Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sunny's Bar Red Hook - Help Them Out

Getting back to the matter of Sandy and relief efforts. Sunny's would look like a dive to an outsider, and yes in a way it is. To those who inhabit Red Hook and have been there for the long haul, this place is much more than that. It is an institution, a long time resident that has witnessed the history of this quaint neighborhood, and a place with real character. The ever surly Anthony Bourdain featured it in the last ever episode of his series No Reservations, which aired after Sandy devastated it.

My husband and I drove by it many a time and swore that we would drop off our munchkin one day so that we could come out and have drinks there. This, unfortunately, has not come to pass. If there is anything my husband and I share, it is a love for going to out of the way places. The types that only locals love and know about and that are snubbed by those keep up with the Jones' types.

As you may have guessed Sunny's needs help to restore their bar and here is where you can go to contribute to their cause. Help to bring back this Red Hook institution and maybe some day you too can come and have drinks and go back in time at this neighborhood institution.

I apologize for the lack of photographic material, but apparently I need to buy storage so that I can continue to add pictures to my posts. This will be addressed.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanks Giving

This is my first ever post done from a mobile device so I will apologize in advace for any spelling or other gramatical mistakes. Anywhoo, as my family and I join the mass migration that takes place here in the United States for one of the best holidays ever (who can hate on a holiday that is founded on apreciation of what one is blessed to have, and that is celebrated around food) I am reminded of many things I am grateful for. First and foremost is my family which to me is not just composed of blood relatives but includes friends who have stuck with us through thick and thin. This year in particular I am grateful for my health and for being given the oportunity to lend a hand to those who need it. Lastly I would like to thank those of you who garce my blog with your readership. I am humbled by the idea that anyone living across the world from where I am could care about what someone like me has to say. Thank you all and please continue to help our Sandy victims in any way you can.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pie - Show Them You Care

 I am not even sure where to begin regarding Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pie. If you ever had a chance to taste a pie from this place I am sure you can remember that experience very vividly. I can only describe it as pretty much a perfect moment because it tastes so damn good that you forget anything else that is going on around you. My husband and I developed a habit of going to this place before we went to any family function to pick up a pie to bring. The only reason I do not have a picture of one of their pies is because you can never just have it sitting there for too long. The urge to dig right in is too strong and you wind up giving in to it. Last time I had one of these was in October when my sister came to visit for my daughter's birthday. The rest as you know, is part of a very tragic day that turned the world of many business owners in Red Hook upside down.

The first thing I remember about Steve's was going there because a friend had told my husband and I about their fantastic pies, so we looked for the place and find it we did. On their door they had a couple of signs that made the place sound like it was run by a bunch of cantankerous old men. Those signs made me laugh pretty hard because it was yet one more sign to my husband and I that we were finally home after coming back from the Middle East. They were telling of that truly New York Grit that people talk about the world over. The truth is that they make great pie and that is all they care about. I want them getting back to doing this, and if you do too then please DONATE to help toward their prompt recovery. Trust me it is totally worth it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Red Hook Lobster Pound - Give 'Em Love

I think this is one of the first places that I heard about during Sandy. They were desperately seeking a place to put about $65,000 dollars worth of stock that would be lost if they could not relocate it. What happened after that has been all over papers, twitter and facebook. They took a hard hit. One that would have made any other person waver, but we are learning very fast that Red Hook is a place where people don't give up, and Ralph Gorham and Susan Povich (the owners of Lobster Pound) are no exception. Their spirit is truly contagious, which is exactly what you need around you when things are as bad as they have been for so many businesses all around as a result of this storm.

Lobster pound has been making the mouths of many New Yorkers water with their wonderful selection of lobsters and their legendary lobster rolls. Sandy has really put a dent on their business because it not only took out their store front, equipment and lobster tanks but it also took their awesome food truck. In order to raise funds to recover from all this damage and loss they have devised a fantastic system. They are selling certificates ranging in price from $28 to $1000 which entitle the bearer to a cornucopia of great food and experiences. Please go to their Small Knot Page and check out the certificates and get yourself one. Bringing them back is not only bringing back a place where you can get some of the best lobster rolls in the NY metropolitan area, but also helping those who work here to get back to providing for their families. I know you all have heart.

Thanks for reading. I promise I will start posting new recipes again soon. I have a few new curry ones inspired by the Brooklyn Brewery's Curry Experiments.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Brooklyn Update - Ways to Help Hurricane Sandy Victims

 What Sandy looked like from space - Image Credit: NASA, GOES-13 Satellite

 Today I wanted to keep it short and sweet, but I might not be, so bear with me. There are some good news coming out of Red Hook with Baked now being back to somewhat normal and other places like Hope & Anchor and Red Hook Lobster starting to get back to business. However there are still so many places that need help so I am going to provide links to some websites that have been set up to help specific neighborhoods recover. If you are from outside these areas either in the US or even outside the country, and you feel you would like to lend a hand these links will be great in helping you to invest in those places you feel deserve the love.

If you would like to help the residents of Red Hook, the most reliable place is Red hook Initiative. I have been there many times since the hurricane to drop off food and other types of donations and I can tell you from first hand experience that they are a great organization that has worked quickly and efficiently to provide as much help as possible to the residents in this community.

If you would like to help businesses in Red Hook you can do so at Restore Red Hook. This site was set up by a group of business owners in this area in order to help businesses that are having difficulty getting back on their feet to do so and in turn to get the employees and people who depend on these businesses get back to work as quickly as possible. I have a soft spot for this one because some of my favorite places to eat are located in this district, including Baked, Hope & Anchor and Steve's Pies. if you are a food lover too please give to this cause as generously as you can.

If you can believe it, and you should DUMBO was another area where a lot of small start up businesses and many established restaurants got hit hard. There was much damage and a lot of businesses lost large amounts of stock that will set them back financially in a drastic way. I love this area because there are so many great independent designers and creative types located here and being part of that creative collective makes me feel obliged to give back to this community. If you would like to help out in this area click here and find out how you can do so.

If the Rockaways is where you feel your help might go further you can go to 596 Acres, which has links and posts about who needs what where. You can also go to NYC Sandy Needs, and get a broader view of where help and supplies are needed.

I hope I have not bored you to death with all my give, give, give requests. I just have fallen in love with Brooklyn and seeing it hurting like this is breaking my heart. I wish I had unlimited funds and time to give to all of these places, but I am only one person. The only way I can help is to give my limited time and hard work to these causes and to get the word out to anyone who is willing to listen. I am hoping that this post will have an effect on anyone who is out there who wants to and can help. Thank you to all of you who grace me with your readership.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fort Defiance in Red Hook a Must Bring Back

 As promised this is the first of my posts focusing on the great Brooklyn eateries that we hard hit by the storm. Fort Defiance is one of those places that is known for its innovative and eclectic menu and one who should have a loyal following as loyal as the employees are to the owner of this establishment John Frizell. My husband and I did not get a chance to try them because we had always thought we would get a chance to do so later, and that is still my hope. Their menu was one of the things that attracted us because it was reminiscent of the bold tapas that we had in San Sebastian in Spain. One of the most memorable items on their menu for us and the reason we wanted to go there is their Chicken Liver Pate with Bacon -Onion Jam. I am still trying to imagine what this would taste like, and every time I think of blinis with foie, mmmmmm.

So far the only thing I know about the damage they sustained is that they had six inches of water on their serving floor, not surprising if you know that they are located about four blocks away from the waterfront. Their basement where food prep and storage happened is completely ruined. The damage as described by chef Steve Linares, is upward of $100,000 just on equipment. There have been several articles lately where Mr. Frizell has been noted as determined to re-open the restaurant. He has stated that he will be documenting the progress on their recovery efforts on Epicurious, where he has written an account on his first visit to the restaurant after Sandy. If you are one of the lucky people who had the privilege of eating here, or if like me you regret not having done so sooner, make sure to follow their progress and if you can make a contribution toward their recovery and that of many other Red Hook businesses by visiting Restore Red Hook.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Brooklyn after Hurricane Sandy

Needless to say, if you are a resident of the US east coast or a New Yorker living within the five boroughs of the city you have witnessed if not been a victim of this storm that ravaged us during the better part of two days. I am among some of the lucky people who have not been severely affected by this storm. Thankfully enough in our little enclave called Windsor Terrace we were blessed with very few issues and we still have all our utilities working.

Today I went to the Red Hook neighborhood and the devastation there was heartbreaking. So many people and businesses have been affected, some of the businesses might not recover from the storm at all. I am among a bunch of people looking into what can be done to help all of these small businesses to try to get back on their feet and I guess the only thing that I can ask in my humble blog is that if you have ever read this blog and have been enticed to visit any of the places I have mentioned in it please do whatever you can to help the victims of this disaster get back to the closest semblance of normalcy.

So far I have only visited Red Hook but I am planning on being in touch with other people in the areas of Williamsburg, Green Point, Gowanus, Coney Island, etc.. to see what can be done to help. In the coming weeks I will probably be posting mostly about those business districts and their incredible eateries because I believe that one of the very characteristic factors that make Brooklyn so special as of lately are those innovators who have chosen Brooklyn as their home. This community has grown around them so it is fitting to give back to them so that they can continue to delight the world with their creations.

I have had a very special place in my heart for this borough because I have experienced a sense of community here that I had not felt in a long time. I started out in Red Hook this time because it is where my family and I do our food shopping. Also because Baked has started the ball moving through their generosity by opening their business and giving the proceeds from today's sales toward the recovery effort in this area. To me Matt and Renato are the epitome of the spirit of the innovators in this area, and super class acts because they never fail to give back to their community. They have started a website to help rebuild Red Hook so please do go check it out, and please help in any way you can.

I on my part will try to keep all who are interested, up to date on what is going on here in Brooklyn and what all our favorite neighborhoods are doing to get back on their feet. As always thank you for reading my blog and if you decide to lend your support to anyone in Brooklyn I hope you feel a great big hug coming from me for doing so.