I Can’t Go For Being Twice As Nice

You Pull Them All Together
This past Sunday I made my way out to Brooklyn for Day 2 of the Great Googa Mooga Festival. To be honest, I really thought about not going on Sunday because of the shit show on Saturday. It seemed like they really, really screwed up the beer/wine stands and started running out of food. The people that paid $250 for the VIP section were even complaining. You know when your VIP’s are complaining , you got serious problems.

Sunday ended being a pretty awesome day. We rarely waited more than a few minutes on line. In fact, I was able to get just about everything I wanted in a pretty timely fashion. The standouts of the day include the Colicchio and Sons Pork Belly Tacos. For being small, they were surprisingly filling. There were other things I wanted to try, like the Calexico Nachos, Luke’s Lobster and Dirty Bird Chicken Fingers. I also missed the Hamageddon pork and Burger area. Disappointment is an understatement. Big Gay Ice Cream ran out by the time my friend made it over to get us some. We settled on cookies from Liddabit Sweets, which was more than OK. The only complaint would be that it seemed like there was too much food, too many options. To me, seems like having less vendors with more stands would have been a slightly more practical way to go. Either way, it was great trying some stuff I’d never had before. Plus, there were no fights over fried chicken, which is always good.

My biggest complaint of the whole day, laid in the “beer connoisseur” tent. I came with high aspirations for a quality craft beer experience. After all, the beer menu was curated by the Brooklyn Brewery’s Garret Oliver himself. Now the beers on hand were actually pretty awesome. There were sours, west coast ipa’s, beir de mars, farmhouse ales, saisons, lots of lovely beers you would expect to drink at an outdoor food festival. I would say, Mr. Oliver did a fantastic job of curating the beer list. My biggest problem was that they charged you $4 for a taste and $12 for a full beer. Oh, but don’t forget you have to pay an extra $2 for a fancy “connoisseur” glass. So, let’s say you wanted a Bear Republic Racer 5. A delightful, but not rare or unusual beer. You were paying $14 for a 12 ounce pour or $6 for a taste. I was shocked. I told them they were out of their mind. I could get a 6 pack of that beer at my local bodega for about $12.  6x as much beer for less. So, I abandoned the fancy “beer connoisseur” tent and went over to the regular guy beer stand and got myself come Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold and Magic Hat  for $7 for a 16 ounce poor. Googa Mooga, that was a huge blunder on your part. Huge.

Aside from eating and drinking, there was one thing I was really looking forward to. That thing was, Hall and Oates. Yes, that Hall and Oates. Long, glowing locks, wistful melodies and catchy as hell tunes. They kicked off with the personal favorite, Maneater, before blasting through an hour and a half of magic. They came out for their encore about two minutes after they left the stage and just busted into hit after hit. It was pure bliss. It was one of those amazing moments in life where you look around and all you see are happy dancing people. There was not one person during that encore that was not smiling their face off. I just laid back into the blanket close my eyes for a minute and took it all it. An amazing afternoon in the park, eating, drinking, frolicking and rocking out to Hall and Oates. I know everyone says, Memorial Day weekend is the kick off to summer, but for me it was that moment. That was the start of what I’m hoping will be a great summer. That’s one thing the Googa Mooga people did right, having Hall and Oates close out a joyous day.

Listening Pile

Hall and Oates – You Make My Dreams Come True

You can be the bun. I can be the burger.

She was raised out in Brooklyn
Made my way over to the Mile End in Noho a couple times since its opening two weeks ago. This is the sister location to the one in Boreum Hill. It’s best known for its amazing bagels(flown in from Montreal, proper), poutine and roast beef sandwiches. I’d never been to the location in Brooklyn, because, well it’s in Brooklyn and we all know my disposition for going to Brooklyn. Since this location opened, I’ve been, twice. It’s that freaking good. Twice. I even brought my workmates with me the second time. They all loved it too.

I got the smoked meat deluxe package, which came with a sandwich, fries, coleslaw and a pickle. And not just any pickle, but quite possibly one of the best pickles I’ve ever had. Sandwich was just ready to explode it had so much meat in it. Tasty, juicy and just perfectly seasoned. Just enough bread, with the right amount of spicy mustard dabbed on. Fries were delicious and just crisped to the right spot. Even the coleslaw, which I usually hate, was delicious. It was a little pricey, about $18, but totally hit the spot. I know, I know, purest will say that there are places that are better. But to be honest, I lived a block away from Katz’s for 6 years and never, ever wanted to go in there. Not once. Those sandwiches which are so big you can’t eat it all in one sitting, not for me.

This was impressive and just the perfect amount of food and seriously tasty to boot. Overall, a great new spot that I will visit again and again, especially to try the Grandpa sandwich and the poutine. Incredibly friendly staff, they even gave me some meat scraps for Lulu(yeah, that’s a plus). Nice looking location, but no seats, which I thought was a little weird. The menu is expansive and has lots and lots to try. If you’re in the hood, check it out. Definitely worthy of a visit or two, or even three.

Make me an offer that I can’t refuse
Last week, I hit up the new St. Marks spot, Proletariat. It’s pretty cool that it’s located at the back of a cupcake shop. It had been billed as a place with rare, new and notable beers. It didn’t disappoint. They had 12 beers on tap, 30+ in bottles, and a couple of beer cocktails, Edward Forty Hands and Brooklyn Squall. I tried both and they were fantastic. One made with Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout. I had a couple different beers, most notably the Mikkeller Room 603, Carton’s amazing Boat Beer, which I could drink all day long. Also was able to try a fantastic brown ale from White Birch, the Tavern Ale and the Hofstetten Kubelbier.

It’s a great spot. Tiny and cozy, with only 10 seats total. The beer board is this awesome copper board with magnetic letters spelling out the draft list. The night I was there, it was packed to the gills with probably about 25 people in the cramped beer little heaven. But it was worth it, great beers, great cocktails and hey, if you get hungry, head up to the front and grab some cupcakes. The only warning, for those shoddy people that don’t drink beer, this establishment, only serves beer and the beer cocktails. If your company needs a cocktail, take them to Death and Company, the owners other location, which makes sick cocktails and is quite possibly one of the best date spots in all of this lovely city. Our buddy Chris does a much better write up at his site, BrewYork, NY. So just read that to get the full scoop.

Listening Pile:
Body Language – Sandwiches.
I mean, come on, does this one need an explanation. It’s a hot dance jam, by a fantastic up and coming Brooklyn band. It’s also about doing it, but you know, they used sandwich metaphors and all. Sneaky.

I’ve got depth of perception in my text y’all

Wow, what a week. I’m very sorry I haven’t written anything on here, in ages. Life gets in the way of progress, right? But I’ve been thinking about mortality a lot the last few days with Junior Seau’s passing. I’ve been thinking about living life to its fullest. Living life, enjoying life, breathing life the way Junior Seau did while we watched him go from sideline to sideline. I remember thinking, there is no one that is having as much fun as him playing the game. No one.

Now years, later we learned that for all that flying around, and there was a lot of flying around, I mean, he makes Troy Polamalu look pedestrian, there was a lot of damage he took, that we probably never knew about. I hope his death doesn’t come in vein. I hope that if he did suffer from brain trauma brought on by that fearless style of play, his case helps others get through theirs. I loved watching you bro and will always remember that spirit.  Cheers to you in the afterlife.

And…as I was thinking about that I got the news that Adam Yauch, MCA, from the Beastie Boys had passed. This on top of the news last night that one of my favorite baseball players of all time’s, Mariano Rivera’s, career may be over. Just makes me sick today. Literally, I almost threw up in the bathroom earlier today. Mo, you were legendary. The Greatest Of All Time, without a single doubt. I hope it’s not the end, but if it is, you’ve had an amazing ride and I’m glad I got to come along for the journey.

But now, I’m sitting here thinking about all the times I’ve had with MCA and the Beastie Boys. Great times with great friends. I think you’d be hard pressed to find that some part of your life hasn’t been touched by the Beastie Boys. They impacted culture, hip hop, punk rock, lifestyle, sports, video making and recently activism.

For me, the moment I know they changed my life was seeing the video for Whatcha Want. It was life changing. The video with the weird grainy, pixelated footage of them jumping around a park. Think about that video for a second. They literally made being a nerd, being alienated and being punk rock, cool. They gave nerdy white dudes swag. Vintage t-shirts, plaid shirts, vans, dickies and wool caps haven’t been the same since. That video literally formed the way I would dress for the next twenty years. That was literally the moment that I said, you know what, fuck it. I’m gonna be me. I’m gonna do shit my way. I’m not gonna give in to the other bullshit people are doing. And for that, I’m thankful. And for that, I’m going to miss Adam Yauch, aka MCA, the illest.

(by the way, if anyone ever finds that Knicks ringer tee, hook a brother up. been pimping for one, for twenty years)

So, til next time, you know. Before we get back to regular scheduled programming, just want to leave you with this. I started this website to talk about food, beer, the Yankees, my dog, music and whatever else I was passionate and happy about at the moment. So, whatever your thing is, whether it be food, antique pillows, beer, hello kitty, basketball or whatever. Love it. Enjoy it. Breathe it.

As a wise man once said, “Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”

Cheers,

-fred