Skip to main content

Another three-pointer: Times's "Hungry City" critic salutes food at Barclays Center; article published online five days early

The article in print
As PR Week recently reported, Barclays Center promoters scored a "three pointer in media relations" when the New York Times Food section ran an elaborate story on arena food offerings online, in print, and again online.

Well, on Friday, Dec. 7, the arena scored again, seeing a mostly effusive review, Brooklyn’s Home-Court Advantage, from the Hungry City critic, Ligaya Mishan, appear five days early:
Set aside, for now, the controversies that surrounded the building of the arena. Barclays Center is trying to do right by its hometown, at least in terms of food. Its spaceship-shiny silver lobby is lined with 12 permanent concessions — generic, hyper-lighted spaces of subway tile and Coca-Cola signage — that all make some claim to a Brooklyn bond.
So here is Paisanos Butcher Shop, an offshoot of the longtime family-run Paisanos Meat Market on Smith Street, offering sandwiches on dense ciabatta, packed with Angus tri-tip, chewy and respectable ($14), and a spiral of Italian sausage, pugnaciously salted, from the fourth-generation New York Sausage Company in Sunset Park ($11.75). L&B Spumoni Gardens, the venerable Bensonhurst pizzeria, is sadly represented by a Sicilian square slice ($6) that is spongy-bottomed and leaking sauce, a shameful lampoon of its better and cheaper forebear ($2.25, if you make the trek to 86th Street).
And then there is the new Brooklyn, bearded and ironic, dedicated to the handmade and the small batch, which is to say antithetical to the very idea of a sports arena. It is an uneasy juxtaposition. Note that the Brooklyn Bangers concession — stocked with artisanal sausages from the chef Saul Bolton, whose Smith Street restaurant, Saul, holds one of the borough’s few Michelin stars — sells a Nathan’s hot dog alongside its own snappy rust-red brisket dog ($9.75) and a pallid but more belligerently spiced smoked white Cheddar bratwurst ($9.75). Bets are being hedged.
But let there be no whining about how cooking for 18,000 people is hard. Perfection is attainable.
Witness the Cuban sandwich ($12.50) from Habana Outpost, the Fort Greene branch of Café Habana in NoLIta, a miraculous smashup of slow-roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese and pickles. Somehow the bread has retained body and crispness, the pork its juices.
Of course set aside the controversies. There's no p.r. person servicing that beat.. But there's are reporters assigned to food and hoops.

Mishan loves Calexico's nachos but gives lowered marks go to Buffalo Boss’s boneless chicken wings and chicken meatballs "from the Midtown Manhattan power-lunch spot Fresco by Scotto — a seeming interloper, until you learn that the owner’s grandmother ran a poultry market in Brooklyn a century ago," as well as "the achingly sweet brisket at Fatty ’Cue."

Still, the “Made in Brooklyn” snack menu gets cheers, and huzzahs go to a "concrete" of "Blue Marble soft-serve swirled with broken pieces of Junior’s cakes and cookies."

There is mention of the "generally amiable if not particularly efficient" staff--perhaps why there's new hiring?--but no mention of the prominence of Budweiser over Brooklyn beers. 

Nor is there any mention of the lame attempt at authenticity by attaching the neighborhood names Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Park Slope, and Bed-Stuy to various grills.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

No, security guards can't ban photos. Questions remain about visibility of ID/sticker system.

The bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Community Update meeting June 14, held at 55 Hanson Place, addressed multiple issues, including delays in the project, a new detente with project neighbors,concerns about traffic congestion, upcoming sewer work and demolitions, and an explanation of how high winds caused debris to fly off the under-construction 38 Sixth Avenue building. I'll have more coverage.
Security issues came up several times at the meeting.
Wayne Bailey, a resident who regularly takes photos and videos (that I often use) of construction/operations issues that impact residents, asked representatives of Tishman Construction if the security guard at the sites they're building works for them.
After Tishman Senior VP Eric Reid said yes, Bailey asked why a guard told him not to shoot video of the site, even though he was on a public street.

"I will address it with principals for that security firm," Reid said.
Forest City Ratner executive Ashley Cotton, the …

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming (post-dated pinned post)

Click on graphic to enlarge. This is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change, and the project is already well behind that tentative timetable.


Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…