Food & Drink
Biking and Eating Your Way Through Brooklyn
Before moving to Brooklyn, I assumed that the trend of owning a bicycle was just that, a trend. Upon moving here I realized that it wasn’t just a cool thing to have a 10-speed, it was a way of life. This borough of ours is a huge place, and while the subway can get you from point A to point B, it isn’t nearly as efficient as a set of wheels and a plan.
Summer is the ultimate time to be in possession of a bicycle in Brooklyn, and while we can’t enjoy our two-wheeler during the regular work week as much as we’d like to, the weekend is a perfect time to hop on and do as much as possible. From brunch and day drinking to museums and outdoor events, it’s time to take a tour the Brooklyn way: by bicycle. By the end of the day, you’ll be dying to come up with a different Brooklyn biking road map for every weekend!
A day of cycling around Brooklyn is bound to use up a fair amount of energy, and what better way to bulk up for the day than with a quality meal? Our bike tour starts at the top of Brooklyn in Greenpoint, where there are plenty of brunch options to choose from. A Sage Scrambled Egg Panini (photo above, via handi-eats.blogspot.com) at Five Leaves, Buttermilk Biscuits and Gravy at Enid’s, or a Breakfast Burrito from Papacitos are all delicious ways to kick off the day. Have a brunch mimosa or bloody mary, too, but not too many!
Outdoor Snack ‘n Shop
After polishing off a tasty brunch, it’s time to cycle down to Williamsburg and check out Smorgasburg, one of the best outdoor food and flea markets that Brooklyn has ever seen, and every summer you can experience it all at the East River State Park on North 7th and Kent Avenue. Vendors include Blue Bottle Coffee Company, McClure’s Pickles, DuMont Burger and Asia Dog, among many others. If it’s specialty items you’re looking for, Saucy by Nature, ISH Premium Horseradish and Anarchy in a Jar are just a few of the purveyors of fine spreads and sauces for the buying.
You’ve purchased the three essential C’s (Coffee, Cheese, Charcuterie) and packed up your bicycle basket, so now it’s time to wind down just a bit with cold and boozy beverage. Continue down Kent Avenue to Flushing Avenue, take a left onto Vanderbilt Avenue, and lock up on Myrtle and Vanderbilt at Chez Lola. A Mariposa (muddled cucumber, St. Germain, sparkling wine), Minnie on Myrtle (Absolut Ruby Red, lemon juice, mint, ice) or a glass of the 2011 Mas Donis Rose are all delicious ways to cool down after the first half of your journey.
Below the Bridge
Now that you’ve fueled up with a tasty cocktail or a cold glass of wine, a solid cycle down Myrtle Avenue into Downtown Brooklyn and DUMBO is next on the list. DUMBO is a fantastic place to catch a piece of beautiful Brooklyn culture in the form of art and scenery. Stop in at Spring on Front Street, an art gallery full of items for show and available for purchase. Mighty Tanaka, a gallery just down the street, showcases artwork from a variety of talented “new generation” artists. The Dumbo Arts Center is also a great place to stop in, with a constantly rotating show schedule full of some truly innovative art. Before leaving for the tail end of our bike journey, post up just underneath the bridge at the waterfront and snap a few pictures. Of all the views in New York City, I’d say the scene underneath the bridge is one of the most breathtaking.
Wine (or beer) and Dine
Now that you’ve gotten your cultural education underneath the Manhattan Bridge, it’s time to cycle south to grab a delicious dinner on Court Street in Carroll Gardens. The choices on this popular strip are seemingly endless, but there are a few that really stand out as the cream of the Court Street crop. A plate of freshly shucked oysters and a handcrafted sausage from Prime Meats is a perfect dinner treat for any and all Frankies enthusiasts. If you’re looking for something more hearty, a plate of Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Cheddar Waffles from Buttermilk Channel is the ultimate belly-filling choice, leaving just enough room for a refreshing glass of white wine from their impressive wine list. If a casual burger and beer is more your flavor, look no further than Buschenschank. A Buschenschank Burger (photo above, via southbrooklynpost.com) and a pint of Radeberger is an excellent way to cap off the day. You may be full from all of the indulgence of your day, but a pleasant bike ride back home is the perfect way to burn it all off!