I am the biggest supporter of public transportation you could possibly meet. (Not the tallest one, quite, but anyway.) However, even I sometimes dread the sardine crush of rush hour, particularly on the L train to Williamsburg. And so I might get the bright idea of taking the J train and walking a bit instead, or even of just … walking to Williamsburg entirely. Hey, why not. Yeah, let’s do this.
After passing an hour, fifteen or so CitiBikers, and approximately every Orthodox Jewish teenager ever, I touched down in the ‘burg. After a quick stop by Grand Ferry Park (NYC’s best semi-secret outdoor space? I think it’s a contender), I thought, hey, it’s been a while since I went to Mast Brothers. Though I don’t really love the brothers’ chocolate–a little too citrusy for my taste–I do generally enjoy their baked goods. So, upon catching sight of the lone stack of cookies on offer, I said, I think I’d like a cookie. I think you would! the woman behind the counter replied. And right she was–the cookie was warm (this, despite the fact that it was around 6:45 in the evening, surely not the time that most bakers are churning out batches), and somehow the citrus note in the chocolate played perfectly with the cookie’s batter and the sprinkled sea salt topping to make a dessert that wasn’t too rich or too weak, but just right.
And eventually I made it to my ultimate destination, Australian bar and restaurant Northern Territory. Located on the nebulous border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, the bar was spacious and somewhat sparsely populated. Despite that advantage, I found the service pretty slow (though friendly). The drinks delivered, though. A peanut-butter and jelly old fashioned may not be your jam (see what I did there?) but it was mine: too often, I find that supposedly flavored old fashioneds don’t taste much different from a regular one (and cost more), but this one had a strong taste of both peanut butter and raspberry, though it wasn’t at all overpoweringly sweet. A pina colada was also pretty good–much heavier on the coconut than the pineapple, a sort of comforting fall rendition of a classic. I do wish the service had been a bit more attentive–I just want to give you my money! Please, already!–but I will keep Northern Territory in mind as a a chill and tasty meetup spot.
Unsurprisingly, riding the L back into Manhattan around 8:30 is much more palatable than taking it out at rush hour, probably especially after a couple of drinks. Long live the L train.
Mast Brothers, 111 N 3rd Street, Williamsburg
Northern Territory, 12 Franklin Street, (slightly) Greenpoint