Thursday, September 01, 2005

Closer To Home

I went out to order a brisket to smoke for a family barbecue and walked by a place close by that I hadn’t visited yet but always wanted to pop into, Sam’s. I also saw a new place, Blue Star, that didn’t open until later so I figured I would visit Sam's and then head out again in the early evening. That also gave me a chance to stop into another place that doesn’t open until later, Brooklyn Social.

768) Sam’s

Not far from Staubitz Market, one of my favorite butchers, is Sam’s at 238 Court Street. This place has been around since 1930 so it is a real neighborhood place. When I got there it was just opening up so I had plenty of time to talk to Louie whose father owns the place and still works there at times. Louie was quite a character and grew up not far from here. We had a most interesting discussion about what would happen if a big hurricane ever hit New York. He is an avid boater and knew a lot about past Nor’easters and the topography of New York. He had some very interesting opinions, particularly about what would happen when the Gowanus Canal backed up, among other things. The Gowanus Canal is in the heart of downtown Brooklyn and is, to put it mildly, a cesspool. In fact, it is at least six blocks from Court Street and because yesterday was hot and humid and the wind was blowing the right (or wrong) way, you could smell it from there.

But, I digress. The bar has no stools or chairs but enough room to stand and have a drink. No foot rest either. There is an illuminated half-circle overhang above it. Behind the bar are just some shelves holding the liquor in front of an old mirror. There are two statues of young boys sitting on swings hanging from the ceiling and they each hold a small lantern that provides a bit of light. Sitting on one end of a bar was an arrangements of plants that had what looked like memoriam cards and an American flag inserted among them. To the right of the bar, closer to the door, are two very old wooden telephone booths with glass paneled doors that are now being used for storage.

The wall opposite the bar is lined with booths with bright red seats and backs. The tables have blue tablecloths with a white linen napkin positioned as a diamond in the center. They are covered with clear plastic though so your arms stick and if you spilt your drink it would just run off into your lap. Small white statues and green containers of pink flowers sit on a ledge next to the booths. A replica of Michelangelo’s David probably served as an inducement to order their sausage and meatball special. On the wood paneled walls above the ledge are pictures of Italian gardens, street scenes, and seascapes. A small overhang above them has clear plastic panels with small fluorescent lights behind them. There are also tables in the center of the floor similarly decked out with the plastic covered tablecloths and another room in the back. The floor is light and dark tile and the ceiling is the kind of tile you often see in basement recreation rooms.

As I said, this is an old neighborhood place and you can see by the way Louie interacts with the customers that he must know them all, or will before their visit is over. A real classic Brooklyn Italian restaurant and well worth the visit if you want something a bit more authentic than the newer places over on Smith Street.

I had a Brooklyn I.P.A., straight from the bottle. Louie was drinking a Manhattan Special Espresso Coffee Soda.

769) Blue Star

Up the street at 254 Court Street and right next to American Beer Distributing Company, one of Bar Man’s favorite places to shop for beer and where I picked up some Aecht Ochlenferla Rauchbier (Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer) for the weekend, is this seafood restaurant and bar. It is fairly new and has, well, a somewhat eclectic décor. You can tell it is a seafood place by the mounted plastic fish mounted on the overhang above the wall opposite the bar and the old harpoon hanging on the wall. On the wall up front is another mounted fish and a wood silhouette of the hull of a boat complete with portholes. On the other hand, there is a large space themed painting with what looks like planets and shooting stars on a white speckled black background behind the bar. At one end of the bar is a display of crab legs and oysters below a fishmonger type scale hanging from the ceiling while on the other end of the bar is an old wooden spinning wheel. Below the over hang opposite the bar are large round planet-looking wall hangings with more shooting stars. And some of the mounted fish wear straw hats for some reason.

The bar hass a light grey shiny plastic top with a light and dark turquoise mosaic front. The foot rest is light sea-foam green blocks. The seats are chromed diner style stools with turquoise seats. There is a line of turquoise benches opposite the bar with tables and chromed chairs with matching turquoise seats in front of them. The walls are bright turquoise above blue and white mosaic that matches the front of the bar. Up front is another turquoise bench with the same table and chair setup and five small tables with a couple of chairs each.

The setup behind the bar is fairly simple, just shelves and tiered shelves of liquor and there are old fashioned looking inverted helmet shaped white glass lights hanging from the ceiling. Kind of a funky looking place but neat in its own way. They have live music a couple of nights a week and $1 beers to go with your oysters. A small outside seating area as well.

I had an East India Pale Ale.

770 Brooklyn Social

Over at 335 Smith Street is this former prohibition era speakeasy and subsequent Italian social club that doesn’t look like it has changed much over the years. Narrow and dark and easy to walk by. Dark wood paneling lines the bottom half of the walls with yellowish cream colored plaster above. A few benches with black seats are tucked into three corners and black round tables with a single wooden chair each sit in front of two of them. Old photos of what looks like former club members adorn the walls and there are a few trophies circa 1970’s in some small shelves.

The bar is a nice dark wood and has a dark wood footrest. There are chromed bar stools with black seats. Old fashiioned fat disk shaped white glass lights hang above the bar. They make some classic, and maybe not so classic, cocktails here and use fresh ingredients. In fact a glass filled with fresh rosemary sat in front of me and its smell permeated my immediate area. Kind of weird, the place looked like I should be smelling of stale cigarette smoke. They use the rosemary in a drink called an Almalfi (don’t ask).

The ceiling is red hammered tin and the floor is plain tan linoleum. There is a pool table in a small back room whose walls are covered with black and white photos of boxers. There is a small outdoor area with benches beyond that.

The bar back sports a large distressed mirror with an old looking wooden frame with chipped paint. Below that are tiered shelves for the liquor that sit atop an old set of wooden shelves holding glasses. On each side of the mirror are two small semi-circular wooden shelves mounted on the wall holding a couple of bottles and above the mirror is a large old clock. There is also an old faded pea-soup green refrigerator back there.

I had a Brooklyn made with straight rye whiskey, orange brandy, and a dash of bitters. It was a bit sweeter than I expected it to be, but not bad at all.

A nice little neighborhood jaunt with three places visited bringing my total for the year to 770 and leaving 230 to go. There does seem to be a light at the end of this tunnel.


weeg said...

Dan - Your regressing! Check those numbers dude.

1000 Bars said...

Arrgh, I will correct it.

Richpoo said...

I've stumbled across your blog when I done some clothing sports research in Google. You're doing a pretty nice job
here, keep up the good work! check out clothing sports

tom naka said...

You have a great blog here! I will be sure to book mark you. I have a sushi restaurant site. It pretty much covers sushi restaurant related stuff. Check it out if you get time :-)

Askinstoo said...

Nice Blog!!!   I thought I'd tell you about a site that will let give you places where
you can make extra cash! I made over $800 last month. Not bad for not doing much. Just put in your
zip code and up will pop up a list of places that are available. I live in a small area and found quite

Clear-Seal said...

Hi, I just looked at your blog and thought it looked good. If you have some time take a look at my site

bigbear777 said...


Better than klear action whitening and ION whitening systems! Half the
price too!

Welcome to, is proud to present to you the first ever at home
laser whitening treatment. We are bringing you the most popular in
office treatment at home for the fraction of the cost! One laser
treatment at a doctors office can run around $600 as shown above. This
is very exciting news for anyone who is looking into whitening their
teeth professionally in the comfort of their own home. Best of all you
can have this plasma light technology for much less! The light is yours
to keep and can be used as many times as you like! You can achieve
professional results in less than 7 days! Our method also works in
between your teeth and deep down below the enamel. This procedure will
not damage or wear away the enamel.

How does it work?

Its very simple. The Plasma light will increase the breakdown speed of
Carbamide Peroxide, in turn releasing more oxygen which speeds up the
bleaching process. The oxygen acts as a bleaching agent that whitens
your teeth safely and effectively. This is why you can pay as much as $600
to get your teeth whitened professionally.

Plasma Laser Light Technology!

Never before seen in any at home whitening kit! Just Like at a real in
office visit, all our deluxe kits have the plasma light tool to
accelerate the whitening process. No one else offers this authentic at
home tool. Its Very easy to operate and safe to use. Accelerate your
whitening by as much as 300% with this method! This means whiter teeth
in less time!

At last, you no longer have to visit your dentist for that
white bright smile you have always wanted!

Our professional dental whitening kit is the same product used by many
of the top cosmetic dentists. Why consider paying up to $600, when for a
few short minutes per day, you to can achieve the exact same results in
the comfort of your own home. Best of all, it will cost you a fraction
of the price!

40% stronger than an in-office visit...

To provide you with superior results, our fully licensed line of
products is one of the industry's strongest and most effective tooth
whitening formulas. The main active ingredient is 35% Carbamide Peroxide.
This concentration is 40% stronger than most dentists use during an in
office visit!

A little more about our 7 day plasma treatment:

* This procedure will NOT harm or damage your tooth's enamel.

This system can't be found in stores!

We are the only internet site who sells this new product!

We are the exclusive seller of this NEW at home treatment!

You and your friends can take advantage of this treatment with just one
plasma light!

Plasma light treatment only takes on average 7 days to complete!

Results are 100% guaranteed and 100% safe! for more informationCLICK HERE

NYCGuy12 said...

Desktop Clock

Erik Mann said...

Nice blog with interesting topics. I have a website that offers alot of controversial topics here. Just go to the links page and look for "Video Reviews"

Mobility Aids Center said...

Hi, Thanks for your interesting blog. Keep up the great work! I also have a site & blog about portable wheelchair ramps, please feel free to visit.

Hoodia said...

Help me Dude, I think I'm lost..... I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw him in a car lot yesterday, which is really strange because the last time I saw him was in the supermarket. No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender". He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a San Diego cosmetic surgery doctor ,to fit into those blue suede shoes of yours. But Elvis said in the Ghetto nobody can afford a San Diego plastic surgery doctor. Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger. Then I'm gonna go round and see Michael Jackson and we're gonna watch a waaaay cool make-over show featuring some Tijuana dentists on the TV in the back of my Hummer. And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . . "You give me love and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on " Strange day or what? :-)

Johnjon said...

I discuss this topic daily myself. I also have a website that talks about job online paid survey related things. Go check it out if you get a chance.

Arnie Brown said...

If you like sports cars, antique cars, classic cars, race cars oe Nascar, you will enjoy my web site.

I make, jewelry quality, custom car badges from your club's logo or design.

Please visit my web site at

Arnie Brown

**car club****car club*

William said...

Great blog you have here I will deffinitely be back, I have a website that is about restoring wooden boats : complete wooden boat restoration guide

Diamonds Center said...

Hi Thanks for your interesting blog. I also have a blog/site, covering fake diamonds
related stuff. Feel free to visit my fake diamonds

D.C. Bowns said...

Hello! Have you seen any ads or information on as seen on tv screwdriver? One day I will find what I am looking for on the first try. While I am here, I just wanted to drop a quick note to comment your to move on and continue my search for as seen on tv screwdriver. Thanks for the post.

Weight Watcher said...

You have a great blog. Please feel free to check out my site bar stool and leave me your opinion on it.

fitness-o-matic said...

Hey your blog is awesome,
My site is awesome too... it's all about miss wheelchair. You should check it out at miss wheelchair

Meg Taylor said...

Hi Blogger, I found your blog quite informative.
I just came across your blog and wanted to
drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with it.
I give you my best wishes for your future endeavors.
If you have a moment, please visit my used commercial car prices uk site.
Have a great week!

berklingaly said...