New York City Trip – Summer 2011

This past weekend we hit-up New York City for a mini vacation. We did a TON of stuff, much of which was centered around eating and drinking. Below is a picture recap of our trip. We actually did a lot more than shown in the photos…I wanted to zero in on the beer related “stuff”.

Within a few hours of being in the city, a good sign…craft beer truck!

Killing time before dinner we hit up Gobo. Vegetarian restaurant with AWESOME food. All but two items on the menu are vegan or can be made vegan.

Melissa got a sake watermelon thingy.

And I got a Lammsbrau Organic Pilsner. Golden in color. Very sweet for a Pilsner…so much so that I would have never guessed the style in a taste test. Love the label and the picture of the lamb. It was good enough for me to have two bottles (at $8 a bottle).

We went to a stand up show that evening. 4 comedians, two hilarious, two just so-so. I drank $12 Captain and Cokes as they had one of those annoying drink minimums.

Best bagels on the planet from Ess-a-Bagel. Had these every morning.

While walking around in the 90+ degree heat on Saturday we kept having to duck into bars to cool down. Firefly was one of the first stops.

I sucked down two pints of Blue Point Summer Ale. I barely tasted it and didn’t take any notes. I do remember this: it was very refreshing and was just what the doctor ordered for such a hot day!

The next pit stop was Mexican Radio. A fun bar and restaurant with many vegan options!

It’s a Mexican joint, so I had no choice but to get a Dos Equis….sweet nectar of the Mexican Gods.

Speaking of Gods…later as we walked around the pissing Gods frowned upon me and my 8-year-old-girlish-bladder. We made a b-line to the nearest public bathroom and found Cafe Noir, a Spanish Tapas bar. We had some bread and olive oil, but otherwise didn’t check out the menu.

The beer selection was limited, but I found this Kronenbourg 1664 beer that I had never seen before. It was sweet and smooth with essentially no bitter aftertaste. Good stuff. I was surprised I had never heard of it before.

Later that night we found ourselves a few blocks from our hotel at the Perfect Pint. We had been looking for the Hofbrau House and epically failed…on the walk home from the Perfect Pint we saw HB about 1/2 block away.

It was all good though, because I got to get Yuengling on draft.

On Saturday we found a vendor selling T-shirts made from old 80s sheets. They had all the classics – He Man, Smurfs, etc. I picked up this bad-boy as I had the Star Wars sheets as a kid. One of a kind T-shirt for the win baby!

We hit up two museums while we were in NYC. The Museum of Modern Art was way cool with a TON of Picasso works as well as the ever famous Starry Night by Van Gogh. If you’re headed there, start at floor #6 and work down. All the awesome crap is on #5.

We also visited the Museum of Natural History. I wanted to go see the dinosaurs, which indeed was way cool. The rest of the museum sucked as far as I was concerned. I was hoping for some really cool space exhibits and they came up short. The Museum of Science in Boston has much better stuff (sans Dinos).

A twitter friend had recommended we go to Eataly if we had time. Sunday afternoon we were walking by and in need of air conditioning, so we stopped in. The place was a zoo. It has both restaurants and grocery shopping all in the same space. Tough to describe. Tons of eating options if you are hungry and in that area of town.

They are working at building up their craft beer selection. Here is a sample of what they offer.

They also have a roof-top brewery and bar. It’s kinda wacky as you check in down in the main Eataly area and then take an elevator to the 14th floor to get up there. I went up there to get a drink but turned around – standing room only and WAY too hot up there. They need to add water misters to their fans!

Next stop was the Museum of Sex. I was trying to learn something about this “sex” thing I’ve heard so much about…

But all I learned was that Panda’s look funny when they hump.

Sunday afternoon we really started to get worn down. We had walked all over the city the last couple of days and the sun was brutal. Heartland Brewery was close to the Museum of Sex…

I tried their sampler. The menu claimed it was 6 of their flagship beers plus one seasonal. The sampler showed up with 8 samples and no “decoder ring” to tell me what I was drinking. Mega fail on their part.

I took no notes because I had no idea what I was drinking. The only discernible one was their summer seasonal which was apricot based…and MAN did it taste like apricots.

I will say that in general their beers are very mild. Hop heads would be disappointed. Craft beer newbies and those of us (like me) who appreciate really well balanced brew would be happy with the selection.

Sunday night was drawing to a close. I purposely lined us up so that on the way home we would go by Rattle and Hum craft beer bar.

I was still in the mood for light and summery beer and first tried the Mermaid Pilsner from Coney Island Brewing. The bartender and two guests recommended it. The taste was long and mildly bitter (piney). A super smooth pilsner. Good, but not great.

Next up was the Rooster Fish Hefeweizen. I gave this one a try because I had not heard of Rooster Fish (a NY based brewery).

It was a crazy Hefe…banana and clover smell and flavor up the wazoo. It tasted way more like a Belgian than a Hefe to me. Regardless, it was still quite tasty.

Rattle & Hum has a whole wall of brewer signatures…pretty cool.

Overall it’s a fantastic place to go for craft beer, although the clientele is clearly 90% beer geeks. In fact, I bet it’s a good place to go to study the beer douche. Note that I’m not knocking the bar for this…it comes with the territory.

New York City is an AWEOMSE place for beer and an even better place for food, particularly vegetarian and vegan options. Melissa and I are already planning another trip, ETA next spring.

What food or beer spots did I miss that are must-visits for the next visit?

In this post I included only a tiny subset of the pictures I took. If you want to see the full blown slideshow, see below or click here.


Author: Joshua Dion

I write about beer in an un-intimidating way, welcoming beer lovers of all experience levels.