Candlepins.

In Boston, they call it “Candlepins.” In Baltimore, I’m told they call the sport “Duckpins.” If you’re from anywhere else, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. For lack of a better way to describe it, Candlepin is essentially mini-bowling and although I only learned about it last weekend the game has been around for quite a while.Weird skinny pins. Oversized bocce-style ball. Knock down the pins. Score the results. That’s it, that’s the whole game. But let me tell you, it’s seriously satisfying to whip that sucker down the wooden lane. It’s way more fun than regular bowling, whatever that means. And due to the pint size, it must be sort of like regular bowling for a little kid.We enjoyed playing recently at my nephew’s 6th birthday party, which was held at the vintage-y “Sacco’s Bowl Haven” in Somerville, MA. If you’re up in Boston, I’d say it’s worth a trip to the Somerville ‘burbs just for the Sacco’s experience. In addition to the Candlepins, they also had delicious wood-fired flatbread pizza and a great selection of over 20 local craft beers on tap. Good beer, flat pizza, little pins. What a concept! Got me thinking: a retro Candlepin alley like Sacco’s would do gangbusters business in Brooklyn. Anyone want to help us start one up???

 

About the Author |
We earn our living selling New York City. The next day is never like the last. The last is never ordinary. We witness all sorts. We listen to the City’s noise. We devour its phenomenal food. On the Real is our documentary. It is your pack of unfiltered New York 100s.

Roberta’s. Brunch.

I don’t know if it’s the all about the adventure, the amazingly rustic atmosphere, the incredibly friendly (and good-looking) staff or just the down right cravable food, but we have been finding ourselves waking up on Saturday mornings with Roberta’s on the brain. You see, their brunch simply wins every single time.

     
On our last go-round, we piled the table with a couple of pizzas, a corn salad, the oft-declared “best” soft scrambled eggs ever, heavenly huge cornmeal pancakes, a pork chop (whoa!), a glass of Nero d’Avola and their superbly crafted and spiced Bloody Mary. Brunch. Roberta’s. East Williamsburg. You’ll be happy you did.

About the Author |
We earn our living selling New York City. The next day is never like the last. The last is never ordinary. We witness all sorts. We listen to the City’s noise. We devour its phenomenal food. On the Real is our documentary. It is your pack of unfiltered New York 100s.

Roberta’s. Sticky Bun Love.

I have no idea what made us order sticky buns at Roberta’s. I don’t particularly like them. They’re usually cheaply and overly sugared on the outside and dry on the inside. Not at Roberta’s! The sticky bun here is one of the best things you will ever put in your mouth.I’m not sure, but I think they’re cooked in Roberta’s wood fired oven like all of their other bread, but this bun has the most amazing swirl of cinnamon coated into the perfectly soft and chewy brioche roll coated with a tear-inducing caramel and maple goo sprinkled with a few key granules of sea salt. Whether you go for brunch, lunch or dinner, get one or four. They’ll rock your world.

About the Author |
We earn our living selling New York City. The next day is never like the last. The last is never ordinary. We witness all sorts. We listen to the City’s noise. We devour its phenomenal food. On the Real is our documentary. It is your pack of unfiltered New York 100s.

Roberta’s. Shrimp Roll.

Roberta’s is the coolest restaurant in New York City.  So cool, it needs it own ON THE REAL category to prove this bold, but accurate proclamation. On Moore Street just off the corner of Bogart in East Williamsburg sits her incredibly unassuming entrance to a former garage.  The interior is adorned with a mishmash of found wood panelling, benches, tables and wall hanging chattel rounded out with a healthy dose of non-pretentious tattooed personality. The pizza they create in that big old oven in the front kitchen and the plates they churn out of the back is simply perfect.

I had the shrimp roll on a recent visit. Simple is the word of the day here, but simple can be perfect and my meal was. The shrimp was exquisitely cooked and lightly tossed in mayo with a little bit of chopped tarragon. The bite coupled with the perfectly cooked-that-morning-out-back-in-a-wood-fired-oven and buttered roll kinda made me want to cry. The addition of the freshly picked, roasted and salted fingerling potatoes on the side make the meal flawless. I washed it all down with a Dean’s Dream which is an up concoction of blanca tequila, lime, mole bitters and cracked black pepper.  Amazing.

Lulu was desperately trying to get a peek at the Tiki Disco happening behind the plywood walls in Robert’s garden; a former junk yard. And that is part of what sets Roberta’s so far apart from the rest.  The owners have willingly jumped into so many fires over the last couple of years. They run the Heritage Radio Network. They grow as much of the food they serve on premises and get whatever else they can from Brooklyn Grange..the massive rooftop farm in Long Island City. They throw everything from raging feasts with bonfires, to a garden dinner series, to neighborhood block parties, to beach parties at their place Ripper’s at Rockaway Beach. And, if you want to go seriously upscale, they have the $180 a head tasting menu at Blanca right next door.  ON THE REAL is going to go in-depth on all things Robert’s over the coming months.  Hope the shrimp roll and a shot of a longing three-year-old is enough to start.

About the Author |
We earn our living selling New York City. The next day is never like the last. The last is never ordinary. We witness all sorts. We listen to the City’s noise. We devour its phenomenal food. On the Real is our documentary. It is your pack of unfiltered New York 100s.

Artichoke.

It’s a heart attack on a cheap paper plate, but damn is it good!

About the Author |
We earn our living selling New York City. The next day is never like the last. The last is never ordinary. We witness all sorts. We listen to the City’s noise. We devour its phenomenal food. On the Real is our documentary. It is your pack of unfiltered New York 100s.