Black Rabbit Coaster
The Black Rabbit is one of my all-time favorite bars in Greenpoint (actually maybe even in Brooklyn, which basically means favorite in New York City). Its decor draws very much on the ambiance of an old Irish pub without being kitschy or feeling out of place in the neighborhood. One of my favorite things about it are the booths that line one wall. Each has swinging doors that you can shut, and when you need service, you ring the bell to signal a waiter. Although we still have yet to venture from the North Brooklyn area (and I have only been to one new bar), the beer book is proving to be quite fun. In our defense, the Saturday we went to Black Rabbit was miserably rainy and cold, not very good adventuring weather.
But, perfect weather for a fireplace and cozy pub. Towards their big backyard are tables good for groups clustered near a small fireplace. If you are looking for a bar in Brooklyn with both a fireplace and hot toddies, this is your place. Unfortunately, the heat of the fireplace was cancelled out by the window next to our table labeled “do not close.” The dark wooden benches, while not the most comfortable, added to the pub-vibe.
Branching out from my usual (slightly lazy) choice of a Brooklyn Lager, I chose to use my beer coupon on the Allagash White. That is a Belgian beer brewed in Maine. I enjoyed the light, crisp flavor. Black Rabbit also serves food (including a cheese plate), but I have yet to actually try it.
Another thing I love about Black Rabbit are the little details. They have Trivial Pursuit cards on the bar and host strange events like Speed Dating to the Smiths. It is impressive that a bar can swing from very low-key to Friday-night-crowded without losing its charm and personality. If you are in the Greenpoint area, I highly recommend a stop at Black Rabbit for a pint and old-world charm.
Our next stop on the great Brooklyn Beer Book tour was The Bedford, a lovely bar on, of course, Bedford Ave. near the Williamsburg/Greenpoint border. There are two different bars and seating areas, but we chose to sit up front at the bar as it was still high brunch-time (brunch is a very serious endeavor here, table space cannot be wasted). I always enjoy going to the Bedford, the front room is sunny and spacious, but even if it gets a bit loud never feels to crowded. I did not try one of the hamburgers, but they look excellent. Their prices are on par with other bars/restaurants in the area. They are by no means a cheap dive, but are quite reasonably priced for the location.
Fun fact, The Bedford actually was once the location of Sound Fix, an indie record store (now located a few blocks away). Musicians would often stop in and even play sets for people. Joe actually saw John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats play a set. If you find yourself wandering down Bedford Ave. in search of a snack, brunch, or even just a drink, I highly recommend popping into The Bedford. Then wander deeper into Williamsburg to check out Sound Fix and other great indie stores.
I am not really sure how, but I have managed to never go to Crif Dogs, a crazy hot dog shack in the village and Williamsburg. Through gaming the system, Sarah and I managed to procure a Groupon for $3 that gave us $28 worth of food. I would like to say now that both of those are not mine. The top dog is mine, a Crif Dog (beef and pork hot dog), which I then topped with mustard, ketchup, pickles, and melted cheese. In retrospect, I think I went a bit over the top, mustard and ketchup created a pretty gooey mess, and the bun was not able to support it. It was a fun treat, but it will probably be awhile before I eat another hot dog (at least until Nathan’s opens back up in Coney Island!). Sarah’s is the tsunami, a hot dog with teriyaki, pineapple, and green onions (it also comes bacon wrapped, but she opted for pork free).
In addition to the hot dogs, we purchased an obscene amount of fried food. Hannah’s head for comparison. With four hungry people working on these, we still didn’t manage to finish tots, cheese fries, and regular fries. We might have over done it. I enjoyed Crif Dogs; it was a fun experience but not really somewhere I imagine I will go back to any time soon. I know I would take my hot dog loving friends, or stop by for a late-night-dog, but it probably won’t become a part of my Williamsburg cycle of restaurants.
The second stop on the great beer book tour: Mugs Ale House. Chosen because of its proximity to my apartment (despite how sunny it looks the day was actually freezing). To be honest, Mugs is not one of my favorite establishments along Bedford (the Hipster main drag of Williamsburg). It is just your standard pub with the game blasting and your standard pub food. Good in a pinch, but nothing spectacular. I will say that it is a bit better for a larger group of people as many of the bars nearby tend to be pretty small with limited seating.
I was thoroughly unadventurous in choosing a Brooklyn Brewery Lager (located within about three blocks of Mugs). It has become my go-to much as Yuengling was the standard in Pittsburgh. I love it, but I for future beer book adventuring, I am going to try to branch out. I would like to stick to Brooklyn or at least pretty local beers, but we shall see what happens. Mugs is a safe bet if you are in the area and looking for a place to duck in to watch a game.
Our first stop on the great Beer Book adventure was Counting Room, a lovely bar on the northern end of Williamsburg. Grabbing the two corner seats of the bar, we ordered our first free beers, the Southern Tier Eurotrash Pilz. I had never been to Counting Room before, and it was a lovely experience. The bar is located near Brooklyn Bowl and the Brooklyn Brewery, but it couldn’t be more different. The ambiance is very intimate, the dark bar lit with candles. The bar itself was spacious enough to feel as if we had our own table, and the crowd felt relaxed and sophisticated.
The only problem we encountered was that the bar owner had not yet told his employees about the promotion! Luckily, he accepted our coupons without hesitation. I would absolutely return to Counting Room, especially to try one of their cheese plates or baked cheeses!
After a slightly longer than intended hiatus from blogging, I am back! While I will continue to write about poetry and the occasional culinary endeavor, my latest project is blogging about my adventure with the Beer Book! It is a coupon book of 30 free beers at 30 different bars around Brooklyn created by the awesome blog Brokelyn. Along with my partner in crime, Joe (check out and follow his twitter here), we will explore all thirty different bars and restaurants from the very tip of Brooklyn in Greenpoint south to Flatbush. This should be a really exciting opportunity to check out some new places in this great borough I call home. Check back to see the spots we have hit so far.
Well, not for everyone. But one of the cords to the wireless in my apartment appears to be broken. It might be the cat’s fault. If we get it back up and running, I will try to post tonight. If not, hopefully I will be back online for a Friday post.