eat. shop. love. nyc.

Where to refill your growlers in NYC
March 4, 2010, 11:05 am
Filed under: Drink | Tags: , ,

I am a somewhat recent convert to the brotherhood of beer appreciation (I didn’t drink or really enjoy beer until a year or two out of college), so perhaps my relatively newfound love for the bubbly brew has made me disproportionately enthusiastic about the concept of filling up a 64 oz. growler. I bought a growler from Whole Foods, but it’s been difficult to find other places that will let me bring my growler in and fill it up in case I don’t want what’s on tap at WF, or I want to taste before I buy. This is why I’ve put together a list of places in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn where you can refill your growlers to your heart’s content. Enjoy, beer brethren. (I can say that, right? Even if I don’t have a penis?) In no particular order:

  1. New Beer Distributors (LES) 167 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002. (212) 473-8757
  2. Belgian Room (East Village) 125 St Mark’s Place, Manhattan, NY 10009. (212) 533-4467
  3. Good Beer (East Village) 422 E 9th St between 1st and A, New York, NY 10009.
  4. Whole Foods Market (LES/SoHo) 95 E Houston St at Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002. (212) 420-1320
  5. Whole Foods Market (Tribeca) 270 Greenwich St., New York, NY 10079. (212) 349-6555
  6. L’Asso (Nolita) 192 Mott St. between Kenmare & Spring, New York, NY 10012. (212) 219-2353
  7. Blind Tiger Ale House (West Village) 281 Bleecker St. at Jones St., New York, NY. (212) 462-4682
  8. Chelsea Brewing Company (Chelsea) 59 Chelsea Piers, New York, NY 10011-1008. (212) 336-6440
  9. The Ginger Man (Murray Hill) 11 E 36th St, New York, NY 10016. (212) 532-3740
  10. Rattle ‘n’ Hum (Murray Hill) 14 East 33rd Street, NY (212) 481-1586
  11. Brouwerij Lane (Greenpoint) 78 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
  12. South 4th Bar and Café (Williamsburg) 90 S 4th St., Brooklyn, NY 11211. (718) 218-7478
  13. American Beer Distributing and Thrifty Beverage Center (Brooklyn) 256 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231. (718) 875-0226
  14. Pacific Standard Brooklyn (Park Slope, Gowanus) 82 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217. (718) 858-1951
  15. Bierkraft (Park Slope) 191 Fifth Avenue at Berkeley Place, Brooklyn, NY. (718) 230-7600
  16. Brooklyn Beer and Soda (Prospect Heights) 648 Washington Avenue at Dean Street, Brooklyn, NY. (718) 622-8800
  17. The Brazen Head (Cobble Hill) 228 Atlantic Avenue (Court Street), Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, (718) 488-0430
  18. Marlow & Sons (Williamsburg)81 Broadway, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211. (718) 384-1441

THANK YOU to the commenters who helped me grow this list! By the way, L’Asso (Nolita) has specials on growler refills with any $20+ purchase of food/pizza. I went in on a Sunday and I think they were offering $5 growler refills, but you should call ahead because I’m not sure it’s a running special. You can also check Twitter: lassonyc for updates.


Tasty homemade pizza on a budget
February 26, 2010, 2:11 pm
Filed under: Cook, Eat | Tags: , , , , ,

Jilly brought over a pre-made DiGiorno crust, white truffle oil, shredded 4-cheese mix, herbed goat cheese, spinach, mushrooms, and some rosemary for a weekend potluck. The truffle oil was phenomenally aromatic and lent a rich, lingering earthiness to the pizza that made me feel especially grateful to be her friend that night. I made a promise to myself that night that I would (a) buy truffle oil and (b) make pizza at home. I haven’t yet done (a), but I’m working on it (meaning I’ve been researching online but haven’t been able to click the “buy” button for fear that I’ll soon discover some better version thereof and regret my clicker-happiness).

As for (b), did anyone else know that Whole Foods sells balls of frozen pizza dough in their frozen food section near the pre-made frozen pizza crusts? Anyone? Well I most certainly did not, and I was giddy to find that it’s just $1.69! Since I don’t have a standing mixer (no space in my teeny kitchen for it) and I’m not about to make the dough at home, I was delighted to find it for such a low price at WF. Plus, if guests come over, I can throw away the packaging and pretend I made it from scratch.

So I bought me some pizza dough, took it home, defrosted it, and prepared to make my first homemade pizza that did not come pre-rolled, pre-topped, and pre-packaged. Continue reading

Whole Foods wants a healthy workforce; so what?
January 28, 2010, 9:24 am
Filed under: Shop, Think | Tags: , , ,

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey recently sent out a letter to employees outlining a voluntary program whereby Whole Foods employees who don’t smoke, have low blood pressure and cholesterol, and maintain a BMI under 30 (a BMI above 30 is considered obese) would be eligible for discounts above and beyond the 20% already afforded to employees on groceries purchased at Whole Foods.

Of course, smokers eager to protect their lifestyle, folks genetically predisposed to high cholesterol or obesity, and those who can’t control their blood pressure are up in arms. They argue that the program is discriminatory. As for the public? The average Jane on the street is offended by what she deems an attack on fat people, a group to which she fears she belongs. The bleeding heart liberals in favor of universal health care are already riled up as it is after Mackey’s libertarian op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal. Smokers are probably pissed, but they already know smoking is bad for their health, and they’re also too cool to complain.

Why demonize Whole Foods for offering steeper discounts to employees who make an effort to be healthy? Let’s review the facts:

  1. All employees are still entitled to a 20% discount on their groceries. No one is taking that discount away from them, so it’s really remaining status quo.
  2. Employees who choose to enroll in the incentive program submit to biometric health screenings and can become eligible for steeper discounts based on their health: “platinum” level employees get 30% discounts; “gold” level employees get 27% off, silver level employees get 25%, and “bronze” level employees get 22% off. Those employees who choose not to enroll or do not meet the requirements even for the “bronze” level – they still get 20% off.
  3. It does not mean Whole Foods is going to stop hiring smokers, fat people, or those with clogged arteries.

This is an incentive program; if it works, then employees will try to make better choices in their lives (what they eat, how often they exercise, to quit smoking) that will allow them to move up from one health level to the next, saving money on groceries and, hopefully, also on health care. This doesn’t take money out of anyone’s pocket. It gives employees a reason to think twice about their decisions. Continue reading

Good beer at Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room
January 16, 2010, 9:00 am
Filed under: Drink, Go | Tags: , , , , , ,

[tweetmeme]Whole Foods Bowery has a giant beer room. At any given time, they have several different craft beers on tap, and those craft beers rotate daily/weekly, more or less whenever they run out. While you can’t get a pint for consumption in the beer room (it’s not a bar), you can refill your reusable 64- and 32-ounce growlers with whatever’s on tap. A growler (thanks for the definition to follow, Whole Foods) is a “glass container used for toting a rich delicious brew to and fro. For over 100 years people have been carrying beer home from their local pub in some form of the modern day growler. Theories abound about name origin — one accepted version is it comes from the sound the carbon dioxide makes when the vessel is opened.”

I bought a 64-ounce growler for $3.99 (I think the 32-ounce ones are $2.99) and decided to go with a chocolate espresso stout for my first refill. $9.99 for 64 ounces of a rich, complex beer that would normally run at way more than that bottled, and it tastes better from the draught. There were beers that ran as high as $27.99 for 64 ounces and as low as $4.99 for 32 ounces. Since Whole Foods is on my way to and from work, I intend to take my growler, whenever it is empty, to work with me, and bring a full one home with some new and exciting beer-of-the-week. It’s recommended that you finish your growler within 5 days of filling it.

Call ahead to find out what’s on draught: Bowery Beer Room 212.420.1320 ext. 249.

Bastardized (but easy peezy) tinga de pollo tacos
January 13, 2010, 8:39 am
Filed under: Cook, Eat | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

If you are a Mexican food purist and take issue with degrees of authenticity in cooking, please stop reading this post. You will be offended. If you are a Mexican food enthusiast and busy cook who is too exhausted and too hungry to do a whole lot of work after getting home from work, read on for my bastardized tinga de pollo (stewed chicken) taco recipe.

I first came across tinga de pollo in Mexico City at a quesadilla kiosk in Coyoacan on the Avenue Hidalgo. The chicken was moist, flavorful, and needed no cheese, served simply sandwiched between the halves of a pan-grilled corn tortilla. I fell in love at first bite.

When I returned to NYC, I vowed to recreate the best quesadilla of my life, but in taco form. I did a bit of research. Tinga is a general term that refers to any meat (beef, chicken, or pork) that is shredded and stewed in a spicy tomato sauce.  Tinga is Spanish for “chicken.” It can be served in warm tortillas as tacos, on tostadas, in quesadillas, or as a meal with a side of beans and/or rice and tortillas. Unfortunately, I found that stewing chicken and making salsa verde from scratch takes time, and I am not always in the mood to spend that time. (If you want to do this from scratch, click here for a great tinga de pollo tostada recipe.) I took some dramatic shortcuts, but the end result was still tasty and superfast, and it’s great for a weeknight build-your-own-taco dinner party. Recipe after the jump. Continue reading

Cooking classes at Whole Foods Bowery
January 11, 2010, 8:00 am
Filed under: Cook, Drink, Eat, Go | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I was really excited to discover a Korean cooking class by YouTube maven Maangchi at the Whole Foods Bowery Culinary Center on January 30th. I was then thoroughly disappointed to find that the class is sold out, but after viewing the menu, relieved because I already know how to make everything that’s being featured: multigrain rice, cabbage soup with dwenjang, bok choy kimchi, beef bulgogi, skewered pancake with crabmeat, and gyeranjjim (steamed egg side dish).

That said, I was also stoked to see the variety of cooking classes, lectures, tastings, and demonstrations offered at Whole Foods Bowery. Click here to see the full calendar of events. Here are my picks for January and February: Continue reading