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Category: Bar

Black Forest Brooklyn Biergarten & Kaffeehaus

Beer, sausages & games on the big screen in Fort Greene.

What We Had

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I had the Grosser Salatteller with sausage – German mixed greens, assorted salads & vinaigrette.

This dish was fantastic and exactly what I had hoped from the description. 4 types of salad – potato, carrot, cucumber and garden; topped with a sliced sausage. Yum.

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My DH had the Kasebratwurst – spicy pork & beef sausage with NY cheddar inside + kaiser bun, kraut & shoestring fries.

This was great, too. The sausage had a nice snap and the kraut was delicious.

Decor

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Long tables, lots of wood and a huge projection screen.

Service

We went during a World Cup match, and they were really busy. Service kind of sucked. I would suggest to make sure someone sees you sit if they’re packed.

Overall Impressions

Despite the game service, this is a great spot and we could see becoming regulars. The sausage is fantastic and made in NYC, and the sides are great quality as well. The beer selection is good – and it’s hard to argue with a great sausage.

Rating

4 out of 5 for great sausage & beer in a casual atmosphere.

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Sheep Station

Australian pub in Gowanus

What We Had

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I had the Shearer’s Burger – lettuce, tomato, pickled beets, grilled pineapple, caramelized onion, fried egg – with salad – Omfg this was good. The meat had great seasoning, the toppings combo was really good, and the salad was nice. Zero complaints here.

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My DH had the Meat Pie with Side Salad – His was really good as well. The pie had a nice curry taste, and was a decent lunch size. He also enjoyed his salad.

Decor

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Cute Australian way station meets Brooklyn dark wood.

Service

Decent

Overall Impressions

This is a great little find – beer specials at night, a great looking menu, and relaxed brunch.

Rating

4 out of 5 for great food in a charming atmosphere.

Morgan’s BBQ

Texas style BBQ & bourbon in Flatbush.

What We Had

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Brisket
Pulled pork
Pork sausage
Collards
Mac & cheese

The meats were great – both exactly what you would expect and/or want. The sausage was a touch fatty for my taste, but the DH loved it and the taste was good. The sides were also good – the greens were cooked right with just a bit of bite left (they’re also vegan), and the Mac was good, too.

Decor

Woods, sarcastic bar signs and chalkboard.

Service

Efficient and gearing up for a long game night.

Overall Impressions

Looks like it could be a fun little spot, depending upon the day’s clientele. We visited on a Friday post-work when a game happened to be going on at The Barclays, and the bar crowd was already drunk & loud at 5:30 pm. It was college kids from presumedly out of town, so they were at least amusing.

Rating

4 out of 5 for some solid BBQ

Hope & Anchor

Cute little diner in Red Hook with a rock n roll vibe. We stopped in for brunch on the way to IKEA.

What We Had

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I had the Steak & eggs with greens as a side – this was good. A petite steak with some fantastic dressing and a good amount of greens. No complaints. The steak was properly seasoned and cooked and wasn’t too fatty.

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My DH had the Breakfast burrito with meat (bacon & sausage) – which was also tasty – and huge.

Decor

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Red sparkly vinyl, old woods and mirrors.

Service

Good. Multiple people checked on us during our meal and service was efficient.

Overall Impressions

A good place. The food was good, the atmosphere is great, and we can’t wait to stop in for the dinner menu & a beer.

Rating

4 out of 5 for good food and a cute atmosphere.

Alder

More casual-ish offshoot of WD-50, located in the Lower East Side.

What We Had

Like WD-50, the menu at Alder is arranged from smaller dishes to larger dishes and sharing is encouraged.

Smaller Dishes

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Foie gras with pumpkin pie taste, pomegranate jam, maple flakes and cookie crostini — This dish was the first we had and really kicked the meal off properly. Just rich and luxurious enough for foie, with pretty much the essence of fall right there.

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Scotch quail eggs with onion marmalade and arugula — And now I’m spoiled on Scotch eggs forever. Yum.

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Pigs in a blanket – Chinese style duck and pork sausage with Japanese wasabi mustard and sweet chili sauce — I, for some unknown reason, wasn’t expecting much from this dish. I’m happy to say that I was woefully wrong.

Pickled Beets with clouds of coconut ricotta and crunchy Thai basil — Holy wtf. Fan. Freakin. Tastic, and the perfect mid-meal veggie.

Larger Dishes

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Day boat scallops with delicate little hushpuppies, Swiss chard wrap, and fresh kimchi — prefect scallops, little puppie pillows, and some nice little texture going on there.

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Tongue with smoked yucca fritter, pickled cippolini onions, and chimichurri dashi — if tongue could ever be considered sexy, it would be because of this dish. Luxurious and velvety meat tangle with some nice back bone from the fritter and a delicate broth.

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Root beer pudding with smoked cashews — this was so good it made me angry. I kind of had my way with it.

Our food was unreasonably good. I could be redundant and say each and every dish was Amazeballs, but suffice it to say – they all were, and sadly it’s unreasonable to expect every meal to be this fabulous.

My DH had the Reserve Special Black Ale and I had the Doc something to drink. Both very tasty.

Decor

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Modern and cool with slates and woods.

Service

Stellar.

Overall Impressions

There was no doubt that we were going to love this place. We love WD-50, and Alder was no disappointment.

Rating

5 out of 5 for unreasonably good food in a great atmosphere.

The Clover Club

American food + bar specializing in revival artisanal cocktails in Cobble Hill.

What We Had

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I had the Clever Girl Royale – Old Tom gin, vanilla, lemon, blackberries, raspberries & prosecco – Fantastic. Clean, bright and rich – perfect for brunch.

My DH had the Bourbon Bloody Mary – Really deep and complex – maybe too complex? Hits of vanilla and all sorts of stuff. Kept him guessing throughout the meal.

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For brunch, I had the Pork n grits – Braised pork served over cheddar Anson Mill grits, topped with a sunnyside-up egg and crispy shallots. Served with sourdough toast. This dish was fantastic. Hearty, filling and luscious with really satisfying bread.

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My DH had the French Dip (came with simple dressed greens) – Nothing to hide behind here – just a simple sandwich where quality shines through. Great meat and real jus.

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He also had his own side of cheddar grits – which were delicious, even without pork.

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And we couldn’t resist the Bacon Tasting – A selection of three styles of thick cut bacon. Maple bacon, black pepper bacon and duck bacon. Split verdict on the favorite – I loved the duck bacon; the DH loved the maple. All three were awesome.

Decor

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Black & white & dark wood & glass.

Service

Food was really slow, but the service wasn’t bad otherwise.

Overall Impressions

We came on recommendation of a bartender at one of my favorite bars in Manhattan – The Flatiron Lounge. Owned by the same people, both locations make drinks you can’t get out of your head.

Rating

4 out of 5 if you’re not in a hurry for stellar drinks and great food.

Five Leaves

New American gastropub/cafe in Greenpoint.

What We Had

My DH had the Red waddle pork chop with curry roast sweet potato, lime cream, cashews & lardon. His pork chop was underwhelming – he reported that he’s had better at home – which, while flattering, is not something you necessarily want to hear about a $20-something cut of meat. His sweet potatoes were great and I’m going to have to attempt re-creating them, along with the lime cream. He was sad that the lardon was more of a garnish than any real part of the dish. This dish was not bad or memorable.

I had the slow roasted Long Island duck with braised endive, black lentils & fennel-kumquat salad. I really liked mine. The duck was as fantastic as roasted duck always is – with mahogany lacquered skin and luxurious fatty richness. I also really enjoyed the orangey kick of the lentils. They gave a nice counterbalance to the richness of the duck. The big honking roast fennel was a tad awkward, but I love roast fennel so I made it work.

We also split a half dozen market oysters, which were fantastic.

I had a Southern Belle cocktail – black tea infused vodka, lemon, mint & sparkling wine – and it was magnificent.

The DH had a beer.

No dish pics – it was too dark.

Decor

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This is actually a bathroom shot, since the dining room was too full and dim.

Distressed wood and worn leather with iron and warm candle accents in the dining room, rustic ship accents in the bathroom. Eclectic music selection. The ambiance was really good – I was loving the candlelight reflected in water bottles and glasses all around the dining room.

Service

There.

Overall Impressions

Not bad. I’d been excited about having dinner here for awhile – we’re just so rarely in this part of town for dinner – and I’m glad we’ve crossed it off the list. If we lived in the neighborhood, I’m sure we’d go back – my duck was great, the oysters were great, and that cocktail was really something special. As it stands, though, there are many more places in town calling our names — including a really fun looking beer hall type place down the block.

Rating

3.5 out of 5 because mine was great and his was so-so.

Pork Slope

Pork-centric casual sandwich restaurant/dive bar in Park Slope from the mind(s) behind Talde and Thistle Hill.

What We Had

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My DH had the Mother Porker – a classic porky melt (cheddar rolled pork bratwurst, grilled onions & mustard) with bacon, egg and pickled jalapeño – This sandwich was a flavor bomb of porky goodness. Great sausage, killer balance, and an egg. Lots to love here.

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He also had the Crispy Mac & Cheese – Delicious, with a lovely layer of almost-burnt cheese.

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I had the Pulled Pork Sandwich – 24 hour brined & hickory smoked pork shoulder with BBQ sauce and pickles – the Texas toast came out a little too wet for me to eat everything as a sandwich, but the meat was killer. The porcine gods are smiling.

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I also had the Smoky Collard Greens – I had high hopes, given Chef Talde’s prowess with other green veggies (I’m thinking specifically of his brussels special at Talde) and I was not disappointed. Vinegary, smoky, cooked until slippery and luxurious; this was one tasty bowl of greens.

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My DH continued his citywide bloody mary sampling with a Michael Collins – Irish whiskey and fresh house made Bloody Mary mix with a house smoked rosemary and sea salt rim – This was a crazy good bloody. I think Char No. 4 is still his favorite, but this version is right up there (with the more Asian-inspired version served at Talde) in the pantheon of greats.

I had a Brooklyn Mule – Brooklyn Republic vodka, ginger beer & fresh lime – This drink was everything I wanted it to be – light, refreshing and a nice summer sip.

Decor

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Pork & Brooklyn -centric decor ala local punk dive bar with great music (if you like a heavily punk soundtrack played at a comfortable volume for listening an talking).

Service

Decent for a bar.

Overall Impressions

Yum. This is one of those spots that successfully straddles the line between local hangout and somewhere worth taking the train to visit. It feels homey without being exclusive and simple enough to be a no-brainer weeknight choice for those days when you don’t want to think too hard and just want something good.

Rating

4.5 out of 5. I was leaning more toward 4, since there aren’t many options for the sandwich-challenged (although you can order just a side of meat), but the DH had pork in his eyes 🙂

Heartland Brewing Company

Large brewery & pub right off of Union Square.

What We Had

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My DH had the Heartland Big Bite Burger – angus beef with aged cheddar and applewood smoked bacon. Juicy and tasty burger, limp bacon and nice fries.

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I had the Smothered Steak – black angus steak covered with mushroom & onions and a side of sautéed spinach. Overcooked steak (ordered rare, got medium-well) but still juicy with nice Worcestershire seasoning and grill flavoring, good mushrooms & onions, and a metric ton (almost 2 cups) spinach. I was in spinach heaven.

We also had the house-brewed Summertime Apricot Ale and Not Tonight Honey Porter, both of which were nice.

Decor

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Black wood, exposed brick, lofty open spaces over the beautiful old bar and brew tanks in back.

Service

Decent.

Overall Impressions

Not a bad place to grab an unfussy lunch or drinks.

Rating

3.75 out of 5 for good for what it is pub food with a great selection of house brews – and plenty of room, to boot.

Char No. 4

Bustling Southern bar & food in Cobble Hill.

What We Had

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I had the Bacon & Eggs Benedict – biscuits, poached eggs, honey ham, bacon gravy – how can you go wrong? And they didn’t. This dish was heaven in the mouth – rich, with not-too-dense biscuits, luscious egg yolks, and the taste of wonderful bacon. A southern staple gussied up proper for the big city.

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My DH has the Sausage Biscuit with Cheese and Potatoes – Amazeballs potatoes; sausage that tasted like a hopped up Version of Neese’s (this is a very good thing indeed); and a really good biscuit.

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And we split the Bacon Grits – Stellar. Deeply bacony, with just enough scallion to being it home. Knocked it out of the park with this one.

Decor

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Big open windows in the front, lots of wood, inviting. Campy surf punk over the radio (we went on a Sunday early afternoon – if they were playing XM Radio, in time for the surf punk show).

Service

It was really busy the day we went and we sat at the bar. The service wasn’t horrible at the bar, but they were busy.

Overall Impressions

Must. Go. Back. Looks like a great place to explore bourbons – their selection is extensive and their mixers look to be house made.

Rating

4.5 out of 5. We need to come back and take our time to get to know the menu and fabulous looking drinks list before we can cement the 5 rating. But, if a rushed brunch while waiting on results from the vet around the corner is any indication, a 5 will be an easy score.