ultimate showdown: brooklyn v. long island (surprising results!)

19 Feb

Blogger’s Note: Yesterday I was approached by a reader who commended me on how well I communicate how miserable I find most things in life, including everyone I know. “That’s how you see me? But I’m so happy-go-lucky!!! I like road trips and the Olsen twins and the color pink!!” So I have declared this coming week (as in, starting tomorrow)Sunshine Week.During Sunshine Week I’ll only be writing Shiny Happy Shit, unless someone does something unnecessarily irritating like have ugly shoes or send back a martini because it’s too strong, in which case I can’t make any promises. I’m going to try and focus on the people who have made my life a better place. Like that guy who changed my flat tire this summer at the park when I was with Riley and didn’t have my AAA card or cell reception or the ability to change the tire myself. Sir, I don’t know where you are, but I appreciate you! I hope you’re reading this because I think about you all the time! Ok, anyway, positivity doesn’t start ’til tomorrow…

Today Riley and I went to Williamsburg to visit with my sister-in-law’s sister (what do you call that? We can’t decide) Missy and her girlfriend Bethany who are hipsters to the core. Like so hipster that brew their own moonshine in their apartment and split pairs of shoes from the thrift store with their across the hall neighbors. Ok, that’s a complete exaggeration but let’s just say that all their friends we ran into were wearing bowler hats and vintage fishnets and assorted body piercings, and they were smoking hand rolled organic cigarettes most likely farmed on the rooftop of their apartments. Riley dressed the part in Harajuku Mini slip-on sneakers that say “I Love Nerds” and skinny jeans and a side braid, but was nonetheless accused of not enjoying hipster music, which really pissed me off because I think she has like totally openminded taste and is definitely hipper than many other babies her age. Additionally, at work the other night one of my waitresses INSISTED that I am the most hipster person at work. I wanted to tell the so bad, but I felt like identifying myself as one is exactly the oposite  of being one. So I refrained. My Manhattanite brother Brad (who smartly does not participate in the family business) and his adorable yet terrifying-because-she’s-a-lawyer wife Jen joined us even though they are not hipsters either (we’ll debate Upper West Side vs. Brooklyn another day, although I think Brad and Jen can tell you here and now that UWS wins against ANYBODY).

The music accusation got me thinking about how cool hipsters think they are, and even though we all live on one happy island, they’re total haters of all things east of them. So I decided to compare the two worlds the best way I know how. Through food. The following are my dining experiences today:

  1. Loreley Restaurant & Biergarten – Williamsburg, Brooklyn – Yes, we brought a baby to a biergarten. Missy explained that this would be the most accommodating for a stroller, because nobody really goes there for brunch (Red flag? No, not us!). Riley’s stroller is the size of a small tractor trailer, so I was down for whatever if it was spacious and on the ground floor. The menu was (obviously) in German, and there was only 1 tv, which was really annoying because the Knicks were playing at the same time as Syracuse and I didn’t want to disturb those Linsanity people by asking them to change it but luckily in Brooklyn people are way too cool for basketball, so nobody cared that I asked for NCAA instead of NBA. Missy told us that they have really good potato pancakes (Naturally, we Jews have quite high standards so I was trusting). We ordered with the barmaid/waitress by pointing because none of us speak German, and settled in with our coffees and waters and Missy got denied her bloody mary because they were “out of mix” but then suddenly Barmaid found one so everything was good. Riley provided comedic entertainment (my brother sent work emails and I watched the hipsters. I mean the game.) to Jen, Bethany and Missy by spilling glasses of water, and shaking Splenda packets until they opened and poured onto the table, and dancing to the hipster music. She did this for over an hour. Because our brunch decided that it didn’t want to make an appearance. We spend 20 more minutes making jokes about Brooklyn being so cool that they don’t have to serve food for a restaurant to stay in business, and that they only had one pan in the back so it just takes a really long time to serve 6 people, and then, after 1 hour and 30 minutes, we got up and left with heavy hearts and empty bellies. “Is it still brunch if there’s no food?” Jen pondered. Brooklyn was not showing us the love thus far.
  2. The Bedford – Williamsburg, Brooklyn – A short schlep later, we found ourselves at this cute, typical little spot and we immediately noticed 2 things that Loreley didn’t offer us: high chairs and food on people’s tables. So we were down. We ordered in about 45 seconds. Me, Brad and Jen ordered Huevos Rancheros. We all figured that because the list of ingredients was the longest, it would be the most food. I got Bluebery Pancakes for Riley because I didn’t think eggs would be enough for me (The key to parenting is getting to eat your kid’s leftovers). I ordered an iced tea. Life (and Brooklyn) was good. For 2 minutes, when the waitress came back to tell me that they ran out of the iced tea. “Do you have hot tea?” I asked. “Yes!” “Do you have ice?” “Yes!” “Just making sure. I’ll have a Diet Coke.” She returned with a brown semi-fizzy liquid that tasted like booze. Missy said they prob brew it in the basement. Fucking hipsters. We all cheered when the food hit the table until we had the chance to look at it. The Huevos Rancheros were about the size of Riley’s palm, and maybe 1/4″ high. It was one litle tortilla, 5 black beans, one egg over easy and a puddle of salsa. Jen scowled. Brad started to cry. I almost got sad but remembered the pancakes. Riley was the only satisfied customer because Missy gave her 2 olives out of her bloody mary and ate a radish off of Bethany’s plate. And so went “The Great Brunch Debacle of 2012….”

    blueberry pancakes.

  3. Dixie’s Smokehouse – Kings Park, Long Island – I’m not going to lie when I say that I was really nervous for another fail of a meal. Especially because the dining scene on the Island as compared to hip hip hip Williamsburg is pretty dire. Me and Riley met up with Harry and Charlie at this little hole in the wall BBQ place and when we were told that there was a 30 minute wait, we sadly retreated to the car. But then we realized that it smelled REALLY GOOD in there, so we went back in. The owner noticed. “Thank you so much for coming back!” A table got up and 5 employees dashed to clear it off and clean it for us. We felt like VIPs. I mean, we are VIPs, but I thought that was more of a secret than a known fact. We ordered one of everything on the menu, and it came fast, and Harry’s Diet Coke tasted normal, and they weren’t out of iced tea (the lemon slice was a little chinsy but you can’t have it all). The brisket was smokey and the mac was cheesey and the coleslaw had the best juice for dipping Harry’s waffle fries in and while it’s possible that an afternoon in Brooklyn completely lowered my standards, I think we had a really really good dinner.

The so moral of the story is, Missy, Bethany, Brad and Jen, it’s my turn to choose where we have brunch next. And maybe Long Island isn’t as shitty as it seems.

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