Margarita Mondays at The Creek

 

The Creek and the Cave already has a fantastic weekday happy hour special from 4pm-7pm which includes $4 margaritas (and $2 off of all other drinks).  When I stopped in yesterday, I was happy to discover that on Mondays they now have their fabulous margaritas on special for $4 all day long!   Add to that the delicious food menu and the choice to watch Monday night football or see a free improv show in their upstairs theater and you have a great way to start the week!  This was a bargain I just had to share.  Enjoy!

You can read my previous entry about The Creek and the Cave here.

Slider Happy Hour at Five Napkin Burger!

The Astoria location of Five Napkin Burger has a delicious happy hour deal! Every day from 4-7pm it is Slider Happy Hour (only at the bar and only in Astoria).   Fill up on $4 draft beers and $2 sliders!  Even vegetarians can enjoy this special as they offer the 5 Napkin Veggie Burger slider in addition to the original 5 Napkin Burger and the Italian Turkey Burger sliders.  Pork taquitos and chicken wings (the wings are served in groups of 4) are also available for the $2 bargain price during this special.

I went this past Friday and it was a great way to finish off the work week.  Of the draft options, I chose the Goose Island Summer Ale and pictured above is the veggie burger slider that was finished off rather quickly.  Having only tried (and loved!) the Ahi Tuna Steak burger, I wasn’t sure if a veggie burger would win me over.  I had nothing to be worried about though.  The veggie patty was flavorful and generously topped with Five Napkin sauce and pickles.  I can honestly say that this veggie burger was so good that I know I will be back for more ASAP. I was in slider heaven!

You can also read about the dinner experience I had at Five Napkin Burger here.  Apparently you just can’t go wrong at Five Napkin Burger!

The Creek and the Cave

It is long overdue that I write about one of my favorite spots in Long Island City.  Located just one stop outside of Manhattan on the 7 train, you will find The Creek and the Cave (10-93 Jackson Ave.), a spot that has something to offer to anyone who values live entertainment, food and drinks.  While they have a plentiful beer selection, I simply cannot go for a visit without ordering a pineapple margarita (pictured above).  For those looking for a bargain, they have a fantastic happy hour special on weekdays from 3-7pm.  During happy hour, you get 2 for 1 margaritas, $2-$3 beers and $2 off of other drinks.  With a restaurant area upstairs, fantastic outdoor seating on the back patio, and indoor space to lounge or catch a comedy show, you will have a great time at this LIC spot.

Usually, I lean towards ordering fried seafood, but at The Creek there is nothing better than their grilled fish or shrimp tacos.  A wasabi sauce with finely chopped cabbage is all that accompanies the tenderly grilled fish on a small tortilla and it is the perfect flavor combo.  I have yet to try another fish taco that I love more than The Creek and the Cave’s version.  I also adore their spinach burrito with fresh avocado, tofu, brown rice, cheese and a dash of sour cream.  I am so hooked on these two menu items that they are my consistent order (even if it means taking some of it to go).  However, from what I see being ordered around me, there are many other delicious options to choose from as well.

If you are interested in stand up comedy and improv theater, The Creek and the Cave is a prime spot to watch, participate and learn from local talent.  There is always something going on so visit their website (www.creeklic.com) for a schedule of daily events and these shows are usually free which is even better.

Get Your Groupon!

Groupon is a website that offers discounted deals for a variety of events or services.  If enough people sign up for the deal of the day, then the deal is on and everyone who signed up will get the discount!  I subscribed to their daily NYC area email list and have already found a lot of activities and discounts that I couldn’t say no to.  For example, today’s Groupon is a Paintball and Beer Tasting day trip with Urban Escapes.  Check out Groupon and sign up for their daily emails to see what you might be interested in.  There is a time limit for signing up for a groupon so make sure you act quickly – you don’t want to miss out!

http://www.groupon.com/r/uu1049728

Music Festival in Astoria this Saturday

Astoria Music Now

Looking for a way to enjoy the outdoors while listening to a variety of local performers this weekend?  The second annual Astoria Music Now Music Festival will be held on Saturday, July 25th in beautiful Astoria Park.  This year they have expanded the performance areas to include not only the main & side stages on the Great Lawn but there will also an additional third stage dedicated to world music, DJ’s, dance & theater arts.  Vendors will be selling crafts, clothing, art & food at this event as well.   Activities are scheduled to begin at 12 noon and last until 9pm.  The weather should be great so get out there and enjoy!!!

Free Summer Movies Aboard the Intrepid!

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While I was visiting the Intrepid, I discovered that they host movie nights once a month during the summer.  On Friday, June 19th they will be showing Top Gun at 8:30pm (doors open at 7:30pm).  I can’t think of a better place to watch Top Gun than aboard an actual aircraft carrier!  Lawn chairs, blankets, food and drinks are allowed but no alcohol.  Jaws and Apollo 13 are the movies being shown in the coming months.   www.intrepidmuseum.org has the summer movie schedule and more details.  The Intrepid is located at Pier 86 (46 St. and 12 Ave.) in Manhattan.

Experience History at The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

S1052218Visiting the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum was a very different experience for me.  When I stepped onto Hangar 1 of the Intrepid, I felt the significance of where I was.  People lived, fought for our country and even died aboard this immense aircraft carrier.  For those who worked on board the Intrepid, the everyday comforts that most of us often take for granted are an afterthought to the mission at hand and the efforts to make extremely dangerous tasks go on without a hitch.  I could sense the blood, sweat and tears of the past inhabitants throughout my tour of the historical vessels I was able to explore firsthand with my admission ticket.

I went with a group and was very thankful for the private tour we had signed up for.  I learned quite a bit from our knowledgeable tour guide and I feel like I would have missed a lot of information had I not gone through the tour first.  There is so much to see that you most likely need more than one visit in order to really look at everything in depth.  After our guided tour, I walked past the many magnificent planes and helicopters that are on view on the upper deck.  Then I ventured up to explore the control tower.  The museum really allows you to immerse yourself in the areas where people performed their daily tasks to make this immense vessel run.  You can climb the narrow stairs to see different levels of the rooms of operation and see all of the original controls.  It was quite impressive.

Also included in your admission ticket is a visit inside the U.S.S. Growler, which is the only intact strategic submarine that could fire nuclear missiles that is open to the public – anywhere in the world.  It was worth the wait to walk through the tight quarters of the sub and see the space people lived in as well as how the dangerous weapons were stored.   When I found out that people stayed in this vessel, often for 60 days at a time, without showers, I had immense appreciation for those who worked on this submarine to defend our country.

Also on view is the British Airways Concorde.  No longer in use, this jetliner has the capability to fly across the ocean in record time.   It has crossed the Atlantic in just under 3 hours.

Since this was my first visit to the Intrepid, I do not know how much has changed since the recent renovations were completed.  There was a kamikaze video show with lights, sound effects and real footage which I was told was one of the new improvements.   Everything is extremely well presented and ready for visitors to explore and learn.  There is a hands-on section of the museum that is a wonderful way to experience what it might have been like if you worked on the Intrepid.  I can definitely say that the Intrepid is worth the visit and will provide an eye opening view into history.  You can go to www.intrepidmuseum.org for all the details on getting tickets and planning your own visit.  The Intrepid is located at Pier 86 (46 St. and 12 Ave.) in Manhattan.

Exit 44 – This Saturday!

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One of my readers informed me about a fantastic event coming up this Saturday, June 13th in AstoriaExit 44 is an all-day independent music festival that will feature some up and coming local NYC artists. Headlined by Tigercity and Project Jenny Project Jan, the lineup also includes Action Painters, The Shondes, My Teenage Stride, Schwervon!, and many more.  You van view the full lineup and hear some tunes at www.myspace.com/exit44festival.  The fun starts at 3pm and will continue into the night.

Tickets are $10 in advance and can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets. If tickets are still available on the day of, they will be $13 at the door.  This event is 18+ to enter, 21+ to drink so bring your IDs.

Wonderland is located at 38-01 23rd Ave (at 38th St), in Astoria.  It is a quick walk from the N Train (you can exit at Astoria Blvd. or the Ditmars Blvd. stop).  It is a really cool space and from what I hear there will an area open on the roof as well as cheap drink specials during the festival.  Sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday to me!

Happy Hour at White Rabbit


Looking for a place to lounge around and get a great happy hour deal? Then head to White Rabbit, located at 145 Houston Street. A variety of beers and well drinks are only $4 from 6- 9pm on weekdays. Once inside, you have your pick on where to sit either at the front tables, at the lengthy bar or in the back. Each area has a different feel to it so it all depends on what you are in the mood for. Head towards the back and you will find the lounge area where I stayed for most of my visit. In this area, surrounded by funky lights and comfy seats, you could watch old episodes of In Living Color on one of the walls. It was a great blast from the past and completely hysterical as it played in the background. The happy hour drinks flowed freely for those in my group and when hunger struck some took advantage of the bar menu. The mini burgers were a big hit!

All in all, White Rabbit is a great place to unwind and relax after a long day. You can visit their website for all their offerings at www.whiterabbitnyc.com

A Great Place to Skate!

I recently had the pleasure of trying out a relatively new ice rink in the NYC area. City Ice Pavilion in Long Island City is a great location to enjoy a public skating session or to work on your skating skills whether they involve figure skating or ice hockey. This rink is NHL sized and it is actually the only roof top skating rink in the five boroughs. An air dome helps to keep the temperatures skate ready and protects skaters from any bad weather.

A couple blocks away from the 7 train (the 33rd St.-Rawson St. stop), City Ice Pavilion is just a short subway ride outside of Manhattan. During the public skating session that I went to, I really enjoyed the fact that it was not overwhelmingly crowded. There was room to actually move! Most of the ice rinks that I have been to in the area have been a more crowded and expensive ordeal so this was a refreshing experience. My friends and I had a lot of fun during our skating session.

Rental skates are available for $6 and because it is such a new rink they are still in great condition. The public sessions are reasonably priced at $5 on weekdays and $8 on weekends. If you are so inclined, City Ice Pavilion also offers a full range of ice hockey and figure skating lessons/sessions. You can visit their website for all the details at http://www.cityicepavilion.com/. If you are interested in ice skating, I definitely recommend giving this new rink at try!

A Great Deal of Fun!


Times are hard out there but that doesn’t mean you can’t still go out and have fun without spending too much. Common Ground, located at 206 Avenue A (bet. 12th St. & 13th St.), is the perfect place to unwind with friends in this economy. Their Happy Hour specials are fantastic! On weekdays from 4pm-8pm, they offer $2 pints of Yuengling and Miller Lite, as well as $5 Cosmos and Apple Martinis. Not only that, but all of their appetizers are buy one get one free during Happy Hour!

I went to Common Ground with my happy hour group last night and had a blast! In addition to the bar and some table seating, there are areas for larger groups to sit and mingle. What adds to the experience are the many board games available for anyone to play. How fun is that?! We ended up having some exciting rounds of Jenga and some of us divided into teams to play some of the board games such as Sorry! and Trivial Pursuit. There were many other games available so I would love to go back to enjoy them on another night. Between the $2 beers and the entertaining games, we were all very happy with our evening.

One should not go to Common Ground without enjoying some of their food offerings either. The buy one, get one happy hour deal on appetizers is not to be missed! Their menu was designed by Executive Chef Carolynn Spence so there a lot of delicious options to chose from. I tried the “famous shrimp dip” and cheddar Panini and it was quite tasty!

Weekdays are not the only times you can get a deal. Common Ground also has weekend specials from 12pm to 7pm where you can order $3 Drafts, $4 Well Drinks, and $4 Bloody Marys. So definitely bring some friends and get your game on!

Check out all the details on Common Ground at www.commongroundnyc.com.

Warm Yourself Up with Some Delicious Deals

One of my favorite restaurants, Bistro 33, is back after a brief holiday hiatus. Making their return extra special is the announcement of a new winter menu. Their nightly specials have also been updated and are sure to satisfy people’s appetites while giving them a great deal at the same time.

Tuesdays will continue to have the fabulous 2 for $10 special which includes various small plates, sushi, wine and beer that you can order in any combination. And now Wednesdays will be called Wine Wednesdays as every second glass you order while having your dinner will be free! I can’t wait to try the new menu and enjoy these specials! Visit their website for more details at http://www.lilbistro33.com/.

Click here to read my previous post on Bistro 33: http://liveitupnyc.blogspot.com/2008/08/fine-dining-at-fine-price.html

Saving Money In This Economy is Key…

If you are searching for a great Happy Hour bargain then look no further than KeyBar, located at 432 East 13th Street (between 1st Ave and Ave A). KeyBar has one of the best happy hours around and it is not your typical run-of-the-mill offer. Every beverage they serve is two for the price of one – which includes a wide variety of unique specialty cocktails and shots, as well as their impressive beer selection. This special goes on every day usually from 6pm- 10pm!!!

KeyBar’s cozy but subsequently small space features a real fire burning stove to keep you warm on a chilly night. On the exposed brick walls you will see a gallery of art work and each night there is a different DJ spinning to enhance the atmosphere. Some of the special cocktails you can order include the Huckleberry Sin and the Tangerine Queen. The Rolo, Black Sea Jellyfish and Brain Damage are just a few of the shots they are known for serving up.

I met up with my happy hour group at KeyBar the other day. We all quite enjoyed sitting near the fire while listening to some great tunes and sampling from the fantastic drink selection. Even with so many people there for the happy hour special, the bartenders were fast and attentive. Another highlight of our visit was the beer glasses. Each beer is served in the specific glass it was meant to be served in. I was enamored of the Delirium Tremens glass, which had tiny pink elephants painted all around it! All these little details only further enhanced what was a wonderful night out with friends and I definitely plan to head back again sometime soon.

You can get all the details on the website at http://www.keybar.com/. On their site, they have posted pictures of some of their more interesting looking shots and a list of DJs and specials for each day. Check it out!

Ready to Hit the Slopes this Winter?

I have been living in NYC for many years now. I have always wanted to go skiing at one of the nearby mountains but for many different reasons it has not happened yet. Well, this year I am determined to go skiing on at least one day trip. The company I went wine tasting with in October, Zogsports, also offers a few day and weekend ski trips during the winter season. On Wednesday I went to their Pre-Season Happy Hour to get more information about the trips they have available. I decided to sign up for the one in January that includes a one hour lesson (in the ski level of your choice) and rentals. Your transportation to the mountain and lift tickets are also included. Of course if you already have your own skis there is a way to sign up without renting. If all goes well with my first trip, I also hope to sign up for another one later in the winter too!

You can find out what trip might work for you on their website at www.zogsports.com. This is a great way to go skiing with other fun NYers without the hassle of arranging your own transportation, etc.! The wine tasting was so much fun that I am sure I will have a blast skiing with this company as well.

While learning about these great ski trips and meeting people, I was enjoying the setting at the Black Bear Lodge. This is a great Happy Hour spot! During Happy Hour you can get $3 Guinness(!!), drafts, and frozen margaritas in addition to $4 well drinks. What a great deal!

Black Bear Lodge is located at 274 3rd Ave (Btwn 21st and 22nd Streets). Check out their website for all the details at www.bblnyc.com.

Not Your Typical Mac and Cheese!

Bet you never had macaroni and cheese like this as a kid! This establishment will keep you coming back for more with their scrumptious varieties of this classic dish.

I was at Boxcar Lounge with my happy hour group enjoying their Buy One – Get One Drink special when some of us got rather hungry. After perusing the menus, it was decided to order from Sarita’s Macaroni and Cheese, also known as S’Mac. (It didn’t hurt that a couple had brought in a serving to eat upon arriving at the bar. It smelled so good it was hard not to order from the same place that they had!) From the moment of delivery my new addiction had begun. I had the opportunity to sample the more traditional four cheese which was delicious but my heart was sold when I tried the Parisienne. Described as ‘Mac-n-Cheese for the “upper crust”‘ this dish consists of creamy Brie, roasted figs, roasted shiitake mushrooms & fresh rosemary. These are things I would not ordinarily think of mixing up but when I took my first bite it was evident that they belong together! S’Mac has many other varieties to try or you can choose your own ingredients and create your own. I cannot wait to order from them again!

Sarita’s Macaroni & Cheese is located at 345 East 12th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues. You can view more details on their website at www.smacnyc.com.

As for the Boxcar Lounge, located at 168 Ave. B (between 10th and 11th Streets), it is an excellent Happy Hour spot. They have a more extended happy hour special than most which goes till 10pm or 8pm depending on the day of the week. Their drink special is Two for One drinks per person on most items at the bar.

This lounge is appropriately named as it is a rather narrow space with a bar in front followed by some seats to lounge in towards the back. There is also a heated outdoor garden so there is plenty of room for all the happy hour revellers to gather and let off some steam after work. For more info check out their website: www.boxcarlounge.com.

Lychee Martinis Galore!


In times like these it is always great to find a fantastic happy hour spot in the city. Well, Verlaine is such a place. Verlaine has happy hour daily (even on weekends!!) from 6-10pm. Their popular happy hour special includes $5 Bloody Marys, Sangria and the favorite Lychee Martini. Beer, wine and well drinks are also half price during happy hour. I recommend you get there as early as you can because it can get crowded as the night wears on.

There is a lounge area for larger groups to gather and then a bar and table section as well. The times I have gone the DJ always gets it right with good tunes and the ambient atmosphere is enjoyable. I am always amazed at how fast they serve their martinis because they are so delicious and affordable that everyone keeps coming back for more. When the crowd is at its fullest you feel like you are in a sea of lychees because they are everywhere. I tried this specialty cocktail for the first time and it was worth all the hype. You can see a half finished one in the picture above. It was delicious! Verlaine also has a menu of South Asian Tapas to savor while enjoying your beverages. I have tried the Portabella Mushroom Fried Dumplings which were quite tasty. So if you are looking for a happy hour spot that stands out among the rest definitely head to Verlaine.

Verlaine is located at 110 Rivington St. (Between Ludlow and Essex).

A Night of Acoustic Music at Crescent & Vine in Astoria

This Sunday, October 5th, there will be a live music showcase at Crescent & Vine from 7-9pm! Shannon, My Divided Unity, AM Preacher and Two Seconds To Midnight are all scheduled to perform and trust me when I say that it is a great line up.

Crescent & Vine held another acoustic show a few months ago and it was simply divine to hear great music while sampling the fabulous wine and beer offerings at one of my favorite wine bars. They also have cheese/meat platters you can order to accompany your wine samplings as well as delicious sandwiches, appetizers and desserts. I cannot go there without getting the Tartufo panini and the bruschetta. It is so yummy! This is a cozy venue so get there early to get a seat so you can really enjoy the dark yet candlelit atmosphere while hearing this local music showcase.

After the bands have all played, everyone will head over to another favorite place of mine – Fatty’s Cafe. This is another amazing Astoria restaurant that has one of the best brunches in the area and an amazing dinner menu as well. Fatty’s is the place to go for late night drinks in an artistic yet still laid back atmosphere. Local artists take turns having their works on the walls so there is always something new to see and the bar is illuminated with a blue light which sets the tone for the space. When the weather is nice the outdoor patio is open to accommodate more people. There is always a great mix of music playing while you are there enjoying your dinner/brunch/drinks too. I love this place!

So plan to make your Sunday a night of wine, beer, food and music by coming to Crescent & Vine for the showcase and then mingling at Fatty’s Cafe afterwards. It is sure to be a lot of fun!

Fatty’s Cafe is located at 25-01 Ditmars Blvd (corner of Crescent St.) and Crescent & Vine is right next to it.

Art Crawl in Soho!

Tomorrow, September 24th, Artlog.com and Soho Night are having an Art Crawl event in Soho. I went to the one this past June and it was a really great time. Here is how it works…

When you pick up your ticket you are handed a map of all the participating galleries. You then get to pick and choose which ones you want to see or if you are really ambitious you can try to visit all of them during the hours of the crawl. Most of the galleries offer some beverages and there is an after hours party once the crawl is over at Naked Lunch (at Grand and Thompson). There are a lot of small gallery spaces so you get a chance to really look at everything at each location you attend. They are all within short walking distance from each other so you will get to see quite a few galleries if you plan your timing right. Overall, it’s a wonderful way to mix and mingle while seeing a variety of artistry. I am not able to attend this one but am looking forward to the next event they host. If you are free tomorrow, I highly recommend that you try the crawl yourself!

To purchase tickets and see a map of the galleries go to http://artlog.com/collectsoho.

Experience Beertopia!

Last night I headed to the Village Pourhouse (64 Third Ave at 11th Street) for one of their popular beer tastings. For their monthly Beertopia event, people are able to try samples of beer for the affordable price of $1 per tasting or $10 for 12 tastings from 7pm-9pm.

There was a wide variety of beers to choose from. My friends and I leaned towards trying some of the beers we were less familiar with which included sampling the Hitacho Ginger, Kona Fire Ale, Pripps Carnegi and Carib Lager to name a few. We weren’t sure if the 12 samples would be enough as we have a tendancy to be quite thirsty. However, it turned out it was the perfect amount of sampling for us.

In addition to the nightly drink specials, the Village Pourhouse offers many fun events such as Wii Mondays, Rock Band/Guitar Hero Tournaments every Tuesday and Trivia Nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There are also other tasting events to try such as a Ginger Cocktail + Sushi class and the upcoming Maker’s Bourbon Tasting on 9/23. Check out their website for details on when these are scheduled and all of their other special offers. It’s a great space and is definitely worth checking out sometime!

www.pourhousenyc.com

Free Pizza with Every Beer? Count Me In!!

In these rough economic times, how about getting a little bang for your buck? Or in this case, a free cheese pizza with every beer you purchase at a fun bar called Crocodile Lounge! There is no limit on how many pizzas – as long as you order a beer you can order a pizza. If you’d prefer something more on your pizza, additional toppings are a couple bucks extra.
While you are enjoying your beverages and food there are lots of fun distractions. The highlight is the Skee Ball machine in the back room and there are a bunch of other fun arcade games to play too. In addition to the indoor space, Croc Lounge has a small outdoor seating area for when the weather is nice.

Monday is Nintendo Night, when video game tournaments are held on the bar’s large TVs. And on Wednesdays there is a trivia contest, test your knowledge and win free drinks.

Crocodile Lounge is located at 325 E 14th St (Between 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue).
There is also a location in Brooklyn called Alligator Lounge that has the same pizza per beer deal. This Brooklyn location has a pool table and karaoke/band area. It is located at 600 Metropolitan Ave at Lorimer Street.

I have been to both locations and they are lots of fun!