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Recommendations for fishmonger in Brooklyn or Manhattan

I second Fish Tales. I live in Park Slope, and while it's not around the corner and can get pricey, it's worth the trip for something nice. It also gives me a chance to pop into Staubitz for meats or one of the Italian bakeries on Court Street. ; )

I also go to the seafood market on 7th Ave between 3rd & 4th. And when I just want a simple piece of salmon, I'll see if the selection at Union Market looks good. (The South Slope branch has a pretty small meat and fish counter, and I think the meat choices there are better than the fish choices, for when I don't feel like going to Fleischer's/paying Fleischer's prices.)

Jan 04, 2013
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

BrisketTown

I'm well aware of capacity/"it's just BBQ" issues. Getting in/out/moving on or to the bar has never been an issue with us at Fette Sau, for example (true that it's bigger, but it's usually super-busy when we've gone). I just generally don't think much thought was put into BrisketTown's general operation outside of having brisket recipe.

Dec 16, 2012
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

BrisketTown

I, too, went to one of the Brisketlab popups. It was held in a fairly spacious bar, had live music. There was a wait to get the brisket, but there was a system in place to call up people in groupings to get the food; in the meantime you could stake out seating, get a round, hang out, listen to music, etc. The brisket I had then was pretty good--tender, not mushy. Peppery, but I like pepper, so maybe I have a higher tolerance of something being generally over-peppered. All in all a good time.

When we heard they were opening a restaurant, we reserved some brisket so we could check out the new space. We hear it's BYOB, which isn't ideal (considering the whiskey/bourbon/beer choices you get at Fette Sau or trashy-fun margaritas at Hill Country), but we brought along some wine that was supposed to pair well with beef & BBQ, so no problem.

We heard they'd been selling out, so we get there at opening time and have to wait outside for about 10 minutes. Then we enter a space that's about coffee-shop size, see there's no next room, and like the rest of the first customers decide to take off our jackets, claim a seat, maybe get a drink ready while we wait. Ah, but the "host" guy informs us that that's not allowed and that we're meant to all line up in the line that extends past the bar and out the door, get food and then seats.

Fine. So people in line ask him about glasses/corkscrews/bottle openers/ice to enjoy a drink while they wait. Small plastic cups they have, but the rest, not so much. Huh. That's not very thought out.

There are about 8-10 parties ahead of us in line (maybe 18 people?). It took a good half hour before we were up. I think they had to be doing it deliberately slow to space the diners out--there are only like 30 seats--otherwise why would you have Daniel Delaney conversationally cutting the brisket, marking off the meat reservations vs. walk-ins, all kinds of inefficiencies like that.

We pay (we added ribs, sides, and pie to our reserved brisket so we could try & share everything) and sit down something like 45 minutes after we got there. The seating is very cramped, like 2 inches between tables so you have to really move that table out to sit down and pile your stuff on your neighbor's (or if you are less fortunate, be a bit sat upon by your neighbor, heh).

I thought the brisket was great, but I wasn't sold on the rest. The ribs we had were really inconsistent. One or two were fall-off-the-bone tender, the other two or three needed more serious gnawing. The slaw was pretty good, the potato salad OK, the pie was fine, although maybe the crust was a bit overdone. Not worth their prices, though. Over all, not bad, not necessarily worth the trip for us, though, since we don't live nearby. Atmosphere and service-wise, we knew not to expect much because it's a BBQ joint, but agree there are some kinks to be worked out. We clear our plates and pour the last of our wine so we can finish up and move on.

Before we can do that, though, the host/herder came by to basically remind us to get the fuck out. (We'd been seated 25-30 mins tops, there were a few empty tables, and the line had died down.) He "invited" us to hang out at the bar to finish our drinks (which, remember, basically becomes part of the food line, and has no stools, ice, or openers in addition to the expected lack of booze). Obviously turning tables in the space is key, but they need to find a way to accomplish that that is less disingenuous and ungracious. Based on that, I don't think we'd ever go back, except to pick up some brisket and eat it elsewhere.

Dec 16, 2012
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs
1

Googa Mooga Food Festival in Prospect Park

My husband and I gave up, too. I guess we're spoiled because we had just gone to Jazz Fest in NOLA a couple of weeks ago and the food vendors there are better at managing the huge crowds. So we took our business to the Monro and Sweet Wolf and a couple other places in the Slope instead.

May 21, 2012
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

A neutral bar with great microbrews to watch the UEFA Champion's League final in Brooklyn?

Floyd is a Tottenham bar, but they have a pull-down screen in the back, which they bust out for big games. No food, but you can get delivery or bring food. Chip Shop and WAterfront Ale House have good beers and food and if I recall smallish TVs (unless they do a screen for big games). Brazen Head has a great beer selection, but I can't remember what the TV situation is.
Angry Wade's on Smith usually draws a big crowd for major sports events.

Apr 26, 2012
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

Finding genuine French pastries in Brooklyn

There is also an Almondine on 9th St. near 7th Ave. in Park Slope, if PS is more convenient than DUMBO.

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Almondine
442 9th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Oct 20, 2011
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

HELP! Small Wedding ideas in Rockefeller Center for this Christmas!

I had my wedding there last year. The food was great, service was good, everyone had a good time. There are different spaces you can rent and it's the solarium that overlooks Rockefeller Center. It was about $150 per head, a little more to have the ceremony there, plus tips, etc.

Aug 08, 2011
jennitrixie in Manhattan

Any sources for sushi-sashimi-grade salmon near Park Slope?

I bought salmon at Garden of Eden to make a gravlax and it came out well. It's a small-ish fish counter, but if you explain your intentions with the fish they're very helpful.

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Garden of Eden
180 Montague St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Aug 01, 2011
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

BAM-BAM: Stuck Inside of Fort Greene with the NY Blues again

Thomas Beisl is now Berlyn. Probably a 10-second walk from the Manhattan-to-BAM shuttle bus that I am always amused to see parked practically around the corner from the Atlantic friggin' Terminal.

Jan 10, 2011
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

Rhong Tiam Express

You know, I went back last week and had the drunken man noodles again. This time there was NO spice. None at all. Like they had forgotten a step. So disappointing, especially for an $11 lunch. Boo.

Dec 21, 2010
jennitrixie in Manhattan

Coney Island: Worth the Trip?

It's been an interesting thread, but I can't help but wonder if the Original Poster—who says s/he's on a short trip and usually goes to places like PL & Babbo—would appreciate someplace that even its boosters admit is dirty & litter-strewn, with sad, broken-down anti-charm, without benefit of context of childhood memories of bygone pleasures?

If one were going out that way for an event like the the Mermaid Parade, or a Cyclones game, or a show at the Cyclones stadium, or for a 'coaster fanatic who wants to experience the Cyclone, yes, CI is worth the trip—get some fried clams, drink on the boardwalk, people-watch, buy a pupusa from the guy with a cooler full of them, go to Totonno's. But outside of memory or context and during a time of year where there's not a lot of people-watching action, I think one would be less inclined to see charm in CI and more likely to think, "Dang, I rode an hour on the subway for this???"

Nov 02, 2010
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

NYC WEDDING RECEPTION VENUE IDEAS NEEDED

You might look into the 3 West Club. It's on 51st between 5th & 6th Aves I had mine there and for $150 per head we had a cocktail hour with hors d'ouvres in a solarium with a terrace overlooking St. Patrick's Cathedral and Rockefeller Center and then a sit-down 3 course dinner in the ballroom (open bar throughout the reception). Plenty of room in the ballroom to have a DJ/band and dancing. There is another room where one could have the ceremony, too, as well as a library, which made for some fun photo ops.

Everything was included, except for the cake (although there was a dessert course). People loved the food (well-done classic American stuff). The building is decorated like a Gilded Age townhouse. It's actually the Women's National Republican Club--but there's no red or blue when the money's green. ;)

http://www.3westclub.com/index.html

Sep 08, 2010
jennitrixie in Manhattan

Rhong Tiam Express

This is near my office, so it's a great new lunch addition. Looks like Andy Yang is manning the counter every time I've walked by.

I had the drunken man noodles. Good spiciness and layering of flavors. Looking forward to trying the pork on fire, salads, something from the roti wrap section (coworkers had good things to say about the chick pea and potato roti).

There's the promise of coffee / smoothies in the morning, but they haven't been open before lunch time yet. Andy was giving out samples of the yogurt one day. It's tangy frozen yogurt in the Pinkberry vein.

At our office, the main critique thus far has been the eye-searing menu design.

Aug 30, 2010
jennitrixie in Manhattan

Cobble Hill/Boerum Hill groceries/markets?

I live around the corner from the Atlantic/Clinton Key Food and it suuuucks so bad. I go there for the most basic staples only. You'll find it to be horribly disorganized. (Like, what is the logic of having similar items in different areas of the store--why do the "fancy hippie" teas have to be on a completely different aisle from the Twinings teas? It makes me irrationally frustrated.) The produce isn't good, there's not much selection of organic stuff—it's like whoever manages it has no idea what the BH/CH demographic wants in a grocery store and is unaware that there is plenty of competition doing it better.

Anyway. Seconding "orange-awning" produce, Staubitz, Fish Tales, Sahadi's and Damascus (Damascus also has good to-go falafel & etc. sandwiches).

Check out Stinky for cheese. The same people also own Smith & Vine (wine store, duh). The new wine shop next to Trader Joe's (name escapes me) is worth a look. If you like beer, check out American Beer Distributing on Court near Baltic.

Jul 22, 2010
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

Suggestions for a Wedding Venue?

Bubby's quotes around $90 pp; alcohol doubles the price.

Sorry to say under $100 pp with alcohol/beer & wine at a venue that can fit 100+ people is hard if not impossible in NYC. I just did a wedding at $135-145pp at 100-120 people and it was hard to find a good fit. You really do gt to a point where you decide to up the budget, cut the guest list, or go outside of the city, I'm afraid...

Jun 20, 2010
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

Citifield best choices?

The lobster roll is SO not worth it. It was tiny, mediocre, and like $18-$20, fries not included.

The Blue Smoke pulled pork is pretty good; and since that's what everyone tends to get and since the pork is made ahead, the line moves fast. Get that, then turn around and go to the beer kiosk and get something like a Goose Island summer ale.

Jun 05, 2010
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

Best Gelato in Florence

Thirded. We had the ricotta and fig and the hazelnut. Meant to get back to try the Nutella (!) flavor...

May 25, 2010
jennitrixie in Italy

What Brooklyn dinner experience (tomorrow night!) will persuade my wife to move there with me?

The food is good at a neighborhood joint level (I live nearby and go about once every 6 weeks or so). It's a lively place though. If you hit the right night there's a jazz band (I know Tuesdays for sure), which makes it a nice place to drop in for a drink.

To give your side the edge, I think it's important to work strategically in choosing a neighborhood. I'm willing to bet the biggest obstacle you face is overcoming the psychological distance of Going To Brooklyn. You'll be more likely to win if you take her to a lively (good foot traffic, lots of bar/restaurant/etc. choice), picturesque neighborhood that is Manhattan-convenient than if you take her to the best foodiegasm of her life in a less-attractive, far-flung neighborhood. Call it playing the yuppie card, but no one said winning was pretty...after your victory, you can pack her up and move her to Sheepshead Bay or wherever. ;)

Apr 13, 2010
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

First customer at Casa Tua on Atlantic

Do they still have brick-over pizza? I mean, it'd be a shame to scrap one that had already been installed! Do they have a liquor license? I remember La Pizzetta didn't have one for ages, which was probably one reason LP lacked customers.

Mar 23, 2010
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

Bueno opening in old Gravy/Trout space

I know this place closed a little while back. It looks like they've got the space boarded up for a heavier overhaul before the next incarnation. (May I also suggest the burning of sage to rid the space of its bad juju?) Any word on what they're up to?

Mar 20, 2010
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

Where should I buy wild salmon?

The wild sockeye at Trader Joe's is pretty good. Good-looking fish, vacuum-sealed. The only possible caveat I might have is if you were looking for a big slab o' fish, because the TJ's sockeye packages are broken down into 2 pieces that make about 2-3 servings. But for 2 servings of an everyday, easy-to-cook cut for about $8, it's not too shabby.

Feb 24, 2010
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

To Prague at end of November

I found the city to be very compact and walkable--but I was there in late summer. =)

I didn't find people to be too cranky, just more or less getting down to business. To that end, as soon you say anything in Czech, people tend to look at you like you're an adorable but slightly dumb dog, and ask if you'd prefer to continue in German or English. So over a week it was hard to pick up much beyond the rudimentary stuff ("Where's the bathroom?" is something like: Prosim, kde je toaleta? [Apologies to Czech speakers.] Lonely Planet has good, compact phrasebooks--including lists of menu items.)

There's no need to go to exchange money, really. I just used ATMs (Prosim, kde je bankomat?), which didn't charge much more than my local deli ATM would to give me cash in koruna at that day's rate. (If you go this route, call your bank/card company first, so they don't freeze your account for unusual activity!)

ANYWAY, food and drink! Beers tend to be around 2 bucks, glasses of wine 4 or 5. Definitely do a brewery tour if you like beer. I went to Staropramen (in Smichov). We threw back a few glasses of beer at the end of it, getting to try a couple beers that they don't distribute worldwide. There's also tons of smaller brewpubs if you want to look those up. I can't remember meal prices, only that the last night for our most expensive dinner we had full-on steak frites/moules frites at a Belgian place with a couple beers/glasses of wine and it was maybe $60 (I know, right? And the staff sounded heavily French & Belgian...fun change of pace... Les Moules, nearish Old Town Sq.)

Since you're going in winter, def. keep an eye out for game meats. I had wild boar tenderloin in some sort of creamy/buttery berry sauce, venison meatballs, seared duck breast, Prague ham, sausages, etc. And pastries! We had various Berliners each morning at the hotel, kolache, sponge cake.

Nov 07, 2009
jennitrixie in Europe

To Prague at end of November

For music, we went to U Maleho Glena (Little Glen's) in Mala Strana. Stan the Man and His Bohemian Blues Band seems to play there pretty regularly--mid-century electric blues is big there, if you like that sort of thing. There's a restaurant that we liked called Gitanes that's pretty much around the corner from U Maleho Glena--it's billed as Mediterranean, but it's more by way of Croatia than Italy. (Get the sac--grilled lamb and potatoes.) It gets a fair amount of tourists, but when we went there were people who were definitely regulars.

For a quiet pub, check out U Neklana in Vysehrad. It's got all the Czech staples, and is a no-nonsense neighborhoody-type place. Bonus: it's in a cool-looking Cubist building. Beer's are def. cheaper as you get away from the busiest squares, but you'll notice that the prices on the Czech menus are lower than on the translated menus--try not to take offense sense it seems to be the accepted way of doing things (a way of offsetting the inflation that tourism brings in a way that dings local pockets a bit less, I suppose).

As for safety, speaking as a New Yorker and a woman traveling with my fiance, we felt safe the whole time we were there. We spent the bulk of our evenings in and around Mala Strana,Stare Mesto, and Nove Mesto because while probably more touristy, they are fairly concentrated areas that we could walk from restaurant to bar to music, etc. Personally, we loved the trams because with the language issue, it's easy to orient yourself. We had good luck with cabs--even hailing them on the street we didn't seemed to get gouged (maybe once, but not too bad) or taken the roundabout way. If you're used to taking cabs and being friendly but seeming aware of what the route should be it's mostly not a problem (the Vltava's prominence in the city helps you stay aware of directions).

Nov 05, 2009
jennitrixie in Europe

Wineries to visit in Mendoza?

I second Achaval-Ferrer. When my fiancé and I went, we were the only people on the tour! They did what I believe is called a "vertical" tasting--where you sample a wine at various stages of maturation to better understand how flavors develop. I wish we'd bought a few more bottles to send back home!

We also did a tour at Ruca Malen. This was a tour that concluded with a leisurely, wine-paired lunch on a covered patio overlooking the vineyards. (This may be how we ended up getting such an intimate tour at Achaval-Ferrer! We may have been feeling a bit drowsy, but we soldiered on--we're tough like that...)

Nov 04, 2009
jennitrixie in Latin America & Caribbean

Best Nachos in Brooklyn?

I think Waterfront's can be a little on the dry/over-broiled side, but that may be because I get the chili on the side (to keep things from getting sloppy-soggy too fast). But the chili is really good--plus you can get venison chili and sometimes even wild-boar chili instead of the standard vegetarian or beef choices. I rarely get apps there, because I'm usually too excited about getting right to the sandwiches (pulled pork/chicken, beef au jus, burgers, etc.).

I love Park Slope Ale House's nachos--just sloppy enough, the toppings are pretty well-distributed. Actually, their whole appetizer menu is pretty great for when you're in the mood for cheesy/fried bar food, so that's what I always end up going there for.

Oct 03, 2009
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

atlantic antic this sunday

The food at the "iced tea" church is awesome! Where is that, near 3rd Ave? I'm so spoiled, living around the corner from the Waterfront/La Mancha/Sahadi's/Last Exit bands nexus that it gets hard save room and to push toward the other end.

Oct 02, 2009
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

Papa John's -new Sunnyside

You're kidding, right? Papa John's (the chain) is gross, nasty pizza. I thought that even as a poor college student trapped in the Midwest (back when I thought Domino's or Pizza Hut was klassy--was I ever so young?), and only ever ordered there because they carpet-bombed us with coupons that made it practically free. In New York, and as a grownup, a sharp stick in the eye or a random greasy corner joint would be preferable.

Oct 02, 2009
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

Di Fara Closed due to extreme weather

At $5/slice they should soon be able to afford the most powerful a/c known to humankind!

Aug 20, 2009
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

Horrible experience at Plan B

Actually that's "Plan 9 from Outer Space."

Aug 11, 2009
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs

Bueno opening in old Gravy/Trout space

Sounds like this restaurant compound is turning into Babu's Dream Café.

Aug 04, 2009
jennitrixie in Outer Boroughs