Greenpoint Eats: Hail Mary 

Hail Mary is a fine new brunchery and dinner date spot gracing the North Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint. This title of this restaurant has less to do with the New Testament, and more to do with a game ending play in a football game… and they make a tasty burger.

Overview of supper: Mac and cheese, Brussel sprouts with hummus (this may have been my favorite dish of all three), and of course the double cheeseburger (above).

I’ve never had to drink a manhattan out of a punch glass before. A little bit of a dainty vessel for a whiskey drink (I would have preferred a rocks glass), but the cocktail was well-made. Also, they do a happy hour on the weekends even, so it pays cash dividends to get here early and beat the wait for a table.

A shot of the interior. Very kitschy, if you’re into that kind of thing. Like I said earlier, a great date spot. I think I need to come back for brunch.

Also, check out this funfetti layer cake that they make!! Another reason to go back…
Hail Mary, 68 Greenpoint Ave Brooklyn, NY 11222

 

Queens Eats: Rincon Criollo

Rincon Criollo in the Corona neighborhood of Queens, is a classic cuban-style family restaurant. Easily accessible from the city (half a block from the 7 train Junction Boulevard) this place is a must stop if you are in the neighborhood to do fun things like visit the Louie Armstrong House or have an Italian Ice in Corona Park. Fried pork chops, with big slabs of onion; cooked perfectly.
 Shrimp in Spanish sauce. Really flavorful, spicy and boiling hot. Best served spooned over some white rice so you can enjoy the sauce.
 An taste-tantalizing trio of yuca (cassava) in a sticky and starchy rich garlic sauce, fried sweet plantains, and of course Moros y Cristianos (black beans and white rice with bacon, the name is an comedic allusion to the Islamic conquest of Spain, and subsequent Christian Reconquista).
 Close out the meal with an espresso and a Dulde de Leche (made by boiling down sweetened condensed milk, it goes well with a bitter coffee).

Rincon Criollo 40-09 Junction Blvd Corona, NY 11368

Spumoni Gardens – Brooklyn 

L & B Spumoni Gardens, a Bensonhurst, Brooklyn staple (opened 1939) has the best squares in New York City.

I’m not sure how to define Spumoni Garden’s squares. They are not exactly a grandma slice, they are definitely not a typical Sicilian slice, it’s just kind of it’s own thing. A Sicilian slice with the sauce on the top. Each square has its own personality; the saucy center square is just as coveted by the grabbing hands at Spumoni Garden’s picnic tables as the crispy corners.

 Another thing to note: Spumoni Garden’s has a full menu’d Italian restaurant indoors, so if you want, don’t be afraid to chase your squares with a chicken parmigiana hero…

According to wikipedia: Spumone (from spuma or “foam”), plural spumoni, is a molded Italian ice cream made with layers of different colors and flavors, usually containing candied fruits and nuts. I actually find it lighter and more refreshing than typical American ice cream, and really a nice way to follow up a heavy carb-filled cheese feast.

L&B Spumoni Gardens 2725 86th St, Brooklyn, NY 11223

The Brisket Sandwich from Frankel’s

Frankel’s Delicatessen in Greenpoint, Brooklyn gives even the most famous delicatessens in NYC (like Katz’s) a run for their money. This newcomer into the Brooklyn scene has brought with it some traditional Delicatessen recipes, with care to make them super delicious.

Above is the brisket sandwich, this was a behemoth. I highly recommend getting this; and splitting it with a loved one or else it will be a night-ruiner.

The latkes were crispy and yummy, but were lacking in size. I mean, c’mon it’s made out of a potato… basically the cheapest thing to grow on earth. You can afford to make them bigger or just give me a few more. But hey, the sandwiches are huge.

Above is a side-by-side comparison of the pastrami reuben sandwich with the big brisket sandwich. Both are safe bets. I really think the pastrami here is on par with the best in New York City.

Frankel’s Delicatessen 631 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint Brooklyn