April 18, 2011

Go with the Local

A couple months back I was prepping for a trip that would ultimately entail my traipsing through New York, checking out some of its specialty markets and finer foodstuffs… rough gig. Brooklyn was high on the list for a number of reasons, not least of which is the culinary culture it has established these past few years that stresses craftsmanship and collaboration.

The borough has become an incubator of sorts for locally-made artisanal products – beer, cutlery, chocolate, charcuterie, pickles, pasta, you name it. Being into food means getting into food, yourself, up to your elbows (think: breaking down whole animals in-store). But I’d never been and there was lots to see, so in order to make the most of my limited time I sought out the expertise of local Brooklyn-enthusiast Matthew Hranek, noted photographer and steward of The William Brown Project, a written and visual collection of some of his experiences and inspirations.

A brief run through Matt’s blog gives a good indication of the diversity of what he’s into (clay pigeon shoots, hunting dogs, caviar merchants, old Barbour jackets, smoked meats, smoked anything… and that’s just from the past week), and very quickly it should become clear why his was the counsel I sought when picking a few can’t miss places. 

We met up on the corner outside Union Market. He’d just come from having a bite at Prime Meats (which he’s written on a couple of times here and here) and suggested I do the same. 

Walking into Prime Meats at the handsome corner of Court and Luquer is like walking into a Garden & Gun photo shoot: distressed leather benches, reclaimed wood, antiqued mirrors. The waitstaff looked like the Avett Brothers. Hell even the fonts were cool. 

The cocktails are fresh and deliberate, the meats are cured in-house, and the crisp signature beer is from local brewer Sixpoint Craft Ales.  I started with the house-made pretzel with butter and mustard and continued with a pastrami sandwich washed down with the Prime Meats pilsner. The meat was so tender, not over-poweringly salty and with a great smoke to it.   

Sat there for a couple hours with some good friends, soaking up this one physical embodiment of what Brooklyn food culture is hanging its hat on. Let a local be your guide - that should be a rule – and this rec is a testament to why.

425 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY

1 comment:

Matthew Hranek said...