with Dale Talde at Massoni (11 East 31st St) Friday night.

I feel like Top Chef’s been a nice avenue towards exploring first generation culinary contributions, especially in recent years with yourself, Kristen Kish, and Paul Qui. There’s a whole other kind of American chef, and especially as a first-generation immigrant myself, I’m wondering how it feels, personally, to be a part of that group. How do you associate it with what American food means?

Sheldon: I’m doing a show right now on Eater called “Cooking in America,” that explores just that, all the immigrant chefs across America, what they’re doing, and their contribution to the food industry. For me, it’s a little bit different. I’m still discovering my own viewpoint because growing up in Hawaii my whole history has been a melting pot. I’ve never been exposed to it like on the mainland, haven’t seen it directly through the lens of separation or having the concept of immigrants at the forefront of it, but I think it’s great. I mean, we’ve always, to some degree, we’ve always been here and I think it’s just a coming out of the shadows now. That’s what it is. And being recognized for it.

And what is American food, right? It’s still a question that is difficult to answer, I think. You can ask a chef that, and it’s a loaded question filled with politics, filled with history, filled with their own personal conflicts or experiences. But, I think it’s awesome that more and more first and second generation chefs are reaching back. And even though we’re born in The States, we’re reaching back and going into our roots and cooking, drawing from and adapting our culture. I think it’s an avenue for us to connect with our roots and tell our stories. I don’t speak the language. I don’t speak Ilocano, I don’t speak Filipino, but my way of connecting and sharing with everyone in my culture is through food. And I think a lot of chefs are doing that. Immigrant chefs. Continue reading

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Seeking Out Greenpoint’s Best Aperol Spritzes

via Shayz Lounge’s Instagram

In New York City, selecting the ‘drink of the summer’ is a hallowed warm-weather tradition, as inevitable as busted subway air-conditioning, blaring ice-cream-truck jingles, and promising yourself that this year, without a doubt, you’ll bike from Brooklyn to the Rockaways (and then…ya know…NOT doing that).

For this year’s Summer Sipper Supreme (ugh, sorry),  the Cocktail Powers That Be went with an old-school classic, beloved by Italian grandmothers far and wide: The Aperol Spritz. The ingredients are simple: Aperol (an Italian aperitif made from bitter orange and herbs), ice cubes, some bubbly, and a citrus peel. From there, the bartender has the freedom to get weird, and Greenpoint’s best spritz-maestros take full advantage. Here are five of Greenpoint’s finest Aperol (and Aperol-adjacent) spritzes, just in time for those last drunken days of summer. Continue reading

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Savor the Last of Summer with a Picnic in the Park

Monger’s Palate Picnic Basket  Photo by Desirée Flores

North Brooklyn may not have the vast green destination of Prospect Park, but there are several scattered parks that are perfect for picnics. We’ve put together a list of places that offer take away options to full-service picnic gear that can make a day laying in the grass so much more enjoyable. Whether you plan to lay out a blanket or just sit on your jacket, these bites are quick and easy for a meal in the park. Continue reading

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