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Entries in beer (13)


[What You Should Order At...] Pickle Shack

WHAT YOU SHOULD ORDER a recurring column designed in kind for your opinionated asses and our lazy asses. When the mood strikes, we pick one Park Slope resto and recommend our favorite dish. Are we right? Are we wrong? YOU KNOW YOU WANNA WEIGH IN.

OH, MAN. When your best friend asks you if you'd like to "go to Pickle Shack," are you concerned that you're about to cross some sort of sexual boundary? Do you instantly cover your most delicate orifice?

You should be slightly worried, because it sounds like your friend is a bit of an opportunistic perv. What you shouldn’t be worried about, despite the fact that your "totally supportive" friend is "totally scheming" on ways to "bed you," is what you should get to eat at Pickle Shack, because that's where you're ending up tonight.

The scenario: You and your "friend" go to Pickle Shack. You've had a long day at work. Gothamist and its intelligent commenters didn't seem to care for your story about the hot, new, organic TOTALLY BROOKLYN restaurant that's replacing that SO IMPORTANT Brooklyn institution whose TOTALLY SAD death you're trying to derive page clicks from. Also, in his Monday post, John Del Signore made a clever comment that slyly mocked your winter boots but also took a shot at de Blasio. Is it clever? Is it mean? CONFLICT. The answer is booze.

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You Can Pick Your Bar But You Can't Pick Your Nose

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. Cheers & shit, y'know? For years, being poor or antisocial or "fiscally responsible" meant that I didn't go out enough to establish a regular Brooklyn haunt. Then, a few years back, I threw fiscal responsibility out the window and found myself going out a lot more, allowing me to start becoming a regular at places. I'm fickle though, so when it comes to my watering holes, I go through phases.

It all started with Sea Witch, the South Slope bar that opened almost two years ago and quickly became a favorite of mine. Each time I visited, there was still the same mix of awesome music & food & always at least one new beer on tap. The giant fish tank behind the bar gave me the opportunity to ponder life, as I scanned the tank to see which fish had died since my last visit.

More recently, I became more Union St-centric and, as a result, found myself hanging out a lot at the end of the bar at the 5th Ave Zito's, sipping on Sixpoint & paying attention to some NBA game I had no stake in whatsoever.

Over the past few months, I moved down the street a bit and started spending a lot of time sampling the craft beer selection at High Dive. When picking a place to call my own, I'm always going to gravitate toward places with a good beer selection.

Sometimes I have blind spots though and, until this past Tuesday, had never stepped foot inside The Owl Farm, the relatively-new 9th St bar that opened up back in June of 2012, replacing er...beloved (?) neighborhood mainstay Harry Boland's Pub.

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(LITERAL) Cool or Not Cool?...Serving Good Beer in Frosty Mugs

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So wait...did I ever mention that I like the craft beer?

Tis true. In my dozen years in Brooklyn, I've had myself delicious craft beers in pretty much every bar in Park Slope, forgoing the beloved Buds & Yuenglings & Heinekens of the masses. Down with the proletariat! Give me something hoppy. Give me something flavorful. Give me something that’s been brewed in the tradition of the Mayans.

"Great taste, less filling" be damned.

It wasn't always this way, but it got better over time. After a teenage existence where I didn't have a single drink until post-graduation, in college I cut my teeth on bottles of Red Dog & Sam Adams (which, c'mon Sam Adams...other than your specialty beers, you kinda suck). I carried around six-packs of Newcastle in my hippie backpack at frat parties. When I went home for the holidays, my dad always had a few frosty mugs waiting in the freezer so I could pour myself a glass of Nutfield or whatever NH craft beer was available at the moment.

Eventually, after around my 5,000th craft beer, it dawned on me...FROSTY MUGS KILL THE FLAVOR OF A GOOD BEER.

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I Hope Nothing's Fishy With This Pickle, Dog.

Once upon a time, in a mystical, magical land called Park Slope, craft beer was kinda Yeti-like. There was The Gate. There was Bierkraft. There was...well...pretty much nothing else. These days in the area around the Slope, there are plenty of places to grab a craft beer or two or six. That's great and all, but when it comes to bars, it's often the same beers over and over again: A Sixpoint on tap. A Brooklyn Brewery beer on tap. Perhaps a Founders or a Victory. MAYBE one unique beer...not usually though...

...and at the same time, throughout the NYC’s twee-est borough, the artisanal food & drink movement has been booming. Just ask The NY Times...and ask them again...and then ask them one more time, because they really have a lot to say on the subject.

Did you hear that pickles are in? It's true! I'm not jus' talkin' bout yer annual LES Pickle Fest. I'm not jus' talkin' about Gus's or even Brooklyn's own The Pickle Guys. I'm talking pickle-producing, up-and-coming whippersnappers. Brooklyn's McClure's Pickles has been making a name for themselves for a few years now. Thirty-something Shamus Jones, of Brooklyn Brine, has gone from making pickles and selling them in dark alleys to making pickles and selling them out of a Parkwanus storefront.

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Finding the perfect Park Slope coffee shop to work in is work itself.  Upon moving here, I first tried Root Hill, which boasts the best coffee in the Slope (in my haughty opinion). But those cold plastic chairs can really only comfortably sit an elf on the shelf. And so the search continued.

I've since learned  that I'd never find everything I was looking for in one coffee shop: bold coffee, yummy food, ample comfy seating, hot baristas, plentiful sockets... but one place comes close: Tea Lounge. When it comes to coffee shops, I'm a bit of a size queen. I crave anonymity in these settings, and find the intimacy of Cafe Grumpy, De Luxe, Postmark... hell, any other coffee shop except Tea Lounge, to be insufferable.  I want to blend in witha sea of deadpan stares and bloodshot eyes hovering over glowing apples. I want to sink into some big old honkin' couch that is bad for my back, but I don't give a shit because *damn* I could fall asleep right now. I also want a place where I can nibble on more than some gourmet scone (the grub here is pretty good, especially their salads: mix pix with grilled chicken is the way to go.)

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