February 17, 2008

Day of Rest

Normally I shut down on Sundays. I get really stressed about going back to work on Monday, and I've never been able to shake my Catholic upbringing that trained me to tense up on Sunday. But when Sunday falls before a Monday off...well, that's another story.

I took a little extra time off this weekend so I really wanted to feel like I was on vacation, and make it count. I suggested we meet up in Brooklyn this Sunday afternoon, something I would normally be too tired or too stressed to do, but today was more than happy to hop on the G train to Greenpoint Ave. and check out some of the new establishments that have popped up near my first apartment in NYC circa 1997.

We settled on Black Rabbit to start, a beautifully-restored bar across from the live poultry slaughterhouse that serves a great selection of beer and some German- and English-friendly nibbles like Welsh rarebit fondue. Boy do I wish something like that existed when I lived on the block.

We then moved over to the Radegast Hall, the elusive Williamsburg-based beer garden that took forever to open but certainly delivers. Between the full kitchen and the quick-serve grill, the place emanates a delicious smell and has pretty reasonably-priced (and authentically-curated) German and Belgian beers. We marvelled at the size of the place and the Hungarian-borne appliances. I'm afraid to tell you how good the kielbasa was, especially washed down with some Spaten Oktoberfest and Hofbrauhaus Dunkel.

Across the street we stopped into The Levee where we binged on cheese balls and a beer/tequila combo called The Texas Two-Step which involved a bottle of Lone Star and a shot. But we were really only avoiding the inevitable: our maiden voyage to the Zombie Hut, a mere car service ride away in Carroll Gardens, ish.

flaming Tiki Torch shots

We managed to drink a frozen zombie cocktail in a big bowl built for four AND order a round of Tiki Torch shots (which involve setting the bar on fire and roasting marshmallows) before going across the street to the Cubana Cafe for dinner and then going BACK to the Zombie Hut for more. As far as tiki bars go, this one is pretty good, but I have to say I was most entertained by winning several games of Connect Four, something not Polynesian but intoxicating nevertheless.

After twelve hours of drinking in Brooklyn I was lucky enough to catch a cab home to Manhattan for only $20, with an intense feeling of satisfaction for the day I've had. Good friends, lots of laughs, delicious food, and an excursion that really felt like an event. I love long weekends!

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