December 14, 2017

EVERYONE! Stop ! in ! your ! tracks ! FORGET What you've heard about fancy-schmancy ~Manhattan~ restaurants! Serendipi-who? I don't know her? Who I DO know are the hidden gems of Brooklyn. The holes in the walls. The places where the executive chef is grandma. 

Don't get me wrong, I love me a nice sit-down meal. Who doesn't want more food for less money  -and better, more wholesome tasting food at that? Last weekend, I went on a trip with my friends to the big apple. We stayed in Bed-Stuy, a Brooklyn neighborhood with breweries, artists collectives and delis owned by locals - not people new to the area. The businesses we supported seemed to be owned by people who knew the area their whole life. Their art and food reflected that. Why face the harsh and long MTA ride, the expensive fare and long wait when you can get a home cooked meal and get to know the locals? Of course I'm not ruling out all nice restaurants, there's a time and place for everything. We were hungry college kids on a budget, with an affinity for Puerto Rican and soul food - this was the right time and place.

1. Boobie Trap / La Isla
If you asked me my ideal night, I would describe my Friday night. We got to the airbnb, and our host was a treat. We got the whole top floor of a gorgeous brownstone to ourselves. After hanging out and settling in, we got ready and pregamed. Pregaming included a fun game of kings, dancing and tons of pictures. We took a Lyft to our favorite bar in Bushwick (my friend and I went there last time we were in NYC) called Boobie Trap. That eclectic dive bar had great deals including $5 for a beer and a shot, unique decor and games and the coolest bartender in a cheerleading costume.

After there, we went to eat at a Puerto Rican spot right next to it, La Isla. Yes, we pregamed for dinner. This spot had limited tables and spots at the bar, which we sat at. You couldn't go wrong with anything on the menu - I knew that no matter what I got. Pork is my one weakness for meat, so I went with that and rice and beans. I thought that I would have half plate of rice and beans and the other half would be pork, but I was wrong. I got a whole plate of pork and a whole plate of rice and beans. If I wasn't going to the club after I would've taken the leftovers and ate them later. Just like the spot I will mention below, this was enough for two meals. We were all in awe at how good the food was. Please check out La Isla and Boobie Trap in Bushwick!

2. The Soul Spot
Do I need to say anything more than soul food? When I say my soul was warm after eating this food, I'm not lying. Right before we left to drive the 4 hours back home, we stocked up on soul food at The Soul Spot in Brooklyn on their main street area. I got curry goat, candied yams, okra in stewed sauce and fried plantains. I had enough food for two meals and more. I actually ate that at 3PM then was full until I got home at 9 and ate the second round. What broke millennial wouldn't want two delicious meals for the price of one?

Do you have any hidden NYC gems to share?

Like this piece? Check out 10 Amazing Hidden Gems in NYC.

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