Thursday, March 14, 2013

Afternoon Craving: 61 Local

The Brooklyn Brat
Maybe it's because I keep hoping for warmer weather to actually set in (I hate how the weather teases us at this time of the year - one day warm, the next windy and cold!), but right now I'm craving for foods that remind me that soon we'll be able to eat outside.  And right now my focus is on the "Brooklyn Brat" from 61 Local in Cobble Hill.  "Really?!?" you ask, "A sausage reminds you of fine summer dining?"  Yes, it may sound a bit odd, but hear me out.  Think of outdoor beer gardens - a summer essential - and the bratwurst they offer.  Also, the SO and I took a trip to Germany the summer after he graduated from school.  So for me, brats equal memories of sitting outside in Munich, with a beer too heavy for me to lift with one hand and a plate full of sausages and sauerkraut.  Ahhh, good times.

61 Local, however, offers up a much more sophisticated bratwurst than what I remember having in Germany.  The sausage, although small, offers a real kick.  It's cut in half - which is absolutely genius, because you automatically feel like you're getting more sausage - and it's nestled between a thick, crusty and beautifully toasted french baguette.  On the side, you have fresh mustard.  I'll note here that I am a self-professed condiment hater, but I found myself dipping each bite of sausage into the mustard.  You also get potato chips and a pickle, which is nice because when I was in Germany, I felt that I never ate any vegetables.  A pickle is definitely a vegetable, and I think last I heard, potatoes were also?

Aside from the yummy Brooklyn Brat, 61 Local offers a cool, relaxed place to grab a beer and a bite.  There are large communal tables that people actually seem to not mind sharing.  It's fairly dark, but that didn't stop the two people who brought their laptops from working the last time I was there.  There are about 15 beers on tap, so you're bound to find something you like.  My favorite part of the bar is the skewed map of the New York area that rests above.  You can probably guess that everyone's favorite borough looks slightly bigger than it should!

I think what I like so much about 61 Local is that it has successfully upgraded the standard bar fare.  The Brooklyn Brat is probably one of the best bratwurst sandwiches I've had in New York City, and the Veg Out Toast, which the SO had, is a pretty solid vegetable burger that almost makes you forget meat (I say "almost" because who could really forget meat?).  So until summer comes around, I'll be waiting at 61 Local.

The entrance to 61 Local

The Veg Out Toast

The dark bar

61 Local
61 Bergen Street
Mon to Thurs (7-12), Fri (7-1), Sat (9-1), Sun (9-12).  Cash only.

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