Without A Doubt, I Love My Stout!

Frothy. Creamy. Dark, Stout.

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Always a win in my book. Went to Stout for a friend’s birthday this past weekend. It’s super convenient in location. It’s about a 2 minute walk from Penn Station. I made sure to do my research and everyone said to get the Milk or Chocolate Stout. Gosh, I miss my Irish brews. From living in Ireland for 4 months and drinking nothing but whiskey and dark beer… it changes you.

So this place was pretty cool. A very relaxed, hip vibe. And Saturday’s there’s karaoke night so of course we couldn’t pass that up. Let me warn you in saying… I am not a good singer. I mean I am not glass-shattering awful. But I am no Jennifer Hudson. Me and my friends got a nice big table, a few orders of fries and appetizers. Since I couldn’t decide on the milk or chocolate, the waitress was so nice and gave me a sample! They were both so delicious (and a favorite amongst the crowd) but I decided on the milk. The head of the beer was so creamy and the stout was very bold and filling. Just how I love it.

Most of the people come in around 11pm and the karaoke begins. The man who runs it is such a friendly guy and not to mention an AMAZING singer. If you’ve never been to a karaoke bar and are nervous… have no fear. This was my first time and I had a blast. It’s dimly lighted, the atmosphere is casual and with a few drinks… everyone is a superstar. There was such a big crowd… of all ages too. I highly recommend this place and will hopefully be back soon enough.

133 W 33rd St
New York, NY 10001

 

(212) 629-6191

stoutnyc.com

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Ooh, The Witches Brew

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What’s not to love about the Witches Brew? This gothic/eclectic styled coffee shop was the home to many high school hangouts several years back. There is a pretty diverse crowd here which is nice to see. The Witches Brew is everything I look for in a coffee house:
-Oversized comfy coucheswitches brew food
-Vintage decorations
-Funky menu items (food & drink!)
-Smooth music
*Awesome friends.
They have STELLAR teas here. Me being such a big Tea-Drinker, I know that every visit will be a great one. During the fall season, the pumpkin and chai make it’s guest appearance. My favorite! The cookies, cakes and other assortments of snacks are enough to convince me to travel to Hempstead anytime. Don’t forget this is a CASH only place! I have to make sure to go back here soon. It’s been a while and I’m waaay overdue for a nice chai latte and a giant ooey-gooey cookie.

Weekends can bring the crowds, so plan to wait a bit. And yes, the drinks may be a tad bit pricey but you’re paying for the ambiance, the service and good company! And as you can see by the other reviews, this coffee house is loved by many.

*I could totally picture the cast of FRIENDS hanging out here. This is like the hip version of Central Perk.

311 Hempstead Tpke

West Hempstead, NY 11552

(516) 489-9482

Who? The Ginger Man!

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I feel like I’ve just discovered a treasure map that has led me to the elusive “x” marks the spot –that being, The Ginger Man.

PC: Yelp

PC: Yelp

If you told me a few years ago that I’d be a beer-lover, I’d probably laugh it off. But ever since post-college*, I’m allll about the craft beer. I’m diving into new territory consisting of ales, IPAs, porters, ambers, lagers….you name it. And my favorite, stouts. So when I found a place like this that has over 150 beers on bottle plus 70 on tap, I’m basically in heaven. Dim lighting, comfy couches and large picnic tables make for a very social setting. It can get pretty crowded past 9pm, so plan accordingly and arrive early if you want to nab a spot.

Even if you’re not the biggest fan of beer, you need to check out the Ginger Man. It’s not overwhelmingly loud and the atmosphere is perfect for after-work drinks or catching up with friends. Casual, comfortable and very inviting. (And away from more of the tourist-y places. Yes.)

They print their menus daily, so grab that beer while you can… because once they’ve kicked the keg, you may be outta luck! During my first visit I tried the Vanilla Porter which was excellent. With a $6 price tag and a extremely knowledgeable staff, this place is so so worth it. ($6-10 range) The Ginger Man has been on my “to-try” list for a very long time. I’m in love with it already and can’t wait to go back.** 5 well-deserved stars.
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*In all fairness, I drank the worst beers in college. The many days of Miller Lite and Coors Light, ugh. I’ll never go back.
**Is it too ambitious to say I want to come back enough so that I can try as many of those 70 beers on tap or 100 in bottle as possible? Could be the best/worst idea.

 

11 E 36th St
New York, NY 10016

(212) 532-3740

gingerman-ny.com

Creative Concoctions at the Cortland

Courtesy of @TheCortland

Photo Credit Courtesy of @TheCortland

Cool and unusual flavors of drinks, small intimate setting, sweet snacks, friendly bartenders… The Cortland, you are SPEAKING. MY. LANGUAGE. The hype is totally warranted here.

This is the ideal spot for after-dinner drinks, a date, mini-reunions… you name it. I was immediately enticed by the small yet cozy atmosphere. Dim lighting, chalkboard menus, indie music playing… *sigh* I just love it. There’s quite the selection here: craft beers, their famous Pickleback shots (which I unfort did not get to try since I was the driver that night, but will definitely make it a priority on my next visit), alcoholic milkshakes (only available in the fall/winter) and yes… the infused drinks. My eyes were instantly drawn to the Butternut Squash & Cinnamon drink with apple cider. That just sounds like heaven in a glass to me.

While waiting for my drink, I happened to ask the bartender a few questions about these creative concoctions. I asked them how they came up with these flavor profiles. He (I’m sorry I forgot your name!) was so nice and took the time to give me a 101 on how they do it at the Cortland. As for the flavors… he said that he just thinks of foods that he likes and thinks “hey, why not put them in a drink?” That’s enough convincing for me! I was sold. And well let me tell you… they certainly know how to do infusions here. That was about one of the best mixed drinks I’ve had in a while. I was also able to try the Hibiscus and Plum which was also stellar.

At the bar from time to time they’ll have food — one of them being homemade popped popcorn. What a perfect salty snack. Throughout the week they have events, so definitely check their calendars! Here’s a sneak peak:

  • Tuesdays: Pizza & Trivia Night 8pm
  • Wednesdays: Live Music 9pm
  • Thursdays: Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament 9pm

I could easily see myself coming all the way to Bayshore just for these drinks. The Cortland is a nice getaway from the usual LI crowds and will definitely be back here sometime soon. The spiked shakes… I’m comin’ for ya next time!

27 W Main Street, Bayshore, NY 11706

(631) 206-2220

thecortland.com