Monthly Archives: September 2006

Mullane's Bar and Grill: The Review

Mullane’s Bar and Grill
in the LaFu
I’m a pretty decent Sports fan. So when Mullane’s first posted a sign with “Watch the World Cup Here” I wasn’t as upset as some people that a Sports bar was opening up around the Nabe.I was actually kind of happy.There really isn’t any place in the Nabe that I know of to where I can watch the game, get a beer and get a bite to eat.I had high hopes for Mullane’s to become that place so when it opened you just knew I had to go and check it out with this criteria in mind.

Watching the Game

The decor is nice inside Mullane’s. They’ve got 4 HDTVs and it’s high enough that you can get a pretty good view of the game from any place near the bar. What I didn’t like is that, as you will see in the pictures, they weren’t always broadcasting in HD.Those gray bars are really really annoying don’t you think?
If you have HDTV’s then you should be broadcasting the game in HD otherwise it’s a waste.
Nice high ceilings and a dining room separate from the bar.

One of the nice touches is a separate dining area so people can still go there for dinner and avoid the Sports bar scene.

So as a place to watch the game, it’s not so bad. You’ll get a good view from anywhere around the bar and I’m sure they’ll get it together eventually and put the games on in HD.

Getting a Beer
A decent selection of tap beers.

As with any decent bar they offer a good selection of beers on tap. Magic Hat #9 isn’t something that you find in a lot of bars. The Blue Point is also a very good beer that not a lot of places have on tap.

I was quite impressed by the selection.

Great place to grab a beer.

Getting a Bite to Eat

I know that Mullane’s might not be a Sports bar but I think because of the “Watch the World Cup Here” sign and the HDTVs – it left me with that impression.And, again, I’m looking for a place where I can watch the game, get a beer and get a bite to eat.So, in traditional Sports bar manner, I’m expecting really really good BAR FOOD.We start with the Onion Rings.The Onion Rings were missing…something. It was kind of bland. I mean, I should like it. It’s fried after all but…no. Maybe more seasoning in the batter and stronger onions would help but these were boring.
Onion rings – eh.

We move on to the Buffalo Wings.Any decent Sports bar has to have really good wings. It’ll make or break a place, for me, if I can’t get good wings while watching the game.Mullane’s wings were…different.While the Wings were kind of tasty I wanted traditional Buffalo Wings. Hot sauce and butter. And the hotter the sauce the better so that I can wash it down with beer.These were kind of gourmet wings. And I think they were grilled, not fried. WTF??

There also weren’t very many of them. I’m counting like, maybe, a half a dozen in the picture?

Maybe it’s me but when I want wings I want to be able to, if need be, make a meal out of it. You’d have to get like 10 orders of Wings here to make it a meal.

Very disappointing.

These Wings are not from Buffalo.
These Wings are not from Buffalo.
[Lesterhead’s Two Cents: I, however, AM from Buffalo,
and was extremely insulted by these wings. No, they weren’t bad, but they were chicken wings in a ginger sauce. BUFFALO WINGS indicate that they are chicken wings in the traditional Buffalo hot sauce.]
What are Mussels doing in a Sports bar?Well, okay, this is the whole “maybe it’s not really a Sports bar” thing but I like Mussels. I had to order them. Just because.
Does it go with Onion Rings?
Does it go with Buffalo Wings?
No, not really but, hey, food is food.But does Mussels go with Chick Peas? NO. THEY DO NOT.

So why are there Chick Peas in with the Mussels?


The Mussels were good once you picked out all the Chick Peas.

There are chick peas in my Mussels. Not a good thing.
And the last staple of good ol’Bar Food is the classic American Burger.

burger 1

burger 2

burger 3

And, no, I didn’t eat them all.(I’m good but I’m not that good.)I was the proud owner of burger 3 – mushrooms and bacon. It was either the BAM burger or the LaFu burger or something like that.As burgers go – these were good. Not the best I’ve ever had, not the worse. It was…just a burger. That’s probably the best way I can explain it – it was just a burger.

The Final Verdict

I really wanted to like Mullane’s. I really wanted it to be that place – especially since the Mets made the playoffs.(Let’s Go Mets!)I just wasn’t impressed by the food.TV: Check.
Beer: Check.
Food: Eh.And the food really matters. The Wings were a really big disappointment to me.

Still, you might catch me in there from time to time.

I’m just probably going to have to eat before I go.

(When are Smoke Joint and 67 Burger opening again?)

We need a vote on what to name that area.

LaFu – is short and sweet.
TriFuLa – the triangle between Fulton and Lafayette is what Mr. Set Speed wants to call it.
TriLaFu – adding the Tri to LaFu to gives it that TriBeCa feel and I can still claim ownership.
(Which is important for royalty reasons once the realtors pick up on it.)

Cast your votes.

Friday Misc.

Wine Tasting TONIGHT @ Olivino
Olivino will host an exciting tasting this Friday, September 29, 2006 from
6:30 to 8:30pm. Rudi, from Miskeit Wines will be tasting a flight of five
German wines, three whites and two reds!

Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn BAKE SALE
The bake sale on Sat., 9/30, is sponsored by Fort Greene Kids, runs from 11 am to 4 pm, right near the children’s park at Washington Ave. and Lafayette Ave. Great food at excellent prices. The proceeds benefit the DDDB Legal Fund.

Bad Postal Service in the News
Here‘s the article in the New York Sun, focusing on the inconsistent and irritating mail delivery service in our area. The article sadly did not focus on the foul 11238 post office, but mail delivery is just part of the problem being generated there and at other area POs.

G Train Symphony

waiting for the c train

Yesterday morning, there was a man playing the violin on the Clinton-Washington Smith St-bound G train platform. Normally you only encounter this in more crowded stations, where the music gets mixed in with loud conversations and train noise. It just seemed so out of place in the G station. But in a good way. The G platform is normally fairly quiet, and it was nice to hear the music echoing through the station. A peaceful way to start the morning.

I wanted to talk to him, but didn’t want to disrupt his performance. Know him? Send him our way so we can chat with him.

He wasn’t there today. I was disappointed. I was looking forward to more violin serenades. Come back, violin man!

Karen's Body Beautiful: Myrtle

When I first moved to the Hill, Karen’s Body Beautiful resided in a tiny storefront on Clinton Avenue north of Myrtle. I was thrilled to see her move to an exponentially larger site on Myrtle earlier this year — the store is spacious, peaceful and warm, and really makes sense on our ever-changing Myrtle Ave.

The absolute coolest thing about Karen’s store is the fact that she creates ALL of her products right there, on-site! A modern kitchen sits directly behind the front counter, allowing shoppers to watch her work her magic.

Getting to know Karen:

When did the store first open? I know it was originally in a different location.
We opened the first store in February 2004 and the current location (our expansion) in Feb 2006.

How did you learn to make your own beauty products? My friends and I tried it once, and nothing turned out correctly.
My husband and I spent our 2003 summer vacation (from teaching High School History) learning how to make personal care products. We bought books and ingredients and did lots of experimentation. We signed the lease on our original location on Clinton Ave in November 2003. Since we were still teaching at the time it took us 2 months to make enough products to stock the store and we opened in Feb 2004. It was very exciting because we taught at the same school in the history department, we would come home make shower gel, shampoos, body butters, etc. and drive them over to the store every day. Out of the experience making the products off site (at home) and hauling them to the store did we decided that it would be wonderful to put the kitchen in the store to streamline our production and we thought the customers would get kick out of actually seeing the products being made.

Do you live in the neighborhood? If so, how long have you been here?
I live in Bed-Stuy. I’ve lived there for 2 years.

What have been some of the challenges in owning your own business in Brooklyn?
On of the challenges is maintaining a daily production schedule to keep up the our internet and in store demands. Since we make all of our products from scratch in the store we have to be open daily making products in order to fill internet orders and keep the store stocked. It takes alot of work and time to hand-make and package thousands of soaps, lotions, candles, etc.

Favorite place to eat in the neighborhood:
My favorite place to eat is ABistro* on Carlton and Myrtle. The Senegalese Fried Chicken and French Toast (on Sunday Brunch) are FABULOUS!

What would you love to see open in Clinton Hill?
There are sooo many things Myrtle Ave needs! A few more restaurants (including a vegetarian one) and bars are necessary to generate more foot traffic to support businesses like a butcher shop, flower shop, clothing stores, gourmet fruit and vegetable grocery store and bakery.

Any insider info on what else will be opening on Myrtle?
A new hair salon that caters to white hair will be opening soon on Myrtle between Waverly and Washington. I also know that several flower shops and a butcher are very interested in opening on Myrtle.

I see the shop is quite roomy. Do you ever offer classes, seminars or events?
We have KBB Spa Days where a masseuse and an esthetician come in to do spa treatments, birthday parties, and seminars on health and beauty.

What’s your most popular product?
Our Body Scrubs are most popular. They are very moisturizing, they exfoliate, soften and leave you with brand new skin.

If you were a flavor of ice cream, what flavor would you be and why?
Hmmm… I dont eat ice cream any more, but my favorite dessert is a mango, pineapple and strawberry home-made smoothie sweetened with agave and stevia with a dash of lemon essential oil.


436 Myrtle Avenue
Between Clinton Avenue & Waverly Avenue
Tel: (718) 797-4808
Hours: M-Sa 12p-8p; Su 12p-5p

* When ABistro first opened, I visited several times and absolutely loved it! The service and food were both top notch. For some reason, I haven’t been in awhile. Thanks, Karen, for reminding me!!

Clinton Hill's Oral History

A local resident and Pratt graduate student has contacted me looking for information on an oral history project completed in the area a few years ago. She writes:

I’m wondering if anyone who visits the blog remembers an oral history project about gentrification and Clinton Hill? I believe interviews for the project were conducted about 3 or 4 years ago. Would you post my question and any answers or links that come up about it? I’m working on a paper for graduate school. Thanks.

This is the first I’ve heard of the project, but I’d love to know more! Anyone out there have any information?

It would be fun to do an “oral history week” on the blog and talk to lifelong residents.

top clinton hill chef

i was on the other day, feeding the gaping hole left in my life by the fact that there was no new episode of project runway last week, when i saw that the page for the new season of top chef was up, so i jumped over and started perusing the contestants.

and one of them looked familiar:

i clicked on her, and, lo and behold, she’s from brooklyn…. i racked my brain and it finally came to me: she used to be the chef at maggie brown’s! she is also a former professional football player. you can read her full bio here.

i’m hoping that once the new season of t.c. starts, bravo will give us a way to contact the contestants and i can try to get an interview….

More on Post Office Woes

A reporter from the New York Sun has contacted me about our post office woes.

She tells me that several Fort Greene residents are having major problems with their mail delivery — mainly that mailmen/women are too lazy to climb up brownstone steps and are instead dumping all mail by the ground floor apartment, where it often gets destroyed in inclement weather.

I told her I would post a notice and ask for further comments on general mail problems in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill. Go to it, friends, especially if the post office/mail carrier has lost something valuable during delivery.

Want to file a complaint? Go here.

Churches and Chinese Takeout

BklnJay wondered aloud one day whether Clinton Hill has more churches or Chinese restaurants.

After chuckling about it, we realized that it would be a fun project.

What we need now is your help! Explore your own block and take photos of all churches and Chinese restaurants. Then email them to us, and let us know what areas you’ve covered.

Here’s what we’ve completed so far:

All church-esque places are accepted (especially storefront churches!). Also acceptible are Chinese-Mexican combo takeout places.

Let’s be inclusive — Vanderbilt to Franklin.

(I considered adding bodegas to the mix, but that’s just insane.)