Barton's Bites

Food from a guy's perspective

TimeOut New York Gelato
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

The weekend is just about here and it’s not going to be cooling down. Just in time for the weekend, check out Time Out New York’s list of the best gelato shops in New York City.

Happy National Cheesecake Day!

It’s National Cheesecake Day and what better way to celebrate than chow down on a dessert New York City is famous for. Instead of going to Junior’s or The Cheesecake Factory (note: those two are definitely not on the same playing field), why not check out a cheesecake establishment that’s celebrating its 40th anniversary – Eileen’s Special Cheesecake. (If nothing else, visit their website and turn the volume on your computer up, it’s well worth it.)

Today from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., visit Eileen’s Special Cheesecake to meet Eileen and her family, try the delicious cheesecakes, see how they’re created and enjoy 50% of all cheesecakes. Flavors include Salted Caramel, Oreo Cookie, Strawberry, Bourbon… and more than 30 others!

Click to add a blog post for Eileen's Special Cheesecake on Zomato


Check out this list from The Daily Meal of the 101 Best Burgers in America. Does your favorite burger spot make the list?

A Hidden Beer Garden on the Upper West Side

West End Hall – 2756 Broadway, Manhattan, New York City

A new beer hall has arrived on the Upper West Side (maybe the only one?) and I checked it out a couple weeks ago.

West End Hall NYC Interior
The interior features communal tables and awesome lighting that spill out onto Broadway

West End Hall features 30 bottled beer options and 20 draught beers and ciders on rotation. They have an eclectic menu that ranges from your more traditional beer hall sausages and bratwurst to pulled pork wontons, mussels, salads and Mediterranean spreads (think hummus, tzatziki, etc.). I can easily say that everything I tried was delicious, especially the pulled pork wontons and crab corn fritters.

West End Hall NYC Wontons
Pulled Pork Wontons
West End Hall NYC Crab Corn Fritters
Crab Corn Fritters

But what is most appealing about West End Hall is what you can’t see. There is a secret backyard garden that feels like you¹ve entered into an undiscovered hidden gem on the Upper West Side. It’s quiet, peaceful, relaxing and the perfect spot to spend a weekend afternoon hanging out with friends away from the traffic of Broadway.

West End Hall NYC Secret Garden
Secret Backyard Garden

I recommend checking out West End Hall and enjoying this “secret” backyard beer garden before the rest of the neighborhood catches on!

Industry Kitchen – Waterfront Restaurant and Bar

Industry Kitchen – 70 South Street, Manhattan, New York City

South Street Seaport’s newest waterfront restaurant and bar had it’s grand opening last week and you’re all in for a treat. Industry Kitchen is a new spot for a summer happy hour with unobstructed views of the water and Brooklyn skyline.

Industry Kitchen

Industry Kitchen Waterfront View

Aside from the food (we’ll get there), what makes this place interesting is the architecture. Industry Kitchen combines industrial sharp edges and concrete with reclaimed plank wood. The result is a mixture of industry and sea – combining both features of the area.

Industry Kitchen Older & Wiser

Executive Chef Marco Arnold focuses the menu on freshly made pizzas, grilled meats and vegetables from two large custom-made wood burning ovens. The appetizers I had were pretty good. They weren’t anything that blew me away, but for bar snacks they hit the spot. I can’t speak to some of the larger dishes – steak, salmon, pizza, etc. but judging from other reviews, these can be very hit or miss.

Aside from the food, there are some delicious, refreshing cocktails from bartenders with a strong pour. Try the Older & Wiser. You won’t regret it.

Industry Kitchen Spanish Artichoke Dip

Industry Kitchen Grilled Shrimp South Street Seaport, New York CityIndustry Kitchen is the perfect place to hit up for an after work happy hour. The views are picturesque, the bartenders are friendly and the drinks are strong. Next time I visit I’ll give the entrees a try to see how they stack up. I’m hopeful some of the negative buzz about this place is due to growing pains and they’ll get their act together in time to finish the rest of the summer strong.

Click to add a blog post for Industry Kitchen on Zomato

Fox Bros BBQ

Fox Bros BBQ – 1238 Dekalb Avenue NE, Atlanta, Georgia

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’m just going to leave these two photos right here. What we’re talking about is some of the best beef brisket I’ve ever had. Fox Bros BBQ in Atlanta, Georgia makes my list as one of the top BBQ spots around. It looks a little grungy, you can smell the BBQ a mile away and paper towels take the place of napkins. When at Fox Bros, go for the beef brisket. It has a charred, smoky exterior and dissolves in your mouth – no chewing required.

Fox Bros. BBQ Beef Brisket and Tater Tots

Fox Bros. BBQ Beef Brisket and Tater Tots in Atlanta, Georgia

This Weekend: Big Apple BBQ

If you’re around Madison Square Park this weekend stop by the annual Big Apple BBQ, a two-day gathering of some of the country’s best pitmasters. On Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. you can chow down on brisket from Texas, pulled pork from Alabama, ribs from Mississippi and more.

Words of advice – get to this event right when it opens and divide and conquer with friends. Lines form at the popular booths quickly.

Big Apple Barbecue Pulled Pork
Photo courtesy of Big Apple Barbecue

Free Iced Tea Today at Teavana

Today is National Iced Tea Day and to celebrate, participating Teavana stores are giving away free 16-ounce Pineapple Berry Blue iced tea, no purchase required (one free Pineapple Berry Blue iced tea per customer). There are a few stores in NYC – 9th and Broadway, Broadway and 81st, Madison and 84th, 63rd and 3rd, Queens Center Mall and Staten Island Mall.

To continue the iced tea celebration, customers can visit participating Teavana stores on June 11 – June 14 from 3-6 p.m. local time for 50% off an iced tea beverage.

National Iced Tea Day Teavana

Horror Fiction in the East Village: Lovecraft Bar

Lovecraft – 50 Avenue B, Manhattan, New York

A steampunk-themed interior intricately detailed with water fixtures, hanging lights, tentacles and plenty more gives this East Village bar a mysterious and spooky feeling right in line with its namesake, H.P. Lovecraft.

I recently was invited in to check out Lovecraft’s new dinner menu, which debuted this spring featuring innovative items created by award-winning celebrity chef, Chris Coleman. But before we dive into the food, let me gloat again about the interior – wow. If not for anything else, stop by Lovecraft just to explore the multi-roomed interior that takes you through the strange, dark fiction of H.P. Lovecraft.

Lovecraft Bar InteriorLovecraft Bar opened last year as a cocktail bar featuring live music on its stage downstairs. It now features a full brunch and dinner menu featuring items including crisp salads, tasty appetizers and mouth-watering entrees “from the sea” and “from the land.”

Maryland Crab Cake

Maryland crab cakes come out surrounded by beads of truffle aioli. There was virtually no breading in this crab cake, with it truly being a crab cake and consisting of copious amounts of perfectly seared lump crab.

Montauk Lobster Tacos

Montauk lobster tacos come out three to a plate. Once again, Chef Coleman doesn’t shy away from liberal amounts of seafood. These tacos were bursting with lots of delicious lobster meat. The lobster is mixed with mayo and a light cream sauce and it’s all topped with pico de gallo and an avocado puree. My only recommendation would be to go a little lighter on the sauce next time. The lobster had a lot of flavor and I didn’t want the sauce to overpower that too much.

Skirt Steak

Who can say no to steak? The presentation here displayed a skirt steak sliced and stacked on top of grilled asparagus and fingerling potatoes. The steak was cooked to order and deliciously marinated.

Fresh Water Walleye

Pistachio crusted walleye was served with gorgonzola and blue cheese-infused fingerling potatoes. The fish was fresh and had a very light and refreshing taste to it. The potatoes added some more heartiness to the dish and were absolutely delicious – who wouldn’t love potatoes covered in cheese?

The Verdict

The eldritch interior design, impeccable artwork, and weekly entertainment have attracted Lovecraft fans, local art enthusiasts and live-music fanatics from all over the city. Restaurant and bar-goers now have the fabulous opportunity to enjoy Chef Coleman’s culinary talents as well. The interior is simply spectacular and the food excels as well. Kudos to Lovecraft Bar. Check it out next time you’re in the East Village!

Happy National Doughnut Day! Where Can You Score Some Freebies?

It’s National Doughnut Day and that means you can score some free doughnuts. Here’s where to go:

  • Dunkin Donuts – free doughnut with purchase of a beverage
  • Entemann’s – enter via their Facebook page to win a year’s worth of free doughnuts
  • Krispy Kreme – stop by for a free doughnut
  • Doughnut Plant – if you live in New York City, you can get a free Carnival Sprinkles mini-cake doughnut with a regular purchase

National Doughnut Day

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