Mostly Brooklyn

I’ve been living in Manhattan for almost 4 years and I (mostly) love it. However, I’ve been spending more time in the outer boroughs lately – specifically Brooklyn. It’s been fun learning about the different neighborhoods – Brooklyn is technically still New York City, but it’s also very much it’s own town.

The weekend started in my harlem ‘hood with a visit to Levain Bakery, home of the 1/3 lb cookie. My favorite variety is the chocolate cookie with peanut butter chips – crispy on the outside, soft and gooey in the middle. I split the cookie with my running partner as a reward for finishing up a 6-mile run around Bay Ridge/Bensonhurst on Saturday afternoon. It was my first time hitting the roads since last weekend’s half-marathon and I felt pretty good.

If you live in NYC, you’ve gotta try this cookie.

After the run, I headed to the Gowanus section of Brooklyn for an event at the Bell House. Beer Advocate (a magazine/website about craft beer) held a “beer for beasts” fundraiser that benefited the New York Humane Society. Six Point Brewery offered 30 brew samples to the attendees and local food trucks Calexico and Pizzamoto served some of their street cart favorites.  I can’t think of a better way to spend my Saturday than drinking craft beer (yay!) and eating for a good cause.

I made sure to drink lots of herbal tea (and have a late night snack) before going to bed on Saturday – my trick for feeling good the next morning despite the beer!

For brunch, I headed to Ted & Honey in Cobble Hill. The atmosphere was cozy, warm, and (just a little!) chaotic. The menu featured a seasonally inspired selection of soups, sandwiches, teas, coffee, and baked goods. For my meal, I had an Arnold Palmer (1/2 lemonade, 1/2 iced tea) and winter BLT (bacon, lettuce, and oven roasted tomatoes).

I spent the remainder of the afternoon exploring downtown Brooklyn and running 8 miles at the gym (taking time off last week = re-energized Megan).

At an earlier hour than usual, I met some of my awesome blogger lady friends for dinner.

We’d been planning our attack for weeks – the pizza (and BYOB status) at Lucali is supposedly legendary, but unless you get there as soon as they open (or earlier…), you aren’t going to get in. But we don’t mess around when it comes to pizza, so by 5:59pm, the 5 of us were seated at a table inside the rustic Carrol Gardens pizza shop. Over two bottles of wine and two thin and crispy pies, we caught up on each others lives and devoured some of the most authentic Italian-Brooklyn pizza I’ve experienced.

Basil and artichoke pie:

We made our way back to the subway and eventually back to Manhattan, but I think know I’ll be back in this borough soon. I’ve got a lot left to explore – and most importantly, another crack at a 13.1 mile PR. Only 8 weeks till the Brooklyn half marathon!

Are you a fan of Brooklyn? Tell me where I should explore next!

  • That sounds so amazing, all of it! I haven’t yet been to Levain (even though there’s one on the UWS just a few blocks from me), so I’ll have to check it out. I was dying to go to Beers for Beasts though – great to at least hear about it secondhand! And count me in for some of that yummy pizza anytime.

  • If you haven’t hit the Brooklyn Brewery then that obviously is a must. There is great Thai food in Williamsburg. As for Bay Ridge, any self-respecting sweet tooth must stop into Jean Danet’s – it is a near religious experience. Peppinos in Park Slope or Bay Ridge is also great- really, you can’t go wrong with Italian food in Bay Ridge

  • That 1/3 lb. cookie looks amazing – I would totally pick the peanut butter chocolate one also! This post reminds me that I need to explore different parts of Boston – it’s not nearly as big as NY but there are still so many parts that I rarely (if ever) visit. It’s fun to explore new places in your own city!
    Any specific training plan for the Brooklyn half??

  • Kristan

    What did you think of Lucali’s? I LOVE it. The first time we went to the restaurant, the wait was so long so we had to spend 2 hours in a nearby wine bar. I don’t advise that if you want to remember how the pizza tastes. But the second time was much better. I’m clearly a Brooklyn fan so I have to second the Brooklyn Brewery comment. I also love Frankie’s 457 for Italian-American food. I also love Sarah’s face in the photo above.

  • AR

    I’m not sure what I enjoy more: the looks of the cookie or the pizza, or the look on Sarah’s face.

  • I am Sofa King hot.

  • But really, that pizza was awesome. One restaurant I really enjoyed was, ironically, Prime Meats. It has that speakeasy vibe that was so 2010, but still good food!

  • I need to try your advice to feel better after drinking!

  • I am always so incredibly jealous of all you NYC ladies! I would love to have so many awesome places around me!

  • sooooooooooo i’ve never been to brooklyn. but if i made a trip to the city we could explore together!

  • Sarah

    I’m from Brooklyn and I love it! It’s so hard going to school far away from the city. My favorite places in Brooklyn are Four and Twenty Blackbirds (on 3rd ave and 8th street) for the most delicious pies with butter laden crusts ever. Also in the summer I love to go to the Red Hook public pool. (It’s 54 meters wide and super cold and wonderful). In Williamsburg I love the artists and fleas flea market. And hanging out in Brooklyn Bridge Park/on fulton landing. There are Walt Whitman quotes all over the pier, which I love. Also, Louis Valentino park in Red Hook has a really beautiful view. And the Brooklyn Mercado, also in Red Hook. And Three Little Red hends in Park Slope for the absolute best muffins in the entire universe. Brooklyn is awesome!

  • Sarah

    I’m from Brooklyn and I love it! It’s so hard going to school far away from the city. My favorite places in Brooklyn are Four and Twenty Blackbirds (on 3rd ave and 8th street) for the most delicious pies with butter laden crusts ever. Also in the summer I love to go to the Red Hook public pool. (It’s 54 meters wide and super cold and wonderful). In Williamsburg I love the artists and fleas flea market. And hanging out in Brooklyn Bridge Park/on fulton landing. There are Walt Whitman quotes all over the pier, which I love. Also, Louis Valentino park in Red Hook has a really beautiful view. And the Brooklyn Mercado, also in Red Hook. And Three Little Red hends in Park Slope for the absolute best muffins in the entire universe. Brooklyn is awesome!

  • Sofia Frank

    Love Sarah’s face in the Lucali pic, and Brooklyn in general obviously. Though BT has influenced me into spending more time wining and dining in Manhattan, I do have some old park slope favorites from when I lived there – Rachel’s Taqueria (cheap but delicious Tex-Mex) Uncle Louie G’s ice cream, al di la (make a boy take you here!), pequena in fort Greene and prospect heights, and now in the ‘burg I’m loving Dumont. Hoping to try more Mexican out here in hipsterland because it’s supposed to be awwwesome. Enough BK restaurant talk for ya?? PS we must plan our 5 Burro date! Loved catching up, as always 🙂

  • I also love Sarah’s face in this pic. Such fun with you ladies on Sunday! I’m slowly learning that I like Brooklyn – so many different neighborhoods and spots to explore. And I can’t get over the quiet and calm Carroll Gardens felt like compared to my ‘hood in Manhattan. I don’t have advice on where you should explore next, but I’m happy to come along 🙂

  • never been to Brooklyn but a Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my fave books ever! 🙂 That pizza sounds fabulous!

  • I’m trying to get my cousin to move to Brooklyn because all my friends live in Manhattan and Queens so I need an excuse to get out there more often!

  • My goodness, things in Harlem have certainly changed since I lived there a decade ago! It’s funny, now whenever we make it into the city we always seem to end up in Brooklyn. All our friends have migrated from Manhattan to that borough, and it looks like no one is ever moving back.

  • God I wish I lived somewhere interesting.

    Also: I represent Queens, she was raised out in Brooklyn. Doin’ it and doin’ it and doin’ it well.

  • I’m planning on running the Brooklyn Half as well – and was planning on spending the day eating and drinking in Brooklyn post race (Brooklyn pizza is MUST). Thanks for some ideas in your post/comments!

    -Rach
    http://nyc-runner.blogspot.com/

  • YAY Brooklyn!

    A few places:
    Have you eaten at Ignazzios? It’s across from Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory on Water Street. Delicious pizza minus the silly lines.
    Baked. Over in Red Hook for tasty baked goods. Neat place to explore – I walked around there in late summer. An area in desperate need of transportation!
    There’s a beer garden in Ft Greene I’ve been meaning to try: Der Schwarze Kölner
    Di Fara Pizza in Midwood – I’ve heard it’s worth it once for the experience
    For summer: Pacifico in Cobble Hill has a fun outdoor area

    Just a few places of many. Hope this helps:-)

  • Anonymous

    Awesome! Thanks for the suggestions 🙂

  • lisa @ early morning run

    wow, you spent a LOT of time in brooklyn over the weekend! I need to explore the borough more. I’ve heard great things about Lucali. Levain cookies are simply incredible. Sounds like a great weekend!