Tag Archives: Williamsburg

Bedford Cheese Shop

21 Jul

Part Parisian fromagerie and part hipster hang-out, Bedford Cheese Shop is the ultimate cravings-buster for dedicated Brooklyn turophiles, and a tear-jerker to boot…  It’ll have you weeping with gratitude — all over the French pastilles and black, Venezualan chocolate.

Nestled nookily on the corner of North 4th Street, Bedford Cheese Shop is a treasure trove of imported and local hand-made gourmet treats, housing a rather breathtaking bevy of high-grade international cheeses.

Pastel pink packets of caramels, glass bottles of proper English worcestshire, and boxes of crisp German spice cookies line the shop’s walls.  Faded floorboards creak amicably if one kneels to search for Vegimite.* Scores of crusty fresh baguettes poke their heads out of wooden market boxes, and the whole shop is fragrant with Spanish chorizo and smoky saucisson.

The staff are old-fashioned cheese people who not only know their Morbier from their Gruyere (duh) but also know the best things to pop under, smoosh on top or wrap around each cheesey wonder.  Best news: this fromagerie is all about the sampling! But rumour has it you SHOULDN’T bring, and then open, a bottle of wine while you’re doing that.

Let’s cut to the chase. Here’s what’s delicious: their dense Hoch Ybrig.  Their creamy Clochette. Their zesty, sheepy Crozier.  Their pickle selection.  Their hoodies.

If you like your dairy digital, you can even browse their cheese portfolio ONLINE. You should. And someone should also snap up that Chris. His words are as tasty as his Chabichou.

* Calm down, they’re out of stock til next month.

Featured image from Paper and String, last image from Raymond Adams.


Margo Patisserie

15 Jul

I don’t want to even write about this. I don’t want to give you the gift that is Margo Patisserie.  I don’t want you to steal one of the four tables that are perfectly sized for scribbly notebooks and a laptop and a buttery, flakey almond croissant and a really-much-better-than-average iced coffee.

I don’t want you to know about the sunshine that pours in the big street-facing windows but doesn’t get in your eyes, or the barista’s excellent taste in music, or the fact that the wifi is free and that every half an hour someone comes in asking for directions in that deliciously awkward way.  Most of all I don’t want you to get the last raspberry tart.

I love you but please don’t come here.

Photos from Yelp.

It Socks to be Lonely

7 Jul

Is this the doing of Carine? Or just another Williamsburg soon-to-be-famous street artist?  Either way – brilliant.

East River Park

5 Jul

So you like Kid Cudi.  And you have an extra $60 you want to sling my way.  Thanks, friend!  I’m booking a ticket to THIS!

It’s ok, I understand your cash MAY not reach me in time.  And that’s fine.  East River Park is lovely — with or without crowd surfing and dirty beats and hot, hot rapping.

Waterfronty, green, pretty much deserted on weekday mornings — this is the best-kept secret garden in New York.  (Largely thanks to the numerous groundsmen tearing around on their John Deer four-wheelers.)

Sure, the park is girt* by construction work, and the fences and divisions seem to shift in the night, but I can’t think of a finer place to lawn-laze and sip an iced coffee.

In summary: picnic tables, sprinklers, and views of the Manhattan skyline make for a pretty sweet Sunday afternoon.  Throw 60 big ones into the mix though and you’ve got yourself park heaven.


*Definitely the first time I’ve used that in a sentence.  Who knew the Australian national anthem was such a mine of linguistic treasures?

Top image from Freewilliamsburg.


10 Jun

Is it ok to write about a place when you’ve only tried one, very delicious item from their menu?


What if it’s the cheapest thing in the whole place?

Definitely not.


Well… maybe.  But only if you’ve eaten it twice.  No, THREE TIMES. No, three times in THREE DAYS.

In that case, shut up.  Pop’s is the best vendor of BLTs in the whole land.  Yes, I’ve tried the BLTs at Redleaf.  And the ones at the Russian River Microbrewery – I think the river views might have made the bacon seem juicier there, by the way.  I hear a place in Port Douglas does a brilliant crispy-bacon version too.  But I’m just going to say it: Pop’s BLTs are better than the ones mum used to make for the F1 final.  (That’s a normal family tradition, right?)

As we all know, BLTS are the easy lover you can call on day or night and, seemingly, there’s not a lot more to the acronym than meets the eye.  But to explain the culinary genius behind Pop’s creation is to diminish it, and so I won’t.  All I’ll say is: chipotle mayonaise. It’s so good it’ll make you want to have imaginary conversations with yourself.

To get your hands on one of these tasty, meal time bridge-gappers, it’s imperative to ignore the nerdy, bearded white guys awkwardly bopping to the (admittedly kind of cool) beats oozing from their customized playlists — they might put you off your food.  Keep your eye on the bacon, my friend.  It’s worth it.

Pop’s has other stuff on the chalkboard too like chilli dogs and cheese fries and hefty angus burgers.  But for a sensual $2.75, why would anyone stray from the BLT?  It’ll love you back.  Thrice over.

Pop’s, 167 North 8th Street, Brooklyn.  (718-486-3663)
BLT image from Good Magazine

Nita Nita

6 Jun

Phew. For Nita Nita I can be totally well brought-up and only say nice things.

Anyone who brings me a warm bowl of smashed sweet potato with tiny chunks of hot chorizo stirred through it gooely is going to be my friend.  But someone bringing that to me while I’m sipping a g&t in a big courtyard – that feels more garden than court – with loops of fairy lights blinking quietly in the trees could well be my soulmate.  Well, maybe.

Perhaps we should introduce ourselves.

I’m Caroline.  And Nita Nita is smack bang on the corner of Wythe and North 8th in Williamsburg.  Somehow it feels properly hidden – maybe because the streetfront looks like the entrance to a seedy, don’t-tell-your-dad-you-were-here type bistro.  Inside everything’s neat and tidy in that endearingly shabby way. (Like the pair of runners you’ve had since high school, but a touch more aromatic.)

So skip the polished wooden tables tucked under the back window and sneak your way outside.  Grab that table where the people are drinking ice and looking packy-uppy.  Probably order that Southampton IPA because it sounds fancy and is only five bucks.  Try to eavesdrop on those French chicks.  See how there’s a baby here, but only ONE baby?  That’s a good sign: only hip mommas drink here.

But stop, more about the food.  Like the perfectly rare slices of spiced Asian beef – so juicy and garnished with just enough pickled chilli to make you want to suck all the flavour inside out.  Or the hefty cheese boards with hunks of creamy, oozey, stinkily perfect camembert.

Yeah it’s a tapas bar but they make the rules: and so mac cheese gets a look-in.  It’s smooshed into a cutesy individual terracotta bowl though and actually smells like quite delicious food.

I heard a rumour that they do a killer hangover breakfast as well.  Just in case you need an excuse for another drink tonight – and fancy meeting your potential soul mate in the morning.

Just saying.

Nita Nita, 146 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn 11211. (388-5328)

Image courtesy of Eater.

Oslo Coffee Roasters

5 Jun

Is there anything to hate about a cafe with this on the wall?

Not really.   This little number is called ‘1000 paper hearts for Japan’ and was created by the people of Williamsburg North School. The short ones I mean. The ones that are about four years old.

It’s on the back wall at Oslo Coffee Roasters which is where my stylish friend Average Folk goes every weekend for his coffee.  Both days. It’s that good.

I joined a Sunday expedition to the Northside store on Roebling Street and I was the tiniest bit sceptical, given that some of the fancy coffee in Williamsburg actually tastes like tomato soup.  And also because Oslo is ugly orange brick and concrete outside and it was  sweating-under-your-sunglasses-rims hot.

But here’s what the coffee was: DELICIOUS.  And here’s what it was like inside:  LOVELY.

Probably the best thing about Oslo is that they’re not pretentious about their coffee, even though they roast it themselves and it’s socially and economically sustainable and buzzword buzzword buzzword.  The house blend, Thor, is solid and kind of tabacco-bitter but in a really soft drink-me-slowly way.  I had it on ice with milk and slurped it through a straw outside in the sunshine.

Average Folk had a cup of steaming hot Odin espresso blend.  Ballsy.

They have little pastry treats to nibble if you’re so inclined, but most people are in-and-out of here en route to the subway.  (The navy and white cups strewn all over Bedford station: testament.)

On an inside day you could sit around the wooden communal table and argue about the crossword. If you were alone you could press your nose against the giant windows and admire the people not curbing their dogs outside. Or admire the inside artwork like this.

It’s cool to be four.

Oslo Coffee Roasters, 133B Roebling Street, Brooklyn

Tai Thai

29 May

It’s no Thai La-Ong, but then again Bedford Avenue is no King Street.  So like finding one final milk dud in the box before you throw it out, it’s a nice little surprise to find some cheap and tasty Thai hidden amongst the hipster bars and vegan-fusion offerings in Williamsburg

Critics of Tai Thai take issue with its bizarre furnishings rather than its menu.  But both are eclectic: the majority of dishes on the menu here are ‘entrees’, but in fact are big enough to easily feed a hungry Australian, and the decor is a kitsch mix of Thai pop movie meomorabilia and Buddhist keepsakes.  If you prefer not to eat in a low-lit den of strange collectibles you can always sit outside.  Or go to the Manhatten one.

I’ve eaten my weight in cheap, dirty Thai and Tai Thai definitely goes one better.  The beef pad see eiw tasted mainly of fish sauce and, well, beef (rather than grease and MSG) and the chicken pad thai was hot and fresh, despite its stringy noodles.   Curries, stir-frys and all your favourite noodles make their appearances on the menu, and at about $10 each it doesn’t really matter how authentic they are, right?

Avoid the house wine – cheap beer is a better pairing with crispy sprouts anyway.  And while the waitresses may not earn the most enormous tip, Tai Thai’s excellent location make it a prime eavesdropping venue.  I mean people-watching.

Tai Thai

206 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211. P:  718-599-5556

Image: Eater

Sweet Streets

27 May

Just some fancy decorations about town.  Due to be defaced at any moment…

Maybe I need a proper lappy?

Hipster Traps

26 May

Yeah, it’s old news, but it’s still nice to feel protected.

I’ve lived in Williamsburg for a whole ten days and while I haven’t spotted one of these crafty traps yet, I can sleep much easier knowing that a skinny dude in a vintage cardigan is busting for one of those cigarettes.  Williamsburg has always been kind of a Biggie deal with some mainstream guidebooks going so far as to use the words “hotbed” and “crime.”  But liiiiiike everyone knows you can’t swing a Moleskin without knocking a soy chai out of some unemployed artist’s hands around here. Word.

Til I buy my own pair of oversized tortoiseshell glasses I can only wait for the metallic snap of the jaws around a skinny-jeaned leg on Bedford.  Alternatively I can accept that the whole thing is an ironic prank and hipsters really do Hate On Everyone, especially people who’ve been here ten days and say that they live here.

Image courtesy of new favourites Free Williamsburg