Archive | July, 2013

Now Open: Vekslers

30 Jul


You might have missed the quiet opening of new burger joint/cocktail bar/ small plates spot in Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens– Vekslers at 521 Hicks Street. The space used to be “Brooklyn Farms,” a small gardening store, but now is equipped with a bustling kitchen and full bar. I visited during the soft opening, with a limited menu, but there has been much buzz about $5 burgers, a rare commodity in the $15 Burger World. It’s low-key and neighborhood-y with unique cocktails and comfy bar seating. It’s worth the trip.



Handcrafted Treats from The Brooklyn Bell

24 Jul

gingerBrooklyn-based Ron and Kati Cunningham of Brooklyn Bell Foods & Co. have a good thing going on. They’re making and serving up treats to satisfy your vegan side and not-so-vegan side with chewy vegan oat bars and rich and creamy ice cream. The duo is all bout creating simple, minimally processed goodies… of course, made right here in BK.

I met Ron and Kati at By Brooklyn and indulged in some samples. They created six flavors: Black Lava Caramel, Brown Butter Pecan, White Vanilla, Detroit City Rocks (a twist on Rocky Road), Mixed Chocolate, and Simply Strawberry. Roy confessed his favorite is the strawberry, and while I’m usually drawn to the chocolate/caramel side of things, I had to agree with him. The Strawberry is so simple, yet tastes exactly like a bowl of fresh strawberries and cream. It’s delicious.


The vegan oat “Good Bars” are like like super superfood granola bars, packed with dried fruit, oats, and nuts. I tasted the “Ginger Bar,” made of apricots, ginger, and a touch of coconut oil. I took a bite and decided to combine the two delicious treats: my strawberry ice cream pint and my Ginger Bar. Magic. Other flavors include Brooklyn Blues and Black Standard.

You can buy both here. 


6 Brunch Dishes to Eat Right Now

22 Jul
Kate Frittata at Speedy Romeo

Kate Frittata at Speedy Romeo

Spanish Tortilla at The Good Fork

Spanish Tortilla at The Good Fork

Zucchini Fritter, Yogurt, and Fried Egg at Vinegar Hill House

Zucchini Fritter, Yogurt, and Fried Egg at Vinegar Hill House

Scone with Jam and Cream at Diner

Scone with Jam and Cream at Diner

Smoked Trout Omelette at Littleneck

Smoked Trout Omelette at Littleneck

Elvis French Toast at Hunter's Restaurant

Elvis French Toast at Hunter’s Restaurant






Becoming Brooklyn’s Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

19 Jul

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The last couple weeks of the Local Roots NYC CSA share has been filled with fresh zucchini. Instead of using it all for salad and stir fry, I decided to create a new zucchini muffin recipe, after my Becoming Brooklyn Blueberry Muffins were so successful. It might seem a little odd to have a stringy green veggie in your muffins– but they’re just the right amount of sweet and savory– especially with the chocolate chips.

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Becoming Brooklyn Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins


1 1/2 Cups Grated Zucchini

1 1/2 Cups flour of Your Choice (white, whole wheat, gluten-free)

1/2 Teaspoon baking soda

2/3 Cup maple syrup (my mom makes her own maple syrup in New Hampshire called “Greenland Gold,” so of course I use that.

1/2 Cup applesauce

1/3 Cup olive oil (or any other oil you like)

1 Teaspoon cinnamon

1 Teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips (I like the big, thick Ghirardelli ones)

1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

(Makes 12 Medium Muffins)

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper liners or use a lot of non-stick spray. Mix all dry ingredients & grated Zucchini. In a separate bowl, mix all wet ingredients. Add to dry mixture and stir until completely mixed. Fold in chocolate chips. Scoop batter into 12 muffin cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden.

Let cool. Devour.

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Taste & Meet Carton Brewing Company at 61Local

18 Jul

If you don’t know Carton Brewing Company yet, you should get on that. On Thursday, July 25th at 7pm, you’ll get your chance at one of my favorite bars, 61Local. You’ll get to join the head brewer and at least one of the Carton brothers over a pint of their delicious beer and seafood nosh.

61Local is featuring four core beers plus three small-release “summertime sippers” like the brand new “Digger.” I can’t decide which variety I want to try first:
Boat Beer
Brunch Dinner Grub
Carton of Milk Stout
077XX Double IPA
Intermezzo Sour Ale with Apples and Wasabi
Monkey Chased the Weasel Berliner Weisse w/ Mulberries
Digger Gose with Clams and Lemongrass

As for the food, Marc Giroux is the special guest chef who will be cooking up a food pairing for the evening.

Learn more about the “Digger” in the video below.

Drool of the Day: Popsicles at Nightingale 9

15 Jul
Green Tea with Coconut and Coffee with Peanuts.

Green Tea with Coconut and Coffee with Peanuts.

Cocktails + Floats with Bower Hill Society

11 Jul

bolsI’m a big fan of Bower Hill Society‘s drinking events, so you can imagine my excitement when I saw that the next one is taking ice cream to a boozy level. On July 25th at 6:30pm, come out to 45 Main Street (which has the most fantastic view of the BK Bridge) for A Tasting with Amsterdam’s Bols Genever & Boozy Floats from Alchemy Creamery.

Tastings will include:

Bols Genever – The precursor to gin, sometimes called “Dutch gin”. Its maltwine (triple-distilled rye, corn and wheat mash distilled in copper pot stills) base sets genever apart from its London Dry successor. This sweet, subtle spirit returned to the US market only five years ago after disappearance during Prohibition.
Damrak Gin – A unique spin on a classic, Damrak Gin goes lighter on the juniper, heavier on some citrus. In 2012, epicurean tastemaker The Fifty Best awarded it a gold medal in the “gin” category at a blind tasting.
Galliano – Both L’autentico and Ristretto will be available for tasting. A sweet, herbal liqueur from Tuscany, L’autentico has an vanilla-anise flavor with subtle citrus and woodsy herbal under notes. Ristretto is a coffee-flavored liqueur.

 Get your tickets here. 

Win Tickets to See Odd Future!

9 Jul
odd ofWho likes hip hop? I’ve got a giveaway for you. Enter for your chance to win a pair of tickets to see hip hop collective Odd Future, led by Tyler the Creator,  play Williamsburg Park on July 2th. The LA hip hop crew is also joined by by Meek Mill and DJ Funkmaster Flex.

Here’s how to enter: Download the Applauze app and enter in the coupon code BKLYN. You’ll get $5 credit to your account, and one lucky winner will receive two FREE tickets to the show! Learn more about the show here. 

Whooo hoo! Good luck.

Pies + Pigs Recap

8 Jul

You really can’t go wrong when you combine cheese, meat, pizza, and the garden at Roberta’s Pizza. I recently attended the Pigs + Pies ham & cheese garden party and it lived up to the grand expectations you would have for such an epic event. With a party tent and a big brick oven, Roberta’s served up pie after pie to accompany Edwards Virgina Hams’ charcuterie and plenty of beer and wine. The just baked, still steaming pies continued to appear despite the hungry crowd’s quick pizza-grabbing fingers. The team behind Edwards Virgina Hams even made the trek to Brooklyn for the event. Here are a few delicious shots from the party.

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The Becoming Brooklyn Carroll Gardens Tour

1 Jul

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I moved to Carroll Gardens for a few reasons: good food, fun bars, cool shops, and a charming esthetic. It’s a fun place to spend the day, so I’m giving you my list of favorite spots in a little Becoming Brooklyn Carroll Gardens Tour, for your next day in the neighb.

What to Bring: A bag for your goodies, an appetite, and a high drinking tolerance.

Start with some sustenance. Begin the tour at Prime Meats on Court and Luquer Streets. Eat the Gruyere Cheese Omelet with French Fries and pair it with a bloody Mary. The place has an old time-y and comfortable feel, and nice sidewalk seating for a sunny day.


After your meal, head North to Yesterday’s News. It’s an adorable little antique shop with unique finds from furniture to art, to clothing and books. Despite the shop’s size, there’s so much packed in there, that you’ll want to reserve some time for browsing.

Head back up North on Court Street and enter the charming family-owned Monteleone’s Bakery. Buy a box of Italian Cookies for later. Eat a cannoli now.


You’re going to need to keep your energy levels up, so get caffeinated at Smith Canteen on Smith Street and grab a coffee to go (and a homemade pop-tart if you still have room). Cross the street and enjoy your brew in Carroll Gardens Park. If you’re taking the tour on a Sunday, stop by the Carroll Gardens Greenmarket and pick up a pint of fresh blueberries; try not to eat them as you walk the rest of the tour, but I can’t promise it will be easy.

Walk North on Smith. Stop into my favorite bar in Brooklyn, The Jakewalk. Ask one of the bartenders (like the fabulous Bryan and Tim) to make you a drink with your liquor of choice. They’ll shock you with something that is your new favorite drink. You might even get another.

Improved Campari Collins at The Jakewalk

Improved Campari Collins at The Jakewalk

Tipsy shopping is okay on this tour, so be sure to go North to By Brooklyn— a shop DEDICATED to all things Brooklyn. They’ve got tee shirts, jewelry, books, cards, body products, and artisanal snacks. You’ll probably leave with something new.

Ladies, you’ll like the next stop I’ve picked out. My favorite Brooklyn boutique: Article& (used to be Dear Fieldbinder). The shop is full of unique pieces– AND they’re in the midst of a summer sale. Score.

Turn around and go back down South for a beer at Bar Great Harry. They’ve got one of the best selections of craft beer in the area. It’s a casual bar, and dogs are allowed if you happen to have a pet in tow– or just like to “ooh” and “ahh” over them. Visit their site before you go to see what’s on tap.

If you are somehow still hungry, finish the day with dinner at one of my fave Italian spots– Arthur on Smith. Order the P.E.I Mussels Fra Diavolo, the Escarole Caesar, and the Seafood Risotto, along with a glass of wine on tap.


Go home full with your new bag of goodies. Obviously there are LOTS more Carroll Gardens spots that I love, but you can only do so much in one day… maybe in the Becoming Brooklyn Carroll Gardens Tour 2.