Restaurants come and restaurants go with increasing regularity—I’m personally still mourning the loss of Lomzynianka. And 2016 didn’t go out without a few shocks to our neighborhood restaurant scene. Some beloved spots quietly served their last meals and closed up shop while we were all busy celebrating the holidays. On the bright side, more than a few new places have opened last year like Greenpoint Avenue’s Hail Mary, Cherry Point with its excellent charcuterie, high-end Leuca in the William Vale, River Styx transformed into 21 Greenpoint, and now we have two fried chicken joints with Brooklyn Star in the Brooklyn Night Bazaar and Pretty Southern on Bedford Ave. Plus at least one big one, A/D/O, is on the way, and they are all ready to comfort our souls over the losses. Continue reading
After one year of serving healthy Mediterranean inspired dishes on Franklin St., Cassette (113 Franklin Street) will close for business and will be available to rent for private functions, Eater reports.
The NYC-based band Thirdstory teamed up with hip-hop artist Push T on”G Train.” Checkout the video via Fader which features shots of the Greenpoint Ave. station along with heartfelt crooning on your favorite train.
Manhattan Ave’s Cafecito Bogota (1015 Manhattan Ave.) will host a Love Trump’s Hate gathering on Saturday to help you decompress from the presidential election and the disheartening events that have proliferated since. Co-owner Fernrando Verelo tells DNAinfo he “wants to stay visible and for his restaurant to be a welcoming spot for neighbors of all backgrounds.” Continue reading
I recently received an email from a young lesbian woman who is moving to NYC for school and wanted to know whether Greenpoint is a gay friendly neighborhood. Her timing was right since I began working on a series that asks the local LGBTQ community: Is Greenpoint gay friendly?
(Please join the conversation in the comments section.)
My first stop was Cafecito Bogotá (1015 Manhattan Ave), Greenpoint’s own Colombian restaurant that just celebrated its 7 year anniversary. A rainbow triangle was propped outside their storefront when I stopped in for brunch.
I met with Fernando Varela and Anthony Colón, business partners and
“partner partners” as Anthony put it – of over 14 years. Fernando added that “gay years” are like dog years.
“We’re gay grand dads!”
It’s this fun and lighthearted attitude that make Cafecito Bogotá not just a gay friendly restaurant but an all around fun place to have an easy and delicious meal for anyone. There is nothing pretentious about this simple and culturally proud eatery which serves hearty authentic Colombian food in a laid back environment – gay or straight.
Seriously craving Hominy Soup I walked to Commodore over on Metro. (They have sick frozen drinks and butter honey biscuits, too.) After dealing with the mess of walking 2 miles home with it, I resolved to learn to make it.
“Can someone teach the Greenpointers how to make Hominy Soup?” I asked Facebook. Like my scarf request, Facebook answered.
Not before I received this facebook comment,
“What’s all of this stuff that I’m reading about teaching the Greenpointer’s this and teaching the Greenpointer’s that? What are you, some sort of ministry teaching a third world nation how to make scarf’s and hominy? My Grandma, god rest her soul could knit cableknit sweaters around you with her eyes closed,”
Fernando from Cafecito Bogota invited me into his kitchen.
Fernando is basically the nicest and most genius person in the world, plus an awesome cook. With already a degree in chemical engineering, he is working toward a degree in pharmaceutical and medical regulatory law. And he runs the restaurant while perpetually smiling.
Fernando is all about simple and fresh ingredients prepared with time and care. And since Bogota is high up in the Andes he says, “I like my soups, I like my hot chocolates, I like my malted wines.” YES! YES! YES!Fernando’s Hominy Soup
First a bag of dried hominy is soaked overnight.
Next day, boil it in a pressure cooker (or on your stovetop) with salt, garlic and cilantro.
After it softens add a chicken breast (bone in.)
Add chopped carrots, scallions, and green beans, plus secret columbian spices. (NO MSG, just cumin, chili and annato seed for color)
Add peas and chopped potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes soften.
Serve with fresh cilantro.
Not only did I have a great morning drinking delicious fresh squeezed juice and chatting with Fernando, I got to meet his super genius Forensic Psychologist brother Oscar, with whom he runs the restaurant. We capped the morning off with a delicious, warm and wholesome bowl of Hominy Soup.
“I want one of those,” a customer told the waitress after hearing the inappropriate grunts I was making.
On Saturdays in the cool weather, Fernando make a traditional Ajiaco soup from Bogota, which uses three different kinds of potatoes: russet, red and imported Columbian creole potatoes.
And by year end he may be serving special South American infused cocktails! I’m thinking cocktail party soon.
An excellent espresso is a cafe’s best business card. On Sunday October 2, 2011, Rebecca from I love Greenpoint, Mike & Charlie from Brooklynauts and I tasted a total of 19 espressos from every cafe* in Greenpoint in order to determine the champion of the Greenpointers 2011 Espresso Tour. The density of outstanding espressos in this neighborhood was impressive and made the tour difficult to judge, but we have a winner!
Each cafe was notified and generously donated 3 espressos. We judged using the following score sheet adapted from the World Barista Championship:
TASTE EVALUATION OF ESPRESSO:
• COLOR OF CREMA (hazelnut, dark brown, reddish reflection) 0/10 ___
• CONSISTENCY & PERSISTENCE OF CREMA* 0/10 ___
• TASTE BALANCE (harmonious balance of sweet/acidic/bitter) 0/10 ___
• TACTILE BALANCE (full bodied, round, smooth) 0/10 ___
• TEMPERATURE** (hot but not too hot to drink) 0/10 ___
• CORRECT ESPRESSO CUPS USED (60-90mL w/handle) YES/NO
• SERVED WITH ACCESSORIES (spoon, napkin & water) YES/NO
After judges’ individual scores were added, the highest possible score was 156. Results ranged between 97-142. (Only the top 3 scores are revealed.)
*We were unable to contact Ashbox and the cafe was closed on Sunday.
2011 GREENPOINTERS ESPRESSO TOUR RESULTS
*** 1st Place: Cup on Norman ***
Top Score: 142
2nd Place: Upright ( Score: 139)
Best on Franklin St: Veronica People’s Club
Best on Manhattan Ave: Upright
Best near McGolrick Park: Variety
Best Overall Experience: Veronica People’s Club
Best Coffee Bar: Troost
Best Presentation: Le Gamin & Cafecito Bogota
Hottest Barista: Janna at Van Leeuwen
Best Team: Cookie Road
Most Unassuming: Garden Spot Cafe
Most Charming: Milk & Roses
Best Value: Royal & VPC ($2)
Congratulations to CUP, the 2011 Greenpointers Espresso Tour Champion!
THE WHOLE STORY: Continue reading
Cafecito Bogotá are offering “Anchetas Navideñas” or Traditional Gift Baskets filled with Fine Colombian and South American products for the gift giving season. The best part is that they start at $23! More images can be found here.
$23 – Wicker Basket with our Finest Coffee, Dulce de Leche, Cacao Bars, Wafers, Assorted Colombian Candy (Coffee+Coconut), Candy Canes.
$29 – Wicker Basket with Organic Merlot Wine, our Finest Coffee, Crackers, Cacao Bars, Assorted Colombian Candy (Coffee+Coconut), Candy Canes.
$35 – Wicker Basket with Organic Merlot Wine, our Finest Coffee, Crackers, Dulce de Leche, Cacao Bars, Assorted Colombian Candy (Coffee+Coconut), Candy Canes.
$45 – Wicker Basket with Organic Merlot Wine, our Finest Coffee, Crackers, Wafers, Dulce de Leche, Cacao Bars, Preserved Figs, Assorted Colombian Candy (Coffee+Coconut), Candy Canes.
Cafecito Bogotá1015 Manhattan Avenue