Park Slope Now Has a Barbecue District: Reno Provisions and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Dinosaur Barbecue Park Slope BrooklynHow quickly things change. Earlier this week, Reno Provisions was going to be Park Slope’s first full-fledged barbecue joint. Now, Eater NY reports that the New York chain Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is moving in on the same block as Reno Provisions.

Dinosaur, which you may have seen on Food Network or Travel Channel already, won #1 BBQ on Good Morning America, and they even have their own cookbook: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: An American Roadhouse.

Fifth Avenue in Park Slope is Supersaturated with More than 150 Bars and Restaurants

Bareburger Organic Burgers on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope - 5th Ave
Remember when there was little reason to go out on 5th Ave., unless it was to go to Aunt Suzie’s? Well, now Aunt Suzie’s is closed, and there are dozens clamoring to take its place. WSJ reports that a 31-block span of Fifth Avenue has about 150 restaurants and bars commanding rents up to $60 a square foot.

Today 5th Avenue is “restaurant row” subject to a high amount of business “churn” – consider that Uncle Moe’s burrito shop, Perch Cafe, and Sette Enoteca e Cucina, have also shut down recently. Yet as quick as restaurants close, “spaces are being snapped up by new establishments betting a fresh approach can succeed where predecessors flagged,” according to WSJ.

Examples include Kaffe Roasting House, and the planned Dizzy’s Diner going in where Comida Mercado Fresco used to be.

Fort Reno Provisions is Park Slope’s Only Full-Fledged BBQ Restaurant

Fort Reno Provisions - Park Slope BarbecuePark Slope’s only full-fledged barbecue restaurant, Fort Reno Provisions, could open as soon as this coming weekend, reports suggest. Pictured is a test run of Fort Reno’s new smoke pit.

Partners in the restaurant are Anthony Laudato, Lia Forman, and Jacques Gautier of Palo Santo. “Anything Gautier touches turns to edible gold,” one fan said in a recommendation on the Fort Reno Provisions Facebook page.

Check out their wall photos for another visually delectable test run: Pork spare ribs, bourbon bbq sauce, slow cooked collards, and buttermilk biscuits. And they plan to do cocktails in a big way; check them out at Edible Brooklyn’s upcoming cocktail event.

Fort Reno Provisions is located at 669 Union St [map], and their website is: http://fort-reno.us.

Slow Zone: Should Park Slope Cut Speed Limit to 20 MPH?

Park Slope Debates Slow ZonesFollowing all the buzz around Prospect Heights potentially becoming one of Brooklyn’s first “Slow Zones,” Park Slope may now trying to get in on the action, too.

Is 20 (mph) Plenty for Park Slope? That’s the question the Park Slope Civic Council is going to debate on Saturday, Jan. 21, 11:45 a.m at Congregation Beth Elohim, 274 Garfield Place (at Eighth Avenue).

The New York City Department of Transportation is accepting applications to establish reduced speed zones (i.e., cut it from 30 mph to 20 mph and add some special safety measures such as striping, speed bumps, and gateway signs announcing the presence of a Slow Zone).

Problem is, this is a self-enforcing, reduced-speed area, so some people in Prospect Heights are skeptical that a “slow zone” is little more than a band-aid that cops and speeders will ignore. Moreover, changing velocity on such a grand scale might not be “wasteful” and hard on suspensions and chassis, and decrease the mean time between failures of these and associated components. The truly flagrant violators will likely sail over speed bumps as if they did not exist.

Are there other, better traffic calming solutions, such as zig-zags, chicanes, and speed cameras? Or is a slow zone the perfect thing for Park Slope? Come to the meeting Saturday and let your voice be heard.

12 Horrific Photos of the 1960 Park Slope Airline Collision on 7th Avenue and Sterling Place

The Daily Mail just posted 12 huge and stunningly horrific photos of the 1960 Park Slope airline collision. It’s hard to imagine this post-apocalyptic carnage is on the corner of 7th Avenue and Sterling Place:

The collision took place on December 16, 1960, about 2 weeks before Christmas, and involved 2 passenger planes (United Airlines Flight 826 and Trans World Airlines Flight 266) as they were descending toward Idlewild and LaGuardia Airport.

The crash set more than 200 homes on fire. About 2,500 firefighters and policemen came to fight the flames and sort out the chaos.

The Douglas DC-8 had 84 people on board and overshot its holding point by some 12 miles and hit the TWA plane, which had 44 people on board. Snow was a factor in the crash, investigators said.

“Residents were horrified to see a passenger jet’s plane wing careening down a narrow street,” writes Beth Stebner. “There was an explosion, as the plane crashed to the neighborhood, demolishing the Pillar of Fire church as well as several houses. The explosion as well as flying debris blew out many nearby windows.”

The DC-8’s pilot tried desperately to make a landing at LaGuardia, but crashed on Seventh Avenue and Sterling Place in the heart of Park Slope. “What was moments ago an idyllic Christmas scene had turned into carnage – twisted metal, burned plane pieces, and charred corpses littered the streets,” Stebner writes.

The sole survivor was Stephen Baltz, 11, who was flying alone. He died 27 hours later, but not before telling doctors he looked out the window of the plane and saw snow falling on the city:

“It looked like a picture out of a fairy book,” he said. “It was a beautiful sight.”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2086028/Photos-1960-Brooklyn-airline-crash-sparked-new-era-black-boxes.html#ixzz1jZCYrork

BARRIO is now BARRIO PLATES is now MIX

Barrio Plates is now MIXGrub Street reports that Barrio restaurateur Spencer Rothschild, who had planned to relaunch as Barrio Plates, made a last-minute decision to call his new place Mix. The idea is that the menu MIXes different flavors and cuisines (get it?) and you can mix it up with a light bite by yourself, or bring a large group and sample the full menu. Rothschild replaced Barrio’murals with orange-and-ochre colors and chef Martell Fonville (al di la) is still doing contemporary American with a tinge of Latin and Asian.

Go to Grub Street to check out the menu and a full slideshow of the new space.

Park Slope “Authentic” Chinese Food Smackdown: Tofu on 7th vs Szechuan Garden

dried tofu & string beans szechuan styleIf you’re done with Hunan Delight or Mr. Wonton, gear up for Park Slope’s newly authentic Chinese restaurants, of which there are at least two good options. Brooklyn Vegetarian writes: “For years we have been content with the same old menus … (but) actual authentic Chinese restaurants have been getting more popular” as evidenced by places like Tofu on 7th, which have brought in actual chefs from China. Here’s BV’s take on Szechuan Garden:

… I was intrigued by the description on the menu that mentioned that they actually use Szechuan peppercorns in their dishes.

When I mentioned I was a vegetarian … they directed me towards the sauteed dry tofu with string beans, which they said has the same sauce and condiments as the meat-heavy items but was completely vegetarian. The tofu was in large, dense chunks and the string beans were cooked perfectly. The sauce was a great blend of different kinds of chiles — dried, pickled, and fresh — which made the dish super spicy (which I love).

F’ed in Park Slope posted a reader review of Tofu on 7th Avenue, which also recently added some spicy Sichuan dishes to the menu: The waitress … went on and on about how the restaurant decided to spend a lot of money to hire a new chef, who specialized in Sichuan dishes … We’re huge fans of Grand Sichuan on 9th Ave and Chelsea, but … it’s nice to have something similar right up the street (though, admittedly, Tofu on 7th isn’t quite as good). I’d recommend trying the Dry Pot Style Chicken, Chong Qing Chicken, and Three Pepper Chicken.

You can also read multiple first-hand reviews of both Tofu on 7th and Szechuan Garden on Brooklynian. Triebensee writes: “Tofu on 7th (226 7th Ave) now offers Szechuan style dishes, in addition to more run-of-the mill chinese food, and they’re quite delicious. I’d say they’re now the best chinese food in Park Slope.”

But wait – rockingood counters with a vote for Szechuan Garden on 7th Ave and 16th: “Got delivery the other night and was quite pleased. Was it the best Dan Dan noodles I’ve ever had? No. Was it Dan Dan noodles delivered to my door in park slope and quite tasty at that? YES! This is my new go-to Chinese.”

Park Slope Back When: 7 Amazing Historical Photos of the Montauk Club

Gothamist just posted a series of great photos of The Montauk Club courtesy of New York Public Library’s old image archive. Park Slope’s private social club founded in 1889 by Charles Pratt, Richard Schermerhorn, and Edwin C. Litchfield. In its heyday, it hosted prominent politicians including John F. Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Today, it’s come back to life as a low-key and relatively non-exclusive club (I can attest, since they actually let me into the place for an actual function once).

Today, it’s focused on recruiting unmarried and “good looking” thirtysomethings, according to its website: “But our older members are holding their own and the mix of ages and the diversity of points of view make for engaging conversation.” Membership is only $350 a year.

Who’s a member of Montauk? Will there be a Super Bowl party, and is it too late to get in the betting pool?

Oxycontin Prescriptions Rising Sharply in New York

Until now, oxycontin (oxycodone) abuse has been a phenomenon associated with states like Tennessee and West Virginia. But now, a new report shows that prescriptions for oxycontin, a highly addictive and frequently abused narcotic painkiller, are up by 82% in New York state. State attorney general Eric Schneiderman released the report to support his idea of establishing a statewide drug-tracking system.

In the area, oxycodone has been a big problem in Long Island, where there were 6 people killed last year in 2 different robberies (that’s a trend too – people are robbing for pills, not money). Inpatient oxycodone treatment programs continue to be in high demand, and a number of centers in Long Island (and elsewhere) have seen quite a few individuals come in for services.

According to the New York Times, there’s also been a sharp increase in hydrocodone (Vicodin) prescriptions, up 16.7% from 2007 to 2010.

If the state attorney general gets his way, there would be a new Internet-based tracking system that pharmacists would have to use to report sales of controlled substances. And Doctors would have to check a patient’s prescription history on the tracking system.

Pharmacists are outraged about the large and “ridiculous” fines they (and doctors) would face for ignoring the requirements: $500 for their first offense, $1,000 for a second offense, and $5,000 thereafter.

“Pharmacists don’t need further distractions.”, Craig Burridge, the executive director of a pharmacists society, told the New York Times. “Have they been behind the counter of a pharmacy?”