Megabus dropped us off at the usual corner of 28th and 7th Ave. We hit the subway and were quickly at our first destination: Russ & Daughters. I'd visited R&D once with the Mrs. and thought my dad would really enjoy sampling all of the different types of smoked salmon and building a bagel sandwich. Unfortunately, he didn't sample anything, he just glanced at the options and ordered. But I guess that's the kind of guy my dad is, no BS straight to the point. He ordered Scottish salmon with horseradish cream cheese on a plain bagel and a jug of OJ. I, on the other hand, had read about the Super Heebster sandwich and had also read that they do mini versions of their sandwiches, so I ordered that on a mini sesame bagel and a diet Dr. Brown's Black Cherry.
|Cute lil guy|
|Don't click, it's blurry|
Dad was pretty full from his sandwich (later saying he should've ordered the mini like I did) so we wandered over to Washington Square Park. Dad swore this was where a scene from Dirty Harry was shot, but after whipping out my iphone we found it was the San Francisco Washington Square Park. Bummer. We walked up to Union Square station and took the L over to Brooklyn. We tried to transfer to the G, but the station was closed off, requiring use of the commuter bus to transfer so we decided to just hoof it up towards Greenpoint. We walked North on Union and came upon McCarren Park which was pretty cool. There was a high school football game taking place between Bayside HS and Automotive HS so we stopped to watch a few drives of that while my dad ogled the chicks running by on the track. We found it pretty funny that the biggest dude on Bayside played defensive tackle as well as punter/kicker.
|Big sweaty mens|
|I go nuts for donuts|
After finding a nice newspaper box to eat on we unveiled our goodies. First up was the apple crumb.
|Apple crumb topped with a doughnut graveyard|
|We calls em tractor wheels where I come from, I reckon|
|Crazy hole structure|
|The after party at the General Mills company picnic|
Our timing was perfect, and we arrived at the door of Brooklyn Bowl mere minutes after they'd opened. We were assigned lane 5 and quickly made our way over to the bar to sample a few beers. I explained to the bartender, who turned out to be uber-nice, a theme with all of the employees we encountered there, that we were in town for my dad's birthday and I wanted him to sample a few beers and we would order a pitcher of whatever he likes. The guy had no problem shelling out samples of the handful of beers my dad listed off. While I don't care for Brooklyn Lager, we both really enjoyed Brooklyn Light Ale so we went with that.
The interior of Brooklyn Bowl is nothing short of gorgeous, and after only being open for 2 years this place has received ample amounts of press for being an awesome place to bowl, eat, and see live bands. Another reason I chose to take my dad bowling was because I bowled throughout my entire childhood, and while I failed miserably at little league and high school football, I dominated in bowling. You think I jest? I was the YABA Maryland State Champion and hold one of the highest youth sets ever bowled in the state of Maryland, 771. I killed it with my Rhino Pro Gold. You best straight recognize.
|Bringing the ruckus|
|The perfect marriage of bowling and beer|
I talked so much smack about kicking my dad's ass on his birthday. I was going to bowl circles around him, he didn't even know what pain I was about to bring. Yeah, well that's not entirely the way things panned out and before I knew it he was up two games to none.
Game #1: Gap Daddy 143
Baby Gap 111
Game #2: Gap Daddy 145
Baby Gap 111
Hey, at least I was being consistent, right? Luckily I capitalized on dad's worst game so far, squeaking out my first win in game 3.
Game #3: Gap Daddy 125
Baby Gap 128
Game 4, and our second pitcher of beer were upon us. As I laughingly quaffed my glass I entertained visions of leaving with at least a shred of respect, splitting our games at 2 apiece. Alas it was not meant to be. Apparently the more my dad drinks the looser he gets and the better he bowls and the more I drink the harder it is for me to concentrate on what the hell I'm doing. Not to mention keep my balance. Game 4 turned out to be the harshest beat-down of them all:
Game #4: Gap Daddy 202
Baby Gap 101
His eyes almost popped out of their sockets when he saw how much two hours of bowling and two pitchers of beer cost. He estimated around $30. Try $146. Ouch. We saddled up to the bar to finish off our second pitcher. There was some great light coming in through a high window which really showed off the great golden color of the Brooklyn Light Ale:
|Oh, the pretty colors!|
|Ah, toasty warm|
|Nothing witty to say about this one... boobs.|
|BS&P just kills it|
|Spicy, garlicky, and, unfortunately, greasy|
|That's not burnt, that's char and char is delicious|
|A NYC institution, or so I'm told|
|Giada's favorite nuts|
My dad went to the bathroom and I ordered him his usually double T&T. I was pretty full from lunch so I didn't want to drink beer, and I'm not much of a cocktail drinker. I like them, I just never know what to order. The bartender asked if I preferred a sweet drink or something more bitter, and it seems that whenever I answer that question I'm presented with a drink that's either two sweet or two bitter. I told her that I love scotch and she asked if I'd ever had an old-fashioned. I replied no, and she told me that it's usually made with an orange slice, a maraschino cherry, and a sugar cube, which is muddled together and bourbon is poured over top. She said there was a variant that she couldn't recall the name of that uses scotch instead of bourbon. Initially she made it with Dewer's and while I loved the drink, I consider Dewer's to be the Bud Light of scotch. So after she retired and the evening bartender came on I asked him to make it with Glenfiddich (I can never remember which one I like better Glenfiddich or Glenlivit... Why the hell do the names have to be so GD similar?). He also transferred the drink to a shaker which broke up the orange slice even more. Ladies and gentlemen I present to you my new drink of choice:
|I guess I'm just an old-fashioned girl|
|Clearly dad is jealous of my badass lazer eyes|
And finally we come to our final destination of finality. The finale if you will. I had two options for dinner: an 8:45 res at Convivio for fancy pants white table cloth pasta or beers and burgers at the Breslin which was just a few short blocks from Penn Station. We went for burgers at Breslin, primarily due to the fact that I love alliteration.
Considering how much press the Breslin had received shortly after opening in October 2009, and the fact that they don't take reservations, I was expecting a colossal wait at 9pm on a Saturday. The Breslin is April Bloomfield's second restaurant after the Spotted Pig. The burger at the Spotted Pig happens to be my favorite burger on earth, combine that with my love of all things lamb and you can imagine how excited I was to try her take on a lamb burger. Well, for whatever reason that wasn't the case and I barely had time to use the restroom after putting our names in before the hostess was tracking me down to lead us to our table.
I ordered a Pork Slap Ale and a lamb burger medium rare and my dad was delighted to see that they had a gin and tonic menu so he ordered the classic and a lamb burger medium. I was glad the wait was so short, because the service was embarrassingly slow. I wasn't really complaining though, our bus didn't leave until 11pm and it was just past 9 so we had plenty of time to hang out and discuss life. We actually did get into some pretty heavy discussion about the current state of our lives and how happy we were. We discussed life and love, marriage and divorce, and all things between. All of a sudden two big stinky burgers were plopped down before us. Hold that thought dad, it's eatin' time.
|Would it beat the Spotted Pig?|
|I wish I were that fry. I wish that fry was me.|
|Just imagine the bun is lips, the patty a tongue, the feta two gapped teeth. A sign?|
|He's so ashamed for wetting himself all over the plate...|
|See? Naughty burger!|
The gaminess of the meat was the stuff of legends, the feta cheese only serving to enhance it into another stratosphere while also adding a thick slab of creaminess to the bite. Red onion is usually a pretty powerful flavor, but combined with all of these other potent forces, it was lost in the mix. All-in-all a very tasty burger indeed, and one I would happily order again if I ever found myself at the Breslin. The star of this dish though, is that mayo. Hallelujah, holy shit, where's the Tylenol? If only one could have the fries and mayo from the Breslin and the burger from the Spotted Pig, that would truly be burger heaven.
I wasn't done just yet. When I mentioned ordering dessert to my dad, he looked at me like I had lost my damned mind. In a way I had. He's not used to marathon eating like I am. This is the way I roll, you'd better come prepared or suffer the consequences! I ordered the chocolate stout syllabub with creme fraiche and caramel bubbles.
|There's your syllabub, bub.|
|I want to do a cannonball right into that|
I'm so glad I decided to do this and I can only hope my dad enjoyed it half as much as I did. The highlights for me were goofing off at Brooklyn Bowl and seeing my dad let loose and really get into Fuerza Bruta. Happy 55th birthday dad! You don't know how lucky I am to have a dad that is not only a great father, but a best friend too. I love you.
Since I'm feeling a bit saucy here are some bonus pictures of our adventures on Labor Day. We did our usual crabbing and boat-riding shenanigans. Enjoy!
|Seasoning the crabbies|
|My bloody mary|
|Steamed crabs on the water, nothing beats it|
|The pups' first boat ride|
|My girls. Damn I'm lucky.|
|Smoking some wings for dessert|
|Sahara remembered to vote, did you?|