February 2007

47 First Ave.
(btw’n 2nd and 3rd Streets)

East Village
(212) 473-6643


by Rachael Parenta

My preamble:

I am not Jesse Post. By that I mean I’m not some renowned Internet food critic from Brooklyn. Rather, I’m just your run-of-the-mill finicky eater/stand-up comedian from Brooklyn. Well, I was born in New Jersey but I live in Brooklyn now, just a few blocks from where my Great Aunt Ester and Great Uncle Jack resided a half a century ago. So am I gentrifier or am I merely reclaiming my roots? Exactly.

My point is that I don’t usually write about food. Usually, I date people for four to five weeks then spend two to three years telling jokes about them. The only time I write about food is when I use food in my poignant yet hysterical extended metaphors. (I have a great example where I talk about my relationship with the Chipwich.) However, there is a tiny eatery in the East Village that I enjoy so much it has inspired me to write and share with you.



If you love New York City restaurants (and I know you do) then I have some great news — finding the perfect night out just got a whole lot easier.

Without the right information at your disposal it can be very difficult to find the spot that perfectly suits your mood, or your date’s mood, or even what you’re hungry for at the moment. Your present procedure probably goes something like this:

  1. You visit All You Can Eat NYC, your favorite food blog, to get some tips.
  2. You have fun reading our lively ramblings but realize quickly that none of these recommendations are quite right.
  3. You try to look for places in CitySearch or (gasp!) the Zagat guide.
  4. You become frustrated because, while recommendations are made, you don’t quite have a feel for what it’s like to actually be in one of these joints.
  5. You flip a coin, pick a place with a few stars, cross your fingers, and hope for the best.

Your woes are over! Blog Soop is a clearinghouse for New York City food blogs (and we are legion). It’s as simple as can be:

  1. Search by neighborhood, restaurant name, or type of cuisine.
  2. Sort your search results by price, average rating, or number of reviews.
  3. Select a place you’re curious about and read through the plethora of hand-picked blog posts on the subject to your right.

The posts really are hand-picked, so you can rest assured that there is a good amount of quality control. You’ll find only the best, most informative NYC food writing here, at your fingertips in a few seconds flat. After a few posts you’ll know for sure whether that place is right for you. I’ve used it myself at least thrice since I discovered it a couple weeks ago, to great effect each time.

Thanks to Blog Soop for a great service, and thanks to you for visiting us and other area food blogs for your culinary informational needs — we’re here for you!

638 Bergen St.
(at Vanderbilt Ave.)
Prospect Heights
(718) 399-6855



In Brooklyn, we treat brunch as if it were a high holiday. In other parts of the country (even other parts of the city) brunch is kind of a novelty — maybe something to do on Mother’s Day or a pre- or post-birthday party. But here in America’s fourth-largest city it’s a birthright.

The basic tenets of the meal are just — sleep late, eat a big meal, maybe get a little tipsy, certainly work up a good caffeine buzz, read the paper slowly, talk loudly. It’s an elaborate and secular way to worship something we highly value: our day of rest.

But the execution of the meal fails often, probably because of the overkill. Though they shall remain nameless here, I’ve been burned by bad Brooklyn bruncheries who rush you along, skimp on the coffee, over-poach the eggs to the point where they fall off the plate and bounce, and generally treat the food like a no frills Restaurant Week version of their regular offerings.

This is all why I’m so attracted to Beast on the weekends. Not only do they offer up great food during brunch but they understand why we like brunch to begin with.


The Bourgeois Pig
124 MacDougal St.
(btw’n Minetta Ln. and West 3rd St.)
West Village
(212) 254-0575



In high school, my friends and I wasted many a weekend afternoon wandering around Greenwich Village trying to be cool. I don’t think any of us knew what we were looking for, but we were sure that this neighborhood was, for one reason or another, cool. It never occurred to us that, being underage, much of what might have been cool at that point was beyond our reach. After enough Saturdays walking up and down Bleecker Street, stopping into the same bookstores and drinking the same lattes and sitting on the same benches in Washington Square, we moved on. The punchline came when we turned 21 and found only abject lameness behind the now unlocked doors of downtown.

It’s a shame that this storied corner of our city has become a sort of French Quarter of backwards baseball caps and halfhearted debauchery. Real debauchery, after all, would come with a nice sense of style.

Considering the fact that I largely stay away from these parts, I’m especially grateful for accidentally finding what I was always looking for — a blink-or-you’ll-miss-it wine bar in the middle of MacDougal Street’s chaos. It was an astonishing Happy Hour that brought me in, but it’s the snacks that keep The Bourgeois Pig alive in my workday-hardened heart.