January 30th 2011 We’re All Brooklyneers
Do you love Manhattan, but sometimes long for the true Brooklyn experience? If you’re one of the many button-down corporate Manhattanites who pine for the carefree bohemian culture of their neighbor to the southeast, then The Brooklyneer, located in the sunny West Village, may quickly become your next hotspot to discuss your latest acquisition of E-Minis at below-market value.
Thursday night I took a stroll down to Houston Street with some coworkers to get a sampling of Brooklyn. The bar was dark and crowded, and the music blared so loudly you couldn’t hear anyone talking more than two feet away from you. In other words, it was kind of like a typical bar in Williamsburg (although the back of the bar was more Jersey Shore than bohemian). I ordered a few Brooklyn lagers, just so I could get a taste of Brooklyn. Ironically, one of my coworkers, a resident of Carroll Gardens, had a couple Manhattans. Let me briefly recap his day: He traveled from his apartment in Brooklyn to our office in Manhattan, then went to a Brooklyn-themed bar so he could drink a Manhattan.
The menu features items named for the various Brooklyn neighborhoods: Caroll Gardens Meatballs, Bushwick Tacos, and a Greenpoint Sandwich; Red Hook, Sunset Park, and Williamsburg sliders; and hot dogs from Mile End. Unfortunately, there was nothing from my neighborhood, Brooklyn Heights (but if there were, I assume it would be made from white meat). I thought about getting Williamsburg sliders, but I feared they’d come served with a 70s porn mustache and a five-foot bicycle, so I got a Brooklyneer (Hot) Dog instead. And it was delicious. Growing up, my family mostly ate hot dogs, mac ’n’ cheese, and Steak-umms, so I consider myself to be a hot dog connoisseur. The secret to The Brooklyneer’s hot dog success? The relish. And I usually don’t even like relish. Thursday night, I ate like a king (albeit one on a budget). I’d be remiss, too, if I failed to mention the Patatas Arrugadas. The recipe is simple—baby potatoes boiled in lemon rosemary aioli and enough salt to keep you drinking the rest of the night—but the synergistic combination of ingredients yields a palatable product that, in and of itself, is enough to keep you coming back.
When The Brooklyneer opened in November, Gothamist questioned whether it was obnoxious to open a Brooklyn-themed bar in the Village. I didn’t think a Brooklynesque bar was obnoxious—just silly. And while it sometimes seemed that the owners were trying a bit too hard to create a Brooklyn atmosphere (even the bar was made from part of the Coney Island boardwalk), the decor lent a sort of quaint vibe to the bar that I found welcoming (even though it didn’t exactly remind me of home). Were I the sort of writer that gave out chintzy stars that mean nothing, I'd probably give The Brooklyneer 3 ½ out of 5.