What’s better than a cup of slow-drip coffee, vanilla ice cream, and a side of fried chicken with apple pie with cheddar crust on a chilly March evening?
Nothing apparently, as three new venues in Williamsburg are set to serve the comfort foods that neighborhood residents crave this week.
Pies N’ Thighs
It’s not exactly new, but rather the return of an old neighborhood friend and Brooklynites are excited nonetheless.
The South Wiliamsburg institution shut its doors on Kent Avenue two years ago after expenses began piling up when the city’s Health Department took their indoor smoker away. They found a new space a few blocks away, but the building had outstanding violations and they spent more than a year working with the Department of Buildings to fix them.
On March 1, with a new indoor smoker in tow, Pies N Thighs reopened on South 4th and Driggs, featuring that down home cookin’ that Williamsburgers have come to love.
“Oh my god we’re so happy. It’s been a long wait for us. We’re happy to have this corner,” said co-owner Carolyn Bane.
Bane assures loyal residents that they are “sticking to the old stuff” which will stick to your ribs. She recommends the pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, smoked to perfection, and the banana cream pie or the apple cheddar pie for dessert, as well as a new salad featuring homemade molasses-based anadama bread, sprouts, avocado, and egg that’s “ so good, like a hippie health bread.”
Pies-N-Thighs is located at 166 South 4th Street at Driggs Avenue. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 8 am to 11 pm, and weekends from 10 am to 4 pm. Call 347-529-6090.
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream
Further north, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream finally settles down in its first storefront on 632 Manhattan Avenue near McCarren Park after distributing its intensely flavored small-batch scoops on Bedford Avenue and in sites throughout Manhattan for the past two years.
The cozy store, which opened on February 27, evokes the nostalgic ice cream shops of the borough’s past, but the flavors are foodie forward. The milk and cream is sourced from a farm in Lewis County, in upstate New York, vanilla comes from beans imported from Papua New Guinea, peppermint is organic and shipped from Oregon, cinnamon comes from sticks shipped from Sri Lank and pistachio is picked by hand from Sicily and mixed on-site.
Once word spread about the grand opening and a four-hour give-away on Saturday afternoon, the store was briefly overwhelmed.
“We served ice cream, pastries and Intelligentsia to over 500 people in 4 hours. It was very magical, sweets everywhere!” said founder Ben Van Leeuwen.
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream is located at 632 Manhattan Avenue near Nassau Avenue in Greenpoint. For more information, call 718-701-1630 or visit www.vanleeuwenicecream.com. Ice cream starts at $3.95 and $5.75 for cups and cones and sundaes are $7.25 to $8.
Blue Bottle Coffee
San Francisco’s best coffee is coming to Williamsburg, bringing something a little different to the neighborhood’s supersaturated, super-caffeinated landscape.
Williamsburg’s foodie vibe attracted Blue Bottle owner James Freeman, who was inspired last August following a visit to Marlowe and Sons.
A small industrial building on North 6th Street caught Freeman’s eye as a place where he could roast beans on-site, but he ended up in a similar building that better met his needs.
On March 10, Blue Bottle will open its storefront on 160 Berry Street, which will feature coffee roasted in Williamsburg that will drip through glass orbs and stainless steel Japanese kettles more akin to an alchemist’s workshop or a Medieval apothecary. Every cup of coffee is made to order, which will be different for the neighborhood’s grab-and-go crowd.
“It’s been a dream to roast coffee in Brooklyn and make coffee for our neighbors,” said Freeman. “Most of our customers are going to be our neighbors. I’m really looking forward to making coffee for them and meeting them.”
Blue Bottle Coffee is located at 160 Berry Street off North Fifth Street in Williamsburg. For more information, call 718-534-5488 or visit www.bluebottle.net.