Thursday, September 28, 2006

Too busy saving the world to blog...

Well, not really. But I have been really really hard at work on writing grant proposals for a public art project called "Sea Change" which addresses global warming.

What this has meant for general eating and playing in Clinton Hill is that it has been pretty functional, not so much frivolous. I have some pictures and thoughts on the two times we got take away from Graziella's, the yummy dinner at Pequena, the new pet store with the awesomest name in the world, Who's Your Doggy and our potentially life changing-ly (at least as far as brunch is concerned) awful brunch at Olea.

In the meantime the awesome folks at ClintonHillBlog and CintonCentric have been providing lots of great information about the nabe.

Speaking of which, does anyone know which neighborhood has the most bloggers blogging about it? I have a feeling CH might be somewhere near the top of the list.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Brooklyn as a Vacation Destination?

Our friend Rocket is one of the few people we know who live in Manhattan still, when she comes out to visit, she always comments on how nice and quiet it is out in Brooklyn (duh). She also is fascinated by the houses around here (she had never been out to Bklyn until recently). All of this prompted us to invite her out for a "Brooklyn Vacation." Come spend a weekend with us, you will love it - we won't get on a train or go into the city once! We can go to parks, ride bikes, eat delish food, shop in cool stores and go to the farmer's markets - you will love it!

It also made us realized what a lovely "charmed life" we have out here as we went about our weekend activites. We started out with a walk of the puppy to Fort Greene park. Passed a bunch of stoop sales getting set up and along the way we stopped for the "most delicious in the world" muffin and cappucino at Smooch. I got an acai-banana smoothie at the new juice shop - Urban Spring. Then we dropped off our compost at the farmer's market before playing in the park for a little while.

Smooch (and many of the other cafe's in the nabe - Outpost, Brown Betty's, Choice) has such a nice laid back feeling. People lounging around enjoying the day both inside and out, very neighborly too. They (Smooch) has also started a new 'addicted to coffee' card thing-y (you know, frequent buyer stuff).

Urban Spring whips up some yummy juices and smoothies for a reasonable price (for organic) and the shop is built from recycled architectural scraps, the drinks are served in corn-based plastic, which means they will just dissolve after a couple of weeks in the trash. They are still working out service kinks, it was a little scattered, but they have some delicious offerings, more of which I look forward to trying!

Last night G-pup and I went on a 'date,' which meant no puppy and no cell phone (so no pictures). We took a pleasant walk over to Los Pollitos III for some sneak up on you margaritas and mexican food. I had read a lot about Pollitos in comments on this blog, on chowhound and CitySearch. That unfortunately put my expectations a bit unrealistically high. The outdoor seating, while ample is less than ideal on that particular stretch of Myrtle Avenue. The music was some radio station which meant we had to listen to ads ?!? during our dinner - at least until the, we'll call them 'young men,' pulled up and had radio wars with their cars, which drowned out all radio and conversation for about 20 minutes. Ambience aside, the staff was very courteous and attentive (although confusing since we had no less than 4 different people taking orders, delivering food and checking on us). The margaritas are generous if a little lacking in flavor. It reminded me of a college bar, didn't taste that good but had a little bit of a kick (especially if you drink it rapidly through a straw because it is really full and the table is slanting so it is dripping out of the glass).

We ordered the guacamole, which had been raved about on other sites, my take? Should have gotten the nachos. The guac was alright, and clearly freshly made, but it didn't have the kick of some or the super fresh taste of others (usually has to be organic for that). The chips were of the thick kind - we prefer thin, and the salsa tasted a little water-y and definitely lacking in spice. (It was more like eating a agri-business tomato - tastes like a watery tomato). Finally on to the mains, I had the vegetarian enchilada (a spinach and cheese ench with tomatillo sauce) which more than made up for the previously missing spices. The tomatillo sauce was bright and sassy. The refried beans and spanish rice were stunningly good - g-pup declared them "perfect!" - better than I have had any where else around. G-pup went for what he is calling "a NYC burrito" (since they won't ever be the "mission burrito" that he longs for). He got some shrimp in his burrito, and here is his take on it...
"A shrimp burrito? Aside from the fact I really should cut the seafood cord, this non-SF style burrito had a pretty snaz presentation, a nicely folded almost square appearance alongside a bit of vinegar-y onion-ish mixture - a salad of somekind? The inside mix was actually very tasty, the ratios of the guac to the sour cream, the beans to the shrimp were well balanced and the size of it wasn't insanely tooo much. We were outside and it was kinda dark so no insight on the appearance of the interior. I'd have it again for sure (prob skip the shrimp tho) and it really beats the pants off the 'rito at neighbouring Castros."
Hmm, I kinda liked Castro's better - but mostly for the salsa. Still we both prefer Pequena's over either of the Myrtle Ave. establishments, but are both interested in going back to try more things off of their extensive menu.

Urban Spring
185 DeKalb (at Carlton)

Other reviews: Clinton Hill Blog

Los Pollitos
495 Myrtle Avenue
(718) 636-6125
Mon-Sun 11am - 11:30pm

Other reviews: CitySearch, Brooklyn Record, Yelp, Go Brooklyn, Brownstoner, Add Your Own