We had a show with our friends Leamers (from Montreal) at Goodbye Blue Monday the other night in Bushwick. I remember walking by this place with Justin one time for brunch. We walked in and it was a pretty dingy bar. It seemed weird to eat brunch there in a dark place on such a nice sunny day. That’s when we kept walking and ended up at this awesome West African restaurant. But now that’s it’s cold and night time, it’s makes better sense to eat here.
I split a Burger and Fries (with Salad) with Anthony. I was stacked tall. Pretty decent burger. Not bad at all. I’m not scared to eat here anymore.
There was a stand-up comedy show that preceded us. One guy looked like Eli Manning.
Dang, they really worked on making this year’s Bushwick Block Party bigger than before –more space for food vendors and getting Andrew WK to headline. This time they even had a security check to just get into the block (21+ and no outside drinks). I would say it was more of a mini festival to sell stuff than an old fashion block party.
Getting in wasn’t bad at all. I was at the front of the line in about two minutes. It was funny watching a girl pout because security wouldn’t let her in the re-entry without a wristband. She stood there for so long pouting, when she could’ve just got in line …and it was only about ten people long.
The line to get into Roberta’s was insane though. I think there was a dance party. I didn’t try to touch it. Although, I did get into the beer line and that was crazy long too. There was only one beer tent in that area. I felt like it was a 30-40min wait. At least I made friends in the line.
There was barely a line for the Porta-Pottys, which is strange because where did everyone pee after they drank all those beers?
I bought a plate of Vegan Ethiopian food at the Bunna Cafe stand. They do pop-up events and venues around NY, but this is the first time I’ve seen them. It was really good. I was standing there a little drunk and wondering why my fingers were so messy, then realized, oh yeah I ate with my hands.
I saw the Wild Yaks and I always love them. Also got some Andrew WK action at the end, but he got cut off by the police in the middle of his hit song and pulled off stage by security …as you can see in this video.
I’ve heard of the plate yourself, soul food by the pound buffet Manna’s in Harlem. But I never made the connection that the place in Bushwick was the same restaurant. They actually have seven locations. This one is huge. It’s probably as big as a Duane Reade.
$4.99 a pound. My plate came out to $9. I didn’t realize I loaded it on.
Most everything was pretty good –the oxtail, smothered pork chops, curry goat and sides. The pigs feet was rubbery and didn’t do anything for me. I found a curly hair in the meatloaf, but it was probably the best thing. So I ate around it.
Manna’s Restaurant - 829 Broadway (2 blocks from Woodhull Hospital) Brooklyn, NY 11206
…their website is soulfood.com. That’s a pretty good catch.
Went to the Bushwick Block Party today in this crazy heat. It was actually enjoyable with mist sprayers and a hydrant cracked open. Some little 5 year old Dominican kid was dancing all thugged out to the heavy rock band, The Netherlands. His dad pulled him aside near me. Me and this other guy were looking at the kid like “yeah, rock on little buddy.” So the guy bends down to pat the kid and the little boy smacks him in the face. We both thought it was fucked up but funny as hell.
It looks like there are a couple of metal heads doing the pledge of allegiance.
FOOD: Free pizza generously provided by Roberta’s, unfortunately with an incredibly long line. A few other vendors selling meatless sloppy joes and ham sandwiches. There was a Arancini (Sicilian Rice Ball) Eating Contest brought to you by Arancini Bros in Bushwick. Some big guy ate 14 balls in 3 minutes. I went to go get a couple myself at the booth. I can’t believe that guy ate so many. One is pretty filling. But they were pretty good, so maybe it was worthwhile. I got Bacon & Broccoli Rabe and Ragu (sauce and cheese).
Ran into a bunch of friends which was cool. But Rusty and I eventually left early. Assholes were getting drunk and about to be stabbed for being a dick. Dang, giving hipsters a bad name. I don’t mess with Bushwick. Stefano took this nice photo of a Bushwick native taking away this dude’s watergun.
And speaking of drunk hipster assholes…
On our way back home to pick up some Grand Seafood, we saw this scary looking dentist office.
…and this flyer on a street pole that I really don’t get, pointing to two Indian restaurants in the area. The flyer’s disgusting. I don’t get it, unless it’s something lost in translation from someone who doesn’t speak English well?
Rusty and I had lunch at this sorta hidden Ecuadorian restaurant on a residential street in East Williamsburg/Bushwick. Lot’s of mirrors on the walls and big flat screens with hot Latino chicks dancing on the beach, ala MTV’s The Grind with Eric Nies.
I got the large Seafood Soup ($12). Amazing beautiful orange broth with squid, clams, mussels, half a crab, shrimp and big fish chunks that are almost like chicken. I can’t really say the meat in there is too great, especially the crab. It’s probably because it’s been over-cooking in the soup for so long …but that probably helped create that awesome broth. It was still a big bowl of deliciousness. I felt so good afterward.
Rusty got a big giant burger. He liked it and the atmosphere. The table hot sauce is killer. I couldn’t stop taking photos of my soup. I couldn’t stop looking at the TV.
Braved the cold with Ashley to have pizza at Roberta’s in Bushwick. Walking from the train, you wonder if you are going the right way. But maybe one reason is I was trying to tell a story about how I’d imagine what I’d need to do if I wanted to become an Impressionist (not like an artist, but like Rich Little). We passed the street we needed to turn on and had to backtrack. The other reason is the area is industrial and desolate. Even when you come up to Roberta’s, it doesn’t look like anything but a small old warehouse. But inside was packed and reminded me of a brighter Lodge (Grand & Havameyer). The wait for the table was thirty minutes. So we hung out at the bar and out back where they had a fire pit going. You can see the greenhouse garden where they grow some of their food and the Heritage Radio Network, home to many food blogger shows like my friend, Ben “Brooklyn Chowder Surfer”.
At home, I studied the menu and hoped to get the roasted bone marrow but it was off the night’s menu. Instead I got the special, Sea Urchin. As some of you may know, I have a special place for Sea Urchin/Uni because I always think the aroma reminds me of my old 1982 VCR back in Winter Park, FL. It’s not a really good aroma –very old metal machinery emitting fumes type of aroma. But it brings me back my childhood. Now Roberta’s version of the Sea Urchin is marinated in something that kills off that said aroma. It allowed me to enjoy the creamy texture without thinking I just licked an old VCR.
My Beastmaster pizza (tomato, mozzarella, gorgonzola, capers, onions, berkshire pork sausage, jalapenos) was nice and sorta tasted like it had ranch sauce on it. Ashely got the Lion Heart (mozzarella, tomato, brussels sprouts, cotto, sweet onion, pecorino romano) sans meat. The brussel sprouts were shredded and was very strong. I wonder how it would be with the meat. The pizzas were good. I thought it was like a more delicate version of Papa John’s with better ingredients …therefore a better pizza.
Roberta’s – 261 Moore St (btw White & Bogart St) Brooklyn 11206
Yesterday, Todd, Russ and I went to check out this new hipster art mini putt-putt course right off the Jefferson L stop. First I wanted to see what food they had around there. It was pretty deserted. Perhaps everyone was at the Grizzly Bear or Lightning Bolt show. However, there really isn’t much out there. I walked into this one Mexican restaurant, Palma’s, and asked for a menu. The lady seemed confused. Then the guy who I think was the owner, told her to get me a menu. Then five seconds later he tells me that the kitchen is closed today. God’s day perhaps? Instead everyone was drinking there.
I did see a lot of youngsters down the road in front of this warehouse looking taco shop –Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos. It looked popular and super cheap. Taquitos $1.50, tacos $2, tortas (Mexican sandwiches) only $3.50. I stood around waiting for someone to take my order, but when I was finally acknowledged they told me to write it down on the index cards. Wow, there wasn’t too many people in front of me, but it sure took a long time to get my food. Perhaps it didn’t help when I added to my index card in the middle and the cashier bumped me out of order. I waited for around twenty minutes from what looked to be a fast to go type of place. As far as the food, I’m confused. Their taquitos look like tacos and their quesadillas look like bigger tacos. It was bland and for some reason the red hot sauce had a seafoody taste. Now looking at Yelp, I don’t get all the good reviews.
The Putting Lot was fun. It wasn’t the most user-friendly mini-golf course, but bigger and more playable than Bushwick Country Club. It was like if you had junk in your backyard and tried to make ramps, tunnels and holes –I mean that in a fun way.
Secret boat party or not-so-secret crowded boat party? They don’t tell you where it is. So you get on a shuttle van that takes you to the boat. I thought they were going to blindfold us. We got there on the early side. It was quite pleasant to hang out drinking a beer on the deck floating on shallow smelling water amongst the industrial warehouses and the polluted night sky glow. It had a surreal feel to it.
I bought a homemade cheese tamale on the ship with some green chili sauce. Well done for being on an old ferry boat. Some guy walked up to me later and covertly asked me if I wanted to buy a tamale. I told him I just had one. I was wondering why he was so quiet about it and why he called it molly for short.
The bass from the dance music on the 2nd level resonated the boat so much, I really felt like I couldn’t control my bowels. I think they hit the brown note. I was scared.
I ran into some friends, one of which was actually performing this night with his band, Clinical Trials. Pretty cool. And as I look up this party right now, I see Miho Hatori (Cibo Matto) performed too. Dang, I wish I knew. I must’ve been on the dance floor at that time, figuring I could get away from the brown note by being closer to the music.
I had half of Todd’s cheeseburger from the grill. Surprisingly it wasn’t from the freezer, but hand pattied seasoned with onions. Most things usually taste good after a few drinks, but this burger was juicy.
Video of Miho Hatori playing on the boat. Some guy dances up on her around 2:30 and she punches him.