Archive | August, 2010

Thanks for the advice.

31 Aug

A makeshift sign tied above a portion of raised road on Washington Street near York Street, a potential gashed knee location.

Bad Food, Loud Music, and Cheap Drinks

30 Aug

The one-cubed Hi-C sangria (prettier than it tasted)

I usually wouldn’t waste your time with a post about a restaurant that I don’t like, but I’m so disappointed that I have to vent. Craving guacamole and sangria, I chose Pedro’s Spanish American Restaurant in Dumbo for a sunny afternoon snack. Because the metal outdoor tables were blazing in the hot sun, I sat inside.

The restaurant seemed like it was exactly what I was looking for, large fruity drink selection, lots of cheap cheese and bean filled dishes, and a bright atmosphere. I ordered the fruit sangria– a summer staple– and was brought a warm wine glass filled with a Hi-C-like concoction and one ice cube. Fine, the sangria’s not great, I’ll go for a mojito next time. I asked for nachos and guacamole, and was served two tiny styrofoam bowls and a basket of chips. The “guacamole” was a tasteless green paste and the watery salsa resembled more of juice than a dip. The chips were warm at least, but inconsistent– half encrusted with salt, and half drenched in oil.

If you prefer to not speak with your company when dining, definitely visit Pedro’s. The music was painfully loud; the mariachi tunes pulsated in my ear drums to the point that it seemed like it had to be a cruel joke– but the waitress never popped out with a “just kidding!” In fact, she never really popped out at all. After trying to force myself to enjoy the salty oil triangles dipped in paste, I just wanted to leave, but could not get the waitress to pay attention to me long enough to ask for a check. I was trapped in Pedro’s Hell, dreaming of a chance to get back onto the quiet Dumbo streets.

Because it’s hard for me to dismiss a restaurant completely, I do have to try to be positive with one good feature– cheap drinks. Draft beers are only $4 (a rarity in NYC) and cocktails are around $6 to $7. If you have little affection for your taste buds, you have eardrums of steel, and your wallet is light– vist Pedro’s at 73 Jay Street.

Yes, that's styrofoam.

Shopping Brooklyn Heights: Florist Edition

29 Aug

The Dead Dahlia

I came back from Boston to find my dahlia plant had given up and transformed into a shriveled brown stick. I spent the next week watering it, pathetically turning it in different directions, in hopes of it regaining its green. After my period of denial, I stuck the plant on the fire escape and fled to James Weir Floral Co. for a replacement.

I shared my loss with the friendly staff, and they showed me around the store, offering some suggestions. They told me which ones would survive best in direct sunlight, how often each should be watered, and which ones my cat wouldn’t want to chew on. I picked a couple low-maintenance leafy shrubs, along with some clay pots. The cashier even offered me a yellow and red tinged rose as a consolation.

If you’re looking for a florist with a giant selection, low prices, and a friendly demeanor, visit James Weir Floral Co. at 155 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights.

My new replacements

Farmers Market Find of the Weekend

28 Aug

It was tough to choose just one find this week. Everything at Borough Hall looks fresh. Head over now and stock up!

Feast at the Food Truck Fest

27 Aug

The Food Truck obsession has reached a new level of fabulous– a fest dedicated to food on wheels! The Parked Food Festival (which had its debut at BKLYN Yard in May) will move to Governor’s Island on September 5th from 12-5pm, where there’s more space for hungry food truck lovers. Some of the best Brooklyn-based eats will be there, like Red Hook Lobster Pound, Green Pirate juice, and Robicelli Cupcakes. If the food isn’t enough, local beer will be sold too. For a cheap and delicious nosh session, take the FREE ferry over from the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street.

Even better– this event just happened to be scheduled on my birthday. I guess I just have to have a food truck cupcake to celebrate.

Brucie Coming to Court Street

26 Aug

New (and cute) signage shows that a new restaurant called Brucie will be opening in the ex-Cube 63 spot on Court Street near Baltic Street. Brownstoner says Brucie will be an Italian market and restaurant– which means more Italian for Cobble Hill. I guess we can add that to the list with Bocca Lupo, Sam’s, Mama Maria’s, Broken English, Lunetta, etc. etc.

All Natural Seating

25 Aug

Tree-like bench in the Pearl Street Triangle in Dumbo.

Where to Eat Right Now: Joya

24 Aug

Attention curry-enthusiasts! If you haven’t tried Joya, run to 215 Court Street right now and place your order. The candlelit atmosphere, modern art, and exposed brick walls might make you feel like you are dining at an upscale, trendy eatery, but without the upscale prices. The priciest entree is only $7.95, and appetizers fall between $2.95 and $4.95– seriously. Try the Fried Tiger Shrimp Rolls or the Spicy Noodles with chicken or shrimp in a basil sauce, but don’t leave without ordering curry. I recommend the “Kang Koong,” or shrimp and eggplant, bamboo shoots, peppers and carrots in a red coconut curry sauce.

On top of the delicious and low-priced menu, the restaurant also offers a garden in the back of the restaurant if you prefer dining al fresco (for the few warm nights left at least!). The only possible downside is that because of the exposed kitchen, the restaurant can get a bit loud, but if you like a buzzing atmosphere, this spot is perfect. The staff is quick to serve, my dish was on the table in less than 15 minutes.

Joya is cash only, so hit up the ATM before you visit, and make sure to sip on a minty mojito while you’re there.

**UPDATE!**

A new Joya location is coming to Fort Greene at 723 Fulton Street at Fort Greene Place this fall!

Carry This: The Brooklyn Tote

23 Aug

Whether you are a student lugging your books around or just making a grocery run, everyone needs a reusable tote bag. Not only is it a great addition to your accessory collection, but it’s also eco-friendly too. Check out these three Brooklyn inspired bags, made locally!

1. “Brooklyn Canvas Shoulder Tote Bag” $20.00

The Brooklyn Canvas Shoulder Tote Bag

2. “Brooklyn Skyline Canvas Tote” $28.00

Brooklyn Skyline Canvas Tote

3.  “Brooklyn Canvas Bag” $15

Brooklyn Canvas Bag

A Boston Break Via Fung Wah

23 Aug

As you may have noticed by my lack of posts this weekend– I was out of town visiting some college friends in Boston. For those of you who share my car-less lifestyle, you know how tough (and expensive) it can get to travel. Sure, I’d love to take an hour flight out of JFK– but when the bus is $100 cheaper, it’s hard to resist. I’m a Greyhound-Megabus hater, as well as a midtown-Port Authority despiser, so I went for something new– the Fung Wah bus.

Most people probably know Fung Wah as that bus that exploded/rolled over/melted/etc. etc., but I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. We left a half hour early, it was quiet, efficient, and I didn’t have to step foot in Midtown Manhattan. The bus goes out of Canal St. in Chinatown– which means its right over the bridge for us Brooklynites. I’ve saved the best part for last– a round trip ticket costs $30! The bus brings passengers right into South Station in Boston, and leaves every hour, so no worries if you are late or early.

Aside from my happy bus experience, Boston was fabulous. But as always– I’m happy to be back in Brooklyn.