So I had my first experience with The Whiskey Brooklyn on Friday night, and I am pleased to report that despite my major whiskey-induced headache, it was a really chill place with good food. Some minor upsets along the way, but ultimately a good bar with a good vibe (and good drinks for a good price).
As you descend the two flights down into The Whiskey, you will feel transported back in time slightly, with the cigarette machine standing alone near the entrance, the shuffleboard room, and of course, the vintage video game room. I brought Hal, my fellow Williamsburger who enjoys a lard-centric meal and a hard drink as much as I do. We were both pretty enticed by the menu and the "Bowl O' Bacon" in particular; so we started off with that, fried pickles (or "frickles" as our friendly bartender, Joel, referred to them), tater tots with cheese and gravy (what else?) and a cheesesteak. Mmmm..a light meal requires a light drink, right? So…some Johnny Walker Black for me, and some 12 yr-old Macallan for Hal. Regular drinks (vodka, soda) and specialty cocktails here are also pretty large for the price which is awesome - $8 for a big "John Daly" (Sweet Tea vodka, lemon, water and soda)? Don't mind if I do.
George, owner of The Whiskey, came by and recommended we try some Tom Lawless, since they're the only bar in New York that carries it. Well then..bottoms up. I'm no whiskey drinker, but this was nice. It tasted very strong at first, but it goes down really smooth and doesn't burn the way some do. I like. So does Hal. Two thumbs up for Tom Lawless. Turns out the backstory of Tom Lawless is more of a family story: George's grandfather was Thomas Lawless, aka the creator behind this American-made Tom Lawless whiskey. A ha! The truth is revealed..
Now behind every truth is a little white lie, and so we come upon the Bowl O' Bacon. Here's the bottom line: it's not in a bowl. Disappointed?? Yes, we were too. I don't know why this was such a big deal to me, but I was literally expecting a BOWL filled with bacon. Instead, it was one of those paper container deals you get at a baseball stadium when you order sausage and peppers. It was a sizeable mound of crispy bacon, and it came with a side of blue cheese sauce and a side of honey for dipping, but it wasn't in a damn bowl!! Grr. It was very good (I mean, how can you mess up a pile of bacon dunked in blue cheese and honey?), but yes, I still wish it were in a BOWL.
The Frickles (yup, I stole the name) were pretty good, but I like fried pickle chips better than spears. In my experience, they tend to be easier to eat and hold on to the breading a little better. These frickles were served with tzatziki sauce (the Greek yogurt, cucumber and dill sauce typically used on Gyros), which was a little odd, but I can eat tzatziki on breakfast cereal so I was fine with it. The tots were pretty awesome. Again, not exactly a food you can screw up, but they weren't soggy (a common affliction of the tater tot), and the cheese and gravy added another level of gluttony. You can tell the cheese and gravy aren't of the highest quality, but whatever man, it's greasy bar food. If you want a port wine reduction and brie fondue over potato gratin, go to Le Bernardin, not here.
The cheesesteak was probably the least of our favorites; it was kind of dry, and it needed the red hot peppers that it was served with. OH I almost forgot about the chipotle mayo! Good lord, I'm slipping. This is a small thing, but they should be proud of that chipotle mayo because it was awesome – it had just the right amount of heat. I think we put a little of that on everything: tots, pickles, cheesesteak. Even though the cheesesteak was the only one that actually needed a sauce of some kind.
After dins, it's time for dessert. And The Whiskey has ONE dessert, and it's an oldie, but a goodie: a hostess cupcake. You can get it with a shot of milk or a shot of white russian. I will let you take a guess as to which one we did. Drunk. Not much to report here – it's a packaged dessert. But by the same token, it went perfectly with the vintage arcade room, because I don't think I've had a Hostess cupcake since I was 12, which coincidentally is probably the last time I played Mortal Kombat also..
So we played Mortal Kombat and Hal beat me. Mortal Kombat isn't my game so trust me, he's not cool or anything. Then I played Pac Man and was KILLING IT..I got so many fruits and grains I could build a food pyramid. Lastly, I tried my hand at Street Fever, the basketball game that torments you by moving the basket back and forth. This did not help my headache. After that, I walked the one block back to my apt, fell face down on my bed (shoes on) and passed out. The true sign of a good time. Thank you Tom Lawless, John Daly and Pac Man; you have reminded me of just how fun it is to be a huge waste of space.