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Tuesday
Jan282014

Ladies and Gentlemen, Brooklyn's Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

owners ashley albert and jonathan schnappThe $2 million it takes to open a shuffleboard court/bar in Gowanus was raised in $50,000 increments on Kickstarter. Owners and friends Ashely Albert and Jonathan Schnapp considered Greenpoint too, but they fell in love with the 17,000-sqauare-foot space at 514 Union Street. And while they didn't hit their original open date in April last year, Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club is a few days from opening to the public.

The rules are easy. You'll catch on after a game or two. Just make sure you learn the lingo. You don't want your biscuit to end up in the kitchen. Avoid double soup at all times. Be careful with the hammer and don't drink the tang. Biscuits are the pucks you slide across the shuffleboard. The kitchen is the "10 OFF" zone at the base of the triangle. Land a biscuit there and it's minus 10 points. Double soup is when you end a round with two biscuits in the kitchen. The hammer is the last biscuit in each round and the tang is the stick you slide with. Any game with food-centric lingo is a winner in our eyes.

Royal Palms started a Monday night league that sold out so fast Albert and Schnapp set one up for Tuesdays as well. That means for $450 a team of four gets a 10-week run with two playoff bouts to be the best biscuit pushers in Brooklyn. Albert and Schnapp are nationally ranked competitors, by the way. Albert's 68th among females and Schnapp 82nd among men. Local winners of the winter and spring leagues will join them on the next international shuffleboard championship in Ontario this year. But that's just one reason to spend time at Royal Palms when it opens.

Draft beers are available in Ball jars from the likes of Firestone, Narragansett, Victory, and Lagunitas and food will be served from a rotating roster of food trucks. The trucks will be parked outside the venue against a gate that opens to shufflers inside. Red Hook Lobster Pound was there last night.

League play aside, RPSC charges $40/hour for games on any of the 10 standard, 39-foot courts. We got to play in last night's league and took a bunch of pictures. Already itching to go back. We'll see you there.

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Friday
Jan242014

Donde Dinner? - 651 Manhattan Avenue

Donde Dinner? aims to make your next dining experience an adventure. So every Friday we pick a restaurant and post its address for you. The catch is, that's all the information you get. No name, no type of cuisine, and no Googling. But first, here's the last week's address:

172 Orchard Street = Mission Cantina

This week's restaurant follows typical Donde Dinner? fashion. Price, quality, and accessibility have all been taken into account. You won't be waiting at the bar for two hours with $16 cocktails and you never have to worry about a dress code. Just hop on the train, or your feet, or your bike, and head to:

651 Manhattan Avenue (map)

Tuesday
Jan212014

Antico Pizza Napoletana in Atlanta

Antico Pizza Napoletana in Atlanta reminds us of Roberta's in that both serve stellar pizza and they both do so in environs that could pass as a warehouse. We didn't eat any other pizza while we were down in A-Town, but after Antico, we didn't see any reason to. Our host for the weekend picked us up from the airport and made Antico our first stop. He used to live in New York, so we knew we were in good hands. But we still live in New York. That means we're still skeptics. One bite won our hearts. Here's a look at some of what goes on at Antico Pizza Napoletana.

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Friday
Jan172014

Donde Dinner? - 172 Orchard Street

Donde Dinner? aims to make your next dining experience an adventure. So every Friday we pick a restaurant and post its address for you. The catch is, that's all the information you get. No name, no type of cuisine, and no Googling. But first, here's the last Donde Dinner? address:

406 East 9th Street = Whitmans

This week's restaurant follows typical Donde Dinner? fashion. Price, quality, and accessibility have all been taken into account. You won't be waiting at the bar for two hours with $16 cocktails and you never have to worry about a dress code. Just hop on the train, or your feet, or your bike, and head to:

172 Orchard Street (map)

Wednesday
Jan152014

A Look Around Grand Central Oyster Bar Brooklyn

Grand Central Oyster Bar opened its first Stateside franchise December 19th. Bruce Fox is in charge of franchising and Jonathan Young, who managed the 101-year-old flagship location in Grand Central, have teamed up to make it happen. The new location, in Park Slope, is in the 5,000-square-foot space that formerly housed Fornino. The Brooklyn location offers 16 to Grand Centrals 32 oyster varieties, but serves most of the same stews and pan roasts, salads, soups, sandwiches, platters and apps. A retail counter (where Fornino's takeout used to be) sells raw and prepared seafood and has ten first-come first-serve bar stools as an homage to the original location. Have a look around..

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Friday
Jan102014

Donde Dinner? - 406 East 9th Street

Donde Dinner? aims to make your next dining experience an adventure. So every Friday we pick a restaurant and post its address for you. The catch is, that's all the information you get. No name, no type of cuisine, and no Googling. But first, here's the last Donde Dinner? address:

536 East 5th Street = Minca

This week's restaurant follows typical Donde Dinner? fashion. Price, quality, and accessibility have all been taken into account. You won't be waiting at the bar for two hours with $16 cocktails and you never have to worry about a dress code. Just hop on the train, or your feet, or your bike, and head to:

406 East 9th Street (map)

Tuesday
Jan072014

Fort Reno Closed: Will Reopen as a Taqueria

dinosaur barbecue is across the street in the backgroundThe city is a funny place. Nowhere else in the world can a handful of restaurants with similar menus remain open within a one or two mile (even few block) radius of one another. Barbecue exploded in New York over the past year and a half to the point that we felt pizza was threatened as New York's food. In the past two years, Brooklyn welcomed Briskettown, Fletcher's, Morgan's, Hometown, Fort Reno, and Dinosaur Barbecue. The last two operated a stone's throw from each other: Fort Reno on the north side of Union between 4th and 5th and Dinosaur on the south side of Union between 3rd and 4th. Quality and price aside, we wondered how long Fort Reno could survive in the shadow of the juggernaut that is Dinosaur Barbecue.

Here's Park Slope revealed over the weekend that Fort Reno's time has come to an end. The restaurant closed for the holidays and will not be reopening. The owners (who also own Palo Santo on Union Street closer to 5th Ave) are keeping the space and turning it into a tortilleria/taqueria, where they'll be making their own masa and $3 tacos. The new project is slated to open by mid-February. We're excited, given the smart, forward-thinking food that's been served at Palo Santo since the restaurant openedin 2006. But it's a funny thing, because Rachel's, Jalapeno, Oaxaca Taqueria, Mezcal's, and Lobo all sell tacos and they're all very close by.

Friday
Dec272013

The 2013 Donde Dinner Roundup

Our first Donde Dinner? post was May 18th, 2012. The goal with the column has always been to make choosing where to eat an easy decision, because in a city that boasts hundreds of restaurants, the chore can stir up anxiety and cause meltdowns. So we do the sweating for you. The restaurants we pick fly a little under the radar without breaking the bank and always serve delicious food.

As 2012 came to an end, we put together a roundup of the half-year run Donde Dinner? had. In lieu of an address this week, and with 2013 nearing it's close, we've compiled a roundup of this year's posts. It ends with Minca, last week's address and one of our favorite spots for ramen.

As always, thanks for reading.

Happy New Year!

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