East end of Rt 10 (Just past the 107 Junction)
Coral Bay, St John USVI
The entire population of St John US Virgin Island is no more than 5,000 people and of all those people, I’d say a majority are transplants from the US. While we were visiting St John, we heard so many stories from the locals who ended up staying on St John permanently after visiting for a short vacation. I don’t blame them; St John is beautiful and virtually untouched with 80% of the island uninhabited and protected as a National Park.
On the less touristy East end, all of the locals go to the Skinny Legs restaurant and bar. It’s THE place to hang out, socialize with the locals over beers and amazing burgers. It’s also super mellow like the rest of the island – the motto is “an ok place – same day service”.
Besides the food and drink, there’s usually a nightly fun event such as Monday movie nights, Wednesday Wii tennis night, etc. Definitely check out Skinny Legs when you visit St John US Virgin Islands!]]>
Finally getting around to posting some photos from the event last month. All I have to say it was amazing and will definitely go back again next year. Some of the highlights include stealing a bottle of tobasco from our neighbors’ table, building a wall of empty McSorley’s beer cups, and having a small food fight with a competing beer cup building crew across the hall! The beef was actually better quality than I expected and although the beef was at the beginning served at slow intervals, over the 3 hours you defintely get your fill.
See you all next year at the the Brooklyn Beef party!
A repost of Night Train in honor of the great Axl Rose’s bday (originally posted April 10, 2005)
On the way to a friendly game of Texas Hold’em Poker at Martin’s, Jeff and I stopped by a liquor store on Mira Mesa Blvd (San Diego) – just past Black Mountain Road near the Jack in the Box. We were trying to decide on what types of beers to pick up when Jeff spotted the MD 20/20 (Mad Dog) Right next to it were 2 other classics. Night Train Express and Thunderbird.
Basically it went downhill from there.
First all, to really know Night Train Express Alcohol is to listen to the insightful lyrics of Axl Rose of Guns and Roses about this legendary street wine.
. . . Loaded like a freight train
Flyin’ like an aeroplane
Speedin’ like a space brain
One more time tonight
I’m on the nightrain
And I’m lookin’ for some
I’m on the nightrain
So’s I can leave this slum
I’m on the nightrain
And I’m ready to crash an’ burn
I’m on the nightrain
Fill my cup
I’m on the nightrain
I’m on the nightrain
Love that stuff
I’m on the nightrain
An I can never get enough
Ridin’ the nightrain
I guess I
I guess, I guess, I guess I never learn . . .
Priced at $1.99, Night Train Express is powerful wine alcohol made of cheap red wine with toxic sulfites. Don’t let the 17.5% alcohol content fool you, once you drink Night Train Express you’re on a one way express train ride to severe stupidity and stumbling drunkenness. Once you unleash this beast, there’s no going back to sanity or soberness for some time. Yeah Axl, I guess I never learn.
At this fine liquor store establishment were other street wine classics such as Alize’ and Brass Monkey which we were delighted to pickup to accompany the Night Train.
The entertainment line up for the poker party was as follows (I don’t know why the Thunderbird or MD20/20 didn’t make it) – Sorry no Newports for whatever reason.:
I would have to say the alize’ tasted the “best” of the three. “Hit Em Up” Tupac! The brass monkey was kind of like sour gatorade and the night train was like a sweetened vinegar with an Everclear like throat numbing aftertaste.
One interesting note about Night Train is that it specifically states on the bottle to Serve very cold . I guess this is to ensure that you don’t taste the vile aftertaste of the cheap wine (it is definitely more “palatable” cold than warm) I would never recommend anyone to drink Night Train at room temperature for sure. Doesn’t it look great next to the Tabasco and Kraft Mayo?
Needless to say I don’t remember much after wards. I played horribly at poker that night, lost everything, and had an epic hangover the next day. There was one kid there named Denver and he showed us all how it was done. Here’s a picture of him killing off a bottle of Brass Monkey. I heard latter on that he was supposed to wake up at 6Am for work the next day but didn’t crawl out till the afternoon.
The Man Denver Killing Off A Bottle of Brass Monkey.
Who’s bringing the Thunderbird, Cisco and MD 20 next week?]]>
South 4th between Wythe and Kent
Hey have you been to the new The Woods bar in Williamsburg ? It’s just 2.5 weeks old, and I love it. First off, it’s got a a great selection of really cheap beer. “Working Man’s Cans” are just $3 (PBR, Schiltz, Schaeffer, Old Milwaukee, Colt 45, etc). Jameson and Bud $6! PBR Whisky $5! Pickleback (shot of Jameson and shot of pickle juice) seemed to be one of the most popular choices as well.
Speaking of Colt 45, I was at the bar with 2 Germans and they gave the thumbs up for the beer. It’s got some character in the taste they say. Maybe compared with Bud, PBR, and the others, that’s pretty true.
The Woods bar also has a nightly DJ and enough space for probably a band on the stage. But get this…they also have a really large outdoor space with a taco truck! Yes, and an authentic one as well. $2.50 tacos and $5.00 burritos. These are amazing tacos. I think it’s actually the same cart that was on Metropolitan and Bedford if I’m not mistaken.
The Woods is definitely going to be a success. It was completely packed last Friday night. I can only imagine what it’s going to be like in the summer. By the way, also on S4th (off of Bedford) is another new bar named Bar-Celona – it’s more of a speakeasy cocktail bar with fancy rococo furniture, fireplace and chandeliers. 100% different crowd from The Woods. Check it out!
199 Grand St (between 1st St & Bedford Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Last Friday’s Wall St Journal Food section featured an article entitled “The New Hot Cuisine: Korean”. Really? According to the author, it’s new cause Kim Chi is appearing on the menus of various notable restaurants such as Chicago’s Blackbird or NY’s WD~50. The article is also a nod to David Chang’s empire of Korean inspired Momofuku restaurants. Personally, I think that whole section of the article was just filler so more contextual ads could be sold on the page (I work in digital media). I did like the bit on the twitter location posting enabled Kogi Korean Taco trucks in LA. That’s rad dude! I can’t wait till they open in NY.
In the meantime, out in Williamsburg there’s just one Korean restaurant that I know of. It’s named Dokebi and it’s located on the south side on Grand off of Bedford. They have a full spread of Korean dishes including Jap Chae, stone bowl baked Bibimbap, and Korean bbq. First time I went to Dokebi was to meet up with my old friends Kim (who funny enough we nicknamed kim chee) and Trish a year and half ago. Since then it’s been a favorite place to fulfill those Korean food cravings. Just a note, I’ve had better Bibimbap – at Dokebi they sometimes don’t heat the stone bowls enough so you don’t get that tasty layer of charred rice on the interior of the bowl – ask them to serve it “well done” and you’ll be good. The Jap Chae and bbq on the other hand are awesome.
Finally, Dokebi wouldn’t be a restaurant in Williamsburg if there wasn’t something slightly alternative about it. For one, they always have great music here. Some nights you’ll be treated to hours of 80s Classics like Joy Division, Pat Benatar, and Bon Jovi. Secondly you’ll find a dark back room that features a full bar with a huge selection of scotch. Great place to start or end your meal. Interestingly, Dokebi means Devil in Korean. Ha Korean, the new hot cuisine indeed!]]>
Weyerstraße 59, Nähe Barbarossaplatz
Cologne, Germany 50676
+49 221 213 465
Although I was thousands of miles away in Germany, I really felt like I was back in NY when I walked into the smoky Metronom jazz bar in Cologne. (Cool, pre-2000 NY I’m talking about). First you wander down a quiet meandering alleyway off the main strip, then when you locate the door, you stumble through a dark foyer entrance and upon opening a squeaky panel door you emerge out into the middle of a lively crowded speakeasy club. The wall behind the bar is stacked high to the ceiling with vintage vinyl jazz records (mostly bebop) upon which the bartender doubles as a dj as he serves you endless glasses of delicious Kölsch (local Cologne beer). Along the wall opposite the bar are curious stool / chairs / benches where you can prop yourself up high with a great view of the bar and the 2 banquet booths in the rear.
Metronom has been around since 1968 and is owned and run by an American named Chris Bishop from Chicago. I had a short chat with him and apparently the story is that he was living out in San Francisco up on Russian Hill in the 60’s, met his wife and then moved out to Cologne to take over and run the jazz bar. The rest they say is basically history. After being in Germany so long, he’s basically a native of Cologne – although the day Obama got elected, he proudly showed his American roots and served free beers for hours to every customer. How fucking cool is that? Well, in addition once a month Metronom somehow crams a small jazz ensemble into the back section and they play live sets all night. That’s also very cool.
Ok no doubt the bohemian randomness of Metronom is something you’d find in many quirky bars in Brooklyn and NY but I’d also say Metronom is a bit different. The idea of a bar that is that dedicated to preserving a singular era in history (bebop jazz) is definitely worth traveling around the world to check out. I mean, you can basically say that after being open for 40+ years, Metronom has become an institution – a miraculously non-touristy institution to be precise. Ok maybe not entirely non-touristy, since there was a dude at the bar who turned out to have written and published an entire picture book about the history of the Metronom bar. (They sell a copy of it at the bar but it’s only in German). But fuck it, definitely go check this place out and say hello to Chris when you get there. God, I miss being an expat.]]>
On the corner of Front and York St.
One of the original dive restaurants and bars in DUMBO before the high rise condos started popping up all over the waterfront. About 6 years ago when I first moved to NY, Dumbo was a dark industrial wasteland and a great alternative place to party. About every weekend in the summer there were warehouse parties sometimes in abandoned buildings taking up 3 or 4 floors with various live bands, djs, chill out rooms, etc. I especially liked the outdoor parties right under the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges – not only did you have a fantastic view of the downtown manhattan skyline but the thundering shake of the R train and the constant humming of the cars zooming above you further amplified the bedlam streaming out of the gigantic speakers next to the dj booth. It was a sonic battle between the industrial noises of the city and the electronic beats and bass from the decks. After the rezoning of DUMBO to residential however, it’s quickly becoming more like the modern day SOHO of Brooklyn. Just like SOHO, it has the charm of the large loft spaces, cobblestone, and of course artist galleries and spaces. And you really can’t beat the views of the Manhattan skyline. Right now there aren’t any really large franchises besides the Starbucks and a large West Elm retail furniture store but I’m sure that’s coming soon. That’s why Pedro’s is still an enjoyable place to hang out. Check this out – I went in last weekend to order a plate of beans, yellow rice, and chicken and the guy behind the counter didn’t speak any English. I talked him down to $4 in my broken spanish but then the “jeffe” walked in and he said in English that it costs $7. We bargained a bit and he ended up charging me $5. Kind of reminds me of Beijing! Anyhow the food is the real deal plus they serve all kinds of beers at Pedros. They have an outdoor space where you can lounge and watch the construction crews put up floor upon floor of the Jay condominum. Shhhhh – Pedro’s is also my secret place to watch World Cup games cause the place is empty and they have it on the spanish channel so you don’t have to listen to those annoying English broadcasters.]]>
51st @ 3rd avenue
Went out for some drinks with my coworkers today after work. One of our new regular after work bars is J.D.’s Irish pub down on 51st and 3rd avenue. They have all kinds of beers as you can imagine for an Irish pub but they also have a nice bar menu. They feature these tiny little sliders called Wee Burgers – they are about 2 mouthfuls large or the size of a silver dollar. For about $1.25 each they’re great. We order about 20 at a time whenever we go. I’m sorry I couldn’t take a photo – my camera’s LCD screen cracked and I am getting it repaired. Should be ready in about 2 weeks hopefully. Yeah it’s really not a great time to be without a digital camera.
Donald Trump was in our office yesterday filming an episode of The Apprentice. In real life he’s actually pretty tall and his hair is white-ish grey, not the pinkish orange you see on TV. Anyhow in person Trump is not much different than on TV or those skits from Saturday Night Live. “This is what I’m going to do…..” I actually heard him say that!!! Hilarious. I’ll have to see the episode now just to see him at my company.]]>
70 West 95th Street @ Columbus
212 678 2335
Have you ever been to a old dilapidated restaurant that you know has existed for decades and probably hasn’t changed one bit? This includes the lighting, the tables, chairs, the menu and even maybe the linens? A few months ago while running errands in the neighborhood I came across this odd restaurant on the corner of 95th and Columbus. It’s got this large green awning and on the side of the building is in bold (but worn out) letters is a plaque that reads “Mr Babbintons BBQ Restaurant and Saloon”. It’s got character I thought and it would probably make a great Plate of the day entry. So tonight I decided to check it out. Tonight was also Wednesday soul food buffet night so why not? I walked in and there was a sparse crowd around the bar and throughout the restaurant. Near the center bar was a long table of steaming buffet trays. I piled my plate high with various soul food delights including rum spice cake, collard greens, candy yams, baked chicken, mac and cheese, meatloaf, yellow rice, mashed potatoes, calamari, and BBQ ribs. I don’t know if it was just tonight but the food was so so. The meatloaf and candy yams were awesome. I loved the sauce of the meatloaf and the yams were a golden orange and were deliciously sweet. What I thought was baked chicken turned out to be turkey which was ok. What I thought was BBQ pork or beef ribs turned out to be BBQ lamb. BBQ Lamb? Never heard of that but it was a strange combination for my taste. Overall though I think this place has existed here for so long because it is a cool neighborhood establishment that many enjoy week after week. On Fridays they have live bands that sing R&B tunes, the blues and funk. Tonight they were playing all the classics on the juke box including Earth Wind and Fire and Barry White. I guess after reading Anthony Bourdains Kitchen Confidential recently I was a little wary of eating buffet on a Wednesday but after looking at the menu this place looks like it has a long list of great classic dishes such as St Louie Ribs, crab cakes, half baked chickens, Colorado Lamb steaks, Jersey Pork Chops, and 14 types of steak. I’ll have to come back and give it a second shot. Probably on a Friday with the live band you can’t lose.
Haha – I just got comment about the jar of water for the tongs. Yeah that is quite nasty . There’s chunks of mac & cheese floating in the murky dark water. Anyhow seems like Monday Steak Night is sure fire winner.]]>
54 Great Jones St
212 674 9304
Just at the corner of Bowery and Great Jones Street is Great Jones Cafe. If you can’t spot it by the bright orangish colored painted wall outside, just follow your nose to the wafts of juicy grilled hamburgers from the stove tops. Great Jones cafe is a popular brunch joint, lunch and a bar. On the menu is a wide selection of Southern Cajun specialties like seafood jambalaya, gumbo, friend shrimp po-boys, and creole wings but for me the writing is on the wall – it’s the burgers and fries. If you are craving a large juicy burger that will fill you up, definitely head over the Great Jones cafe. The great tasting food by far compensates for the lack of service – reminds me of Top Dog in Berkeley. haha. That day we ordered a burger with a side of sweet potato fries. The hamburger was grilled to perfection and served with a toasted bun that soaked up every last tasty drop of the juicy drippings. We also ordered a slice of the jalapeno cornbread warmed and covered with honey and butter that was incredible. If you’re going for brunch be sure to arrive a little early as you will most likely have lines out the door.]]>