As a NYC resident for almost seven years, I have spent many a long weekend at home in Manhattan. Maybe after I win the lottery, I’ll have a weekend home, but until then I am quite happy to stay where I am. The city gets so quiet that trips to the park or even running errands makes it feel like I am on vacation myself. Over Memorial Day weekend, CT & I decided to check out the brand new Beer Parc with some friends. It is one of the newest “beer gardens” in the city in the plaza behind Food Parc. After reading reviews from Serious Eats and Midtown Lunch, our desire to check it out ourselves increased tremendously.
When we got there, Barcelona was about to beat Manchester United in the Champions League final on the huge tv screen that is in the plaza. Wayne Rooney wasn’t looking too happy. For the patriotic Americans, don’t fret, they will be showing Yankees & Mets games too. I think this is the biggest outdoor tv in Manhattan where you can watch sports.
There were four kiosks setup outside. Three for food and one for tickets. They setup a ticket based system, where you first buy a bunch of tickets then redeem them for food and/or drinks. Tickets cost $3 each and the majority of items are two tickets($6). Some people may be put off by this, but I think it was a good system. It was easy to just break out the wallet once and not for each “purchase.”
They have four vendors exclusively for Beer Parc: Soi 29 (Thai inspired food from Harold Dieterle), Fatty Snacks (from Zak Pelaccio), Edi & the Wolf (sausages from the new East Village restaurant), and inside, a raw bar and seafood selections from Ed Brown (from Ed’s Chowder House, same owners as Beer Parc). I have had some of the offerings from Fatty Snacks when they had a stand setup at Madison Square Market. Unfortunately, they were tiny and expensive, so I rightly assumed it would be the same here. We weren’t in a raw bar mood, so we passed on that too.
They also had a pretty impressive selection of beers at the bar right inside the doors. Since it was pretty hot out, I considered a hefeweizen to be the beer style of choice to cool off. They actually had two different hefes to choose from. I got the Tucher Helles Hefeweizen (left) and CT got the Southampton Publick House Double White (right). While they weren’t full pints let alone glass, the plastic cups allowed for the ability to drink on a nice patio, which justified the price. Both really hit the spot!
I have heard pretty positive reviews of Edi & the Wolf, an Austrian wine bar that opened in the East Village last fall. They offered two different sausages and a pretzel. We chose the Käsekrainer (2 tickets): Polish-style sausage stuffed with molten Gruyère, white cabbage salad and horseradish mustard. The “chef” was nice enough to let us take his picture while he heated up the sausage on the griddle. You can tell he was properly trained in how to prepare the sausage because he made sure to poke tiny holes in it to prevent a meat explosion.
As you can see from a sliced piece, there was a good amount of cheese in it. It was a very tasty albeit salty sausage. The mustard help cut the richness and the cabbage salad was a refreshing palate cleanser.
CT says: Juicy and cheesy with very complimentary sides. I like when a dish is well balanced, and for six dollars, it was a pretty great plate! I would happily eat this again.
We were quite excited to try Harold Dieterle’s fried chicken. We are big fans of his work at Perilla and Kin Shop. As Serious Eats noted the chicken was first marinated in chili, shallots, palm sugar, and shrimp paste, then coated in rice flour, returned to the marinade, then gets covered in Nestle’s Nestum cereal. The dipping sauce consisted of fish sauce, lime, palm sugar, chili, ginger and garlic. Even though the chicken was only taken out of a hot box and we had no idea when it was actually fried, it was still plenty juicy and crunchy. The dipping sauce was a nice, slightly sweet addition, but wasn’t really needed. With the fried chicken “trend” of 2010 continuing well into 2011, this definitely can be a contender. Definitely a lot better than Hill Country Chicken.
CT says: While the sausage was really delicious, that fried chicken won me over that afternoon. It was to crispy and crunchy, you could literally hear the crunch with every bite. Yet, the inside was juicy and moist. And the best part was the intense flavor. This wasn’t your average fried chicken.
All in all, Beer Parc is a great addition to the outdoor drinking seen here in NYC. Prices aren’t too outrageous since they are pretty comparable to other places. The patio is large with plenty of tables and chairs. I will definitely be returning to watch a Yankee game and hopefully a Yankee win.
located in the back of Food Parc