New Juice Bar ‘Botica & Co.’ will Help Keep You Glowing Until Spring

A 'Daily Green Essentials' and a 'Beauty Shot' ©Rosie de Belgeonne

It’s the time of year when every close encounter on a crowded G train threatens to land you with a dose of someone else’s snotty cold. It’s therefore probably a pretty good time to start taking extra care of our immune systems, which is where Botica & Co., a new business at 607 Manhattan Avenue, might be able to help.

Newly opened next to Awakening wellness centre, Botica and Co. is a cold-press juice bar and apothecary run by herbalist Adriana Ayales. The bar offers an array of fresh juices and herbal elixirs guaranteed to help keep your body and soul in tip-top form all year long. Continue reading

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Holy Crêpe! Crepeteria Brings Tasty Treats to Manhattan Avenue

Crepeteria, Manhattan Avenue

If you’ve already been for a dip in McCarren Park Pool this year you’ll know that all that splashing around can leave you hungry! But the good news is that now Greenpoint has the perfect snack for a post-swim refuel: CRÊPES!!

Crepeteria opened two weeks ago, and is handily located mere minutes from the pool at 614 Manhattan Avenue, between Driggs and Nassau. Continue reading

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Cafe Edna Opens in Cafe Royal’s Place Tomorrow (Sat. 6/21)

Carolina Ro, of Ro Chalk & Calligraphy, designed the menu for Cafe Edna.

What’s in a name? Cafe Royal (195 Nassau Ave) was shutdown and in its’ place the owners of the building, who for reasons unknown want to remain anonymous, reopen the doors tomorrow June 21st, with a new name: Cafe Edna.

What do you think about the name change?

I chatted with manager Samantha Sharifi, one of Greenpoint’s loveliest baristas to find out what this change means for “the other side” of Greenpoint.

While you may have dug the old name and the golden rooster logo, there might have been other complaints that have been remedied by the new owners, like spotty wifi and the uncomfortable school room chairs. They overhauled the furnitures, hooked up Fios, so the internet is “10,000 times faster,” according to Samantha, plus you can print out your short stories or resumes on their wireless $0.10/copy printer and add your favorite songs to their ipod.

The same great staff with a few new hires are all on board including the beloved head chef Juan Paredes, who will still make you a delicious breakfast scramble or my favorite: the egg burrito. Plus there is an additional chicken burrito on the lunch menu and many old and new vegan and gluten free options.

Even more exciting, soon they will be rolling out a full dinner menu along with beer and wine with old favorites like the quinoa plate, vegan lasagna, the gluten-free pasta and more to come. Will you dine at Cafe Edna?

Let’s talk coffee. Samantha said they are now serving Toby’s Estate on a brand spanking new expresso machine and she will personally pull you the “perfect shot.” It better be short, girl!

Samantha is also putting together a Greenpoint artist group show, so keep your ears peeled for that.

Where have you been getting you daily caffeine dose since Royal closed and what do you think about the new name?

Cafe Edna will open tomorrow at 11am-4pm for a soft opening, then be open from 7am-6pm until they open for dinner.

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“Feed Your Body What It Needs, It Gives You Back What You Want” A Chat With Samantha Hew of 3 Roots Juice Bar in Greenpoint

While on a daily Greenpoint exploration I stumbled into the recently opened, 3 Roots (159 Franklin St). Not only did I discover a deliciously fermented beverage similar to Kombucha called Jun served in 3 test tubes, I met former investment banking slash fashion world survivor Samantha Hew, who escaped the corporate world and found her purpose in opening a juice bar in Greenpoint.

I don’t know if it was the Jun or the heart to heart with Samantha that left me with a pep in my step and a sense of inspiration. There is a particular electric-like quality in Samantha that I’ve noticed in others who risk it all and pursue their passion. And it’s contagious.

Samantha chatted us about dietary choices and life:

Greenpointers: What is your favorite comfort food?
Samantha: My very own chicken soup. I put lots of spice and herbs so it’s the best soup that you can buy anywhere!

Greenpointers: Why call it 3 Roots?
Samantha: I have two lovely sisters and we are three girls in the fam, hence the number three. As for Roots, that’s just a kool sexy word and I want 3 ‘ROOTS’ to be the place where my life can begin to unfold and grown deeply as a woman.

Greenpointers: What was life like before 3 Roots? Why open a health cafe?
Samantha: I was in the corporate world, slaved for several fashion companies and investment banks, ten years of my life doing something I didn’t enjoy doing at all. Why not a health cafe? I have a culinary degree from the famous French Culinary Institue, 2005. My heart has always been with food and the kitchen.

Greenpointers: Is there a specific dietary philosophy behind 3 Roots?
Samantha: I believe in moderation and balance. There is no one diet for anyone, much less one way to do anything in life. Simply put, you feed your body what it needs, it gives you what you want and 3 Roots is here to create that partnership. You and your body.

It is a big world out there. I am always inspired by all different kinds of cultural diets from French to Indian. 3 Roots definitely has ayurvedic influence, thanks to the manager of 3 Roots, Jess Lee. She has taught me all about ayurvedic teaching. Continue reading

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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?

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Recipe: Rhubarb Mint Tea

Rhubarb Mint Tea

Last week I picked up some rhubarb at the Greenmarket, even though, short of pie and jam, I have no idea what to do with the stuff. I bit into it like a stalk of celery and my face contorted like a pretzel and my eyes watered. It’s so bitter! I asked our facebook fans for help and Sharon recommended Rhubarb Tea. Of course, Ms. Martha had a recipe I referenced for proportions.

The tea turned out very tasty and refreshing. If you use honey, use wildflower; the buckwheat honey I added was too intense in flavor.

It’s so easy: Boil 8 C. of water and add 8 stalks of chopped rhubarb, plus (1/3 C.) sugar. Instead of sugar, I added honey. I recommend you taste as you go. Pour it through a strainer, then add some fresh mint and fresh limes. (and fresh rum with bitters…)

Bottom line: rhubarb is weird in texture (like stringy snot) and the flavor is strangely savory and bitter, so it needs sweetening up. I would definitely jam it, since the texture is perfect for jam.

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The Cleanse: It Ain’t That Bad

I completed a 3-day Juice Cleanse. My last meal before I started was a delicious grilled cheese from the Munchie Mobile and I woke up starving on the first day. Not a great sign.

© Blue Print Cleanse

As an alternative to making my own juice I went with Blue Print Cleanse, which is on the expensive side ($200 for 3 days), but their motto is, “We think, you drink.” First world problems: “I don’t know what juice to make for my cleanse!” Like going to gym, I am motivated by money. I better drink all this liquid gold and not screw it up! And it all came in a neat box, each bottle labeled 1-6. (A little bird told me you can dumpster dive for the juices in LIC.) Or you can try to make them yourself.

Juice #1 & 3 & 5: Romaine, Celery, Cucumber, Apple, Spinach, Kale, Parsley, Lemon

Juice #2: Apple, Pineapple& Mint

Juice #4: Spice Lemonade with Cayenne & Agave

Juice #6: Cashew Nut Milk, Cinnamon, Agave & Vanilla Bean

Continue reading

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