The names says it all as this year has been a banner year for Great Leap Brewery! First it opened a 2nd location in San Li Tun in an impressively beautiful pub with spacious wood booths with streaming American sports on the flat panel TVs, delicious cheeseburgers and fries, and of course a great variety of its well known fresh beers brewed on location.
This weekend, the local microbrew is giving you a new reason to saddle up to the bar and start drinking beer in the morning – brunch.
For a limited time there’s a tasting menu for just 100rmb:
Fresh pressed Coffee from Rickshaw Roasters
or Flight of 4 beers (Ma Gold, Hop God, Mocha Stout, Imperial Pumpkin)
Muesli with nuts and honey
Slow roasted pork over crispy waffles and lovely lathered with a malted honey extract
Biscuits and sausage gravy with a sunny side up egg
Carrot cake to finish
Maison Premiere Oyster Bar Williamsburg
298 Bedford Ave (between Grand St & 1st St)
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Williamsburg – South Side
My go-to bodega in Williamsburg for cheap Ben and Jerry’s pints ($4 each) recently became victim to gentrification. But in reality I’m not pissed, because the Maison Premiere Oyster Bar is pretty awesome. Not only can you enjoy fresh oysters on the half shell but you can also wash them down with amazing mixology cocktails, absinthe, wines and craft beer. The designers of Maison Premier Oyster Bar also completely transformed the shit hole bodega into an incredible space with an old New Orleans Prohibition era décor. A hostess greets you at the door and leads you a few steps to the roomy oyster shaped bar that surrounds a large copper plated absinthe water tap (where they drip water over sugar cubes) before a wall of candlelit bottles. Several sharply dressed bartenders are stationed within the enclosed oval space and take their time crafting old” tyme” cocktail classics.
Be sure to try my favorite, the Maison Pimm’s Cup (Pimm’s No. 1, Cucumber juice, simple syrup, fresh mint and lemon juice) You’ll not only look cool drinking what the mobsters drink in Boardwalk Empire, but with the mint and cucumber, the Pimm’s Cup is also a great way to feel cool during the summer heat.
I am a little disappointed that they have a decorative bottle of Suze at the top shelf and won’t allow patrons to drink it. I pretty much ask every time I go if I can have a sip – I mean who’s going to notice if it’s full or empty? I love Suze and it’s really hard to find in the US
On the other side of the bar is the oyster station where you can select your oysters and have the staff shuck them fresh for you while you wait. Further back are a few tables and outside is the garden area staffed with a third bar station allowing you and your guests to relax in the shade under a canopy of trees, ferns and vines.
A few months ago I was up in Boston with my cousins and we had a few really great cocktails at the bar Drink over in Ft Point. There they don’t have a cocktail menu and will create specialty drinks from scratch ingredients. You can get this experience at perhaps Apoteke in Chinatown NY but I kind of like Maison Premiere because it isn’t as much of a scene (at least not yet). Of course, if I can also get my ice cream fix at Maison Premiere, that would be even better!]]>
The Gallery Cafe
108 Jay Street, Brooklyn NY 11201
Sat-Sun Brunch 9am-4pm
We don’t have too many casual walk in restaurants in Dumbo (The Dumbo General Store café went to table service a few years ago) so I was a little disappointed when the laid back cafeteria style Choice restaurant located diagonally across the street from the York Street F train stop in Dumbo switched owners to a higher end restaurant now called The Gallery Café. But overall the changes are quite remarkable and the evidence of returning Dumbo residents to the restaurant further imply it’s a good fit for the neighborhood. Some things have not changed such as the intricate molded ceiling and the wood panel window booths, but the long communal benches (which I liked) have been replaced with white napkin candlelit tables accompanied with an occasional jazz quartet on some nights throughout the week. You can credit the owner Michael for the transformation of the space. On most nights you can see him at the restaurant tableside attending to guests and soliciting feedback – something you don’t really see anymore.
But let’s get down to the food shall we? The overhaul of the menu has replaced simple lighter fare of burgers, salads and sandwiches to more fanciful dishes such as skirt steak, braised ribs, Saffron Arancini and grilled cod (the menu seems to change quite often).
I shared a dinner meal with two others and we were able to sample a variety of dishes including crab cakes, braised pork ribs. The ribs were amazing – tender, juicy and meaty.
I also went back for brunch and tried out the fresh juice bar where you can literally hand pick the fruit off the counter and they’ll magically transform it into a juice of your liking. I ordered a plate of waffles served with walnuts and a rich buttercream that was also very good. Enjoy!
Hey everyone, surprise the endless rain officially ends on Sunday and what better way to enjoy the outdoors than checking out a dozen or more of your favorite food trucks?!!!
From 11am – 5pm, Food trucks that serve coffee, ice cream, slushies, dumplings, lobster, falafel, and more will be available at Grand Army Plaza.
Here’s the line up so far:
Kelvin Natural Slush Co.
Red Hook Lobster Pound
Eddie’s Pizza Truck
The Frying Dutchmen
The Treats Truck
Vanleeuwen Ice Cream
This Food Truck party is being organized by the Prospect Park Alliance with the NYC Food Truck Association.
See you there!]]>
Five years ago, I blogged about my adventures with Night Train, Alize, Thunderbird, and Brass Monkey. While that post still remains one of my highest trafficked and popular blog posts, I want to talk to you today about some additional hardcore liquors that you may not be aware of from Northern Germany. No, I’m not talking about Jägermeister. While Jäger is a respectable liquor with 35% alcohol content, I am talking about manning up to Heidegeist, Ratzeputz, and Bullenschluck which are all Kräuterlikörs (herbal liqueur or spiced liqueur) distilled with special herbs like your friend Jägermeister, but have 50%, 58% and 43% alcohol percentages respectively.
First off is Heidegeist. It’s 50% alcohol and is distilled with 31 specialty herbs from the Lüneburger Heide region, known for its pastoral fields in northeastern part of the state of Lower Saxony in northern Germany. It’s a mild and flavorful liquor best enjoyed over ice or can also be served as shots.
Next is Ratzeputz. I was first introduced to Ratzeputz two years ago on a trip to Germany to visit my girlfriend’s family. We had just finished a really hearty meal at the local DreiKronen restaurant and her step father was recounting the story of St Hubertus (the original Jägermeister) and ordered a round of Ratzeputz shots as a digestifs. I was blown away by the spicy aftertaste of Ratzeputz and it definitely did the job in helping me digest my meal and warming me up on that cold winter night (58% alcohol content). Distilled with ginger roots, Ratzeputz is known for its strong spicy flavor and is highly regarded for its medicinal benefits for the stomach. If you ever get the chance to try Ratzeputz, definitely don’t let the chance slip by. After you’ve tried Ratzeputz, Jägermeister tastes like soda.
Finally is Bullenschluck which I was just introduced to this Christmas/New Year’s holiday. This stuff is no joke and as far as I know it isn’t really even sold commercially, unless you know the actual guy who makes it. First look at the top of the label of this bottle and you’ll notice the cow, pig, rooster, dog and horse figures. The first line says something about how this liquor can be used to revitalize lameness in horses, cattle and oxen!! The 2nd line says it can also be used for people internally. Goodness! So basically Bullenschluck is a medicine that is applied externally to wounds on farm animals, but for some crazy individuals it can also be ingested. In other words this is seriously hardcore, backwoods, German moonshine. So………………….…..Yep, we did a few shots over New Year’s. It tastes and smells like Chinese medicinal herbs. We had a shot of Bullenschluck, some champagne, Feurerzangenbowle , and then shot off fireworks for New Year’s! Wow I love Germany! Next time you are in Hamburg or Hannover, definitely take a chance to try Ratzeputz or Heidegeist. Now we just need Axl Rose to write a song about them and they’ll soon be popular worldwide.
Happy 2011 New Years!! Have a good holiday and New Year’s? I spent my holidays up in Northern Germany this year with my girlfriend’s family and was introduced to some really interesting German holiday traditions for Christmas and New Year’s. First off is Feurerzangenbowle, a fun way to share a strong warm, mulled wine on a cold winter’s night. Maybe you’ve heard of Glühwein (a spicy hot cider wine), also a German Christmas Holiday drink and although Feurerzangenbowle is similar in some respects, Feurerzangenbowle is just as much about the execution and preparation of the drink as the drink itself. The direct translation of Feurerzangenbowle is fire tong punch which is pretty obvious once you see how this is done.
2 bottles of red wine
3-4 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon of cinnamon or nutmeg to taste
High alcohol content rum (50% or higher so it’s flammable)
Large solid block of sugar (they sell them as cones called Zukerhut in Germany) or can be substituted with sugar cubes.
Combine wine, juices and spices and heat in a large pot (a fondue pot works great). Place a tong or some sort of metal device to hold the chunk of sugar over the bowl (in medieval times, it’s said they used swords to hold the sugar). Add rum to the sugar and allow to soak in for a few minutes, then turn the lights off, strike up a match and light up the rum soaked sugar. Allow the sugar to burn and melt into the wine. Take a ladle to mix the wine, and add more rum to taste (and keep the fire going). Immediately serve in large mugs and enjoy your Feuerzangenbowle! Frohe Weihnachten und Gutes Neues Jahr!]]>
Stumptown Coffee Shop
327 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Tel (718) 488-9730
The much anticipated Stumptown coffee shop has finally opened in Red Hook. I was on my way to the Red Hook soccer fields for some tacos and stopped by to check out the coffee shop on its 2nd day after their grand opening. At the coffee shop, you get the coffee brewed fresh by the actual Stumptown coffee baristas – how much to the source can you get? Skip the line at the Ace hotel and head down to the new Stumptown coffee shop.
You can of course buy the beans in bulk and all the coffee gadgets to enjoy Stumptown in the comfort of your own home. All varieties available – check it out!! Not really any place to hang out and drink your coffee though, I’d head down to the Valentino pier park a few blocks away in Red Hook.]]>
Got your plans set up for Labor Day weekend yet? No!?? Go check out the Parked NY Food Truck Festival on Governer’s Island this weekend on Sunday. It’s free to take the ferry and it’s free to attend the event. The food? Not free, but it’s going to be a stellar food truck line up and well worthwhile!
Some of the food trucks confirmed for the parked food truck festival so far include:
Jamaican Dutchy Food Truck, Rickshaw Dumpling Food Truck, Green Pirate juice Food Truck, Joyride Truck, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream Food Truck, Halo Berlin, The Cinnamon Snail, Kelvin Natural Slush Co Food Truck, Hermelinda Mexicana and more!
WHEN : Sunday, September 5th
WHERE : Colonel’s Row @ Governors Island
DOORS : Noon – 5pm
COVER : Free!
RAIN DATE: Sunday, September 26th
Ferry Schedule Link: http://www.govisland.com/html/visit/directions.shtml
I checked out Governer’s Island last week for the Jazz Age Lawn party – it was awesome. If you have a bike, bring it along. It’s a great way to check out the entire island. Governor’s Island is kind of shaped like an ice cream cone. Colonel’s row is runs West East across the island at the upper (bottom of the ice cream scoop) portion of the Island. Enjoy!! These NY Food Trucks won’t disappoint!]]>
Enjoying your summer? From the lingering heat, it may not feel like summer is over but after Labor day weekend a lot of changes are in store besides putting away your white shoes and sharing the crowded subway with students. To help you ease into the fall season and the daily ‘grind’, Tim Hortons is going to give away 7,000 free Tim Horton’s home brew packs at Grand Central and Penn Station. I think it’s kind of a good advertising stunt. If I was on the marketing team for Dunkin, I’d get my suppliers to hand out free doughnuts and steal away some potential coffee drinkers. Enjoy!
Official Tim Horton’s Press Release:
DATE: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7th (RAIN OR SHINE)
TIME: 7 AM TO 8:30 AM (WHILE SUPPLIES LAST)
OUTSIDE PENNSYLVANIA STATION – LIRR ENTRANCE
34TH ST. & 7TH AVE. (SOUTHWEST CORNER)
OUTSIDE GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL
42ND ST. & VANDERBILT AVE. (NORTHEAST CORNER)
Riese Organization workers will give out 7,000 units of FREE Tim Hortons home brew packs to try at work, as commuters head back to work from the Labor Day Weekend, during its 16th Annual “Back to the Grind” coffee give-away outside Pennsylvania Station (34th St. & 7th Ave.) and Grand Central Terminal (42nd St. & Vanderbilt Ave.), Tuesday, September 7th, 7 AM to 8:30 AM.
Riese hosts the annual event to perk up the spirits of New Yorkers returning to the post-Labor Day grind. Customers can now have the chance to try this great product in the comfort of their own home or office.
“We know how tough it is to get back to work after summer vacation and hope to sweeten the transition a little for our customers and friends,” said Dennis Riese, CEO and Chairman, The Riese Organization.]]>
A few months ago we went to Trader Joes and bought a sorry looking mint plant. Honestly I didn’t think it was going to survive but after a month of great weather, it’s growing like crazy and has already taken over the parsley and is snaking over the balcony rails. What to do?
Let’s make some Mojitos!
Easy Summer Time Mojitos Recipe
Ice (preferrably crushed)
White Rum (2 oz)
Brown Sugar (teaspoon)
Limes (2 oz of juice)
Prepare your Mojito by taking 2-3 mint leaves and place on the bottom of a large tall glass. Add the lime juice, then the sugar and take a wooden spoon and smash the mint leaves. Add the rum, the ice and top with soda water. Stir and enjoy! (If you’re lazy like me, just make the whole pitcher at a time).]]>