In the mystical land of Brooklyn, there lie many foreign and exotic kinds of food and drink. These delicacies are sought after by the bravest of adventurers for one does not simply walk into Brooklyn. The land is separated by a vast uncharted sea and populated by Brooklnites, a strange tribe of people who have great influence on what is fashionable in the civilized world. For those who manage to make a successful voyage to Brooklyn unharmed, its treasures are there for the taking. For those who can’t brave the journey, there is The Brooklyneer.
All joking aside, it’s more than just a little bit silly to make bar themed after another borough, especially one that can be reached within 30 minutes using the subway. The Brooklyneer, located on 220 West Houston St, is a Brooklyn themed bar. In many ways, the place feels like it might be something you’d find in the Universal Studios theme park. However, once you get past the gimmicky nature of the place, there lays a pretty decent place to chill. The interior design is interesting. It is reminiscent of some of the many chic bars you’d find in Williamsburg and they went so far as to even use some of the wood that is from the Coney Island boardwalk.
Depending on the night you go, you could either be listening to a DJ playing club hits or listening to very relaxing smooth music. The first time I visited The Brooklyneer, I was dismayed because the kitchen was closed at the time. Between 1 and 4am the chefs get off of work and the place becomes a full-fledged bar complete with singles trying to hook up. The two chicks I was with pointed out that although the music supported dancing, the space did not and I agreed. The cozy space was not meant for partying à la Ke$ha, however, this was the Saturday night crowd and I suppose they were trying to accommodate for that.
I came back the next night, a Sunday night. Now the atmosphere had changed quite a bit. Things were slow and low key. It was so slow in fact that the bartender, Dylan was happy to personally serve me. Dylan with his French mustache and interesting attire had the appearance of a Williamsburg hipster. I couldn’t help but wonder if that was a job requirement or if he dressed like he did all the time.
For my first course, I ordered the Sunset Park sliders. My tongue was first greeted by fresh, oven toasted bread that was warm and soft. As I bit deeper, the tender, moist pulled pork and ham said hello in the juiciest way imaginable. The warm melted gruyere arrived between my tongue and the meats and gave everyone a nice big group hug. Then the spicy mayo showed up and lit its fireworks inside my mouth turning up the heat quite a bit. I finished it off with the crisp cucumber slice that the sliders come with. It was simple and fresh and although it did take a while to arrive at my table after I ordered it, it was well worth the wait.
I had to make sure that the quality was consistent across the menu so after finishing the sliders, I ordered a chili dog which just happened to also be the special that night. Like before, the order took a bit of time to arrive and like before, the bread was fresh, soft, oven toasted and the veggies were so green, you’d think they had a garden in the back. This time around the meat was a different kind of animal literally and figuratively, they use oven-toasted Mile-End all beef hotdogs. While some dogs can only play dead, what I bit into knew more tricks than there are sex positions in the Kama Sutra.
To drink, I ordered the house lager, named The Brooklyneer. It’s the cheapest drink on the menu and for an interesting reason, it’s brewed in Pennsylvania. Unlike the food, the drink isn’t anything special. It isn’t terrible by any means but it also doesn’t stand out. If you just want to have something to wash your food down and get a bit tipsy at the same time, it does the job well enough. Connoisseurs of alcoholic beverages most likely will order many of the other quality drinks on the menu though.
The Brooklyneer is a nice little spot for those who are too lazy to travel across Brooklyn to find the best eats. Though the theme is a gimmick, the food and friendly service are not.