In the continuing beer saga that began when I decided I wanted to try Westvleteren...
Over the years, I have heard New Beer Distributors mentioned on these boards plenty. And, I was always well aware of the fact that they are within a five-minute walk of home. For whatever reason, though, I just hadn't ever made my way over.
So, last night a friend of mine mentioned that she might wind up playing tennis today at the courts by Grand and Essex (in Seward Park, right below Donut Plant). I figured that was as good a reason as any to get some Dumpling House dumplings and then a donut, so I walked out around 1 this afternoon.
Made my first pass of Seward Park: no friends. Decided to head back west a bit to Dumpling House, where I (eventually) managed to order the pork and chive fried dumplings and a sesame pancake with beef. Much to the amusement of several customers, the gentleman behind the counter who was helping me out didn't seem to understand the "fried pork dumplings" I was asking for -- which seemed odd in an establishment that primarily serves fried pork dumplings. We clicked eventually and, after convincing him that I wanted five, rather than fifteen, I enjoyed my delicious dumplings (I count New Green Bo's fried pork dumplings as DH's only superior -- I've also ruined t-shirts at both establishments).
Made my second pass of Seward park: no friends. I wound up taking a slow walk down to East Broadway, over to Clinton, then back up to Grand and Donut Plant. I stopped in, and a lovely young lady was assured by her boyfriend that I was going to beat the crap out of her if she didn't make up her mind soon (in all fairness, I would have given her at least a few more minutes before I took her down). When my turn came, my three years of travelling to Tennessee for work took over, and -- affected accent and all -- I ordered "The Elvis": a donut piped full of banana filling, and glazed with peanut butter. If you enjoy peanut butter and bananas, this one's likely a winner. I also bought a cup of the homemade strawberry juice (strawberries, water, cane sugar), which was very fresh and worth having while sitting in the sun.
Rather than eating the donut right away, I figured I'd make my third pass of the tennis courts. It was during this third fly-by that I realized people may start wondering whether I was scoping out Asian children playing handball, so I endeavored not to walk by again. The friends were nowhere to be seen, so I ate my donut in the south section of the park, and began my westward walk.
As I weaved north and west according to traffic signals, I finally remembered that I would be in the vicinity of New Beer Distributors and should stop in (thanks to Dave and EV Andrew for the recent mention-and-seconding). I didn't recall the exact location, save that the place was on Chrystie, so I started at Grand and headed up until I saw cases of beer on the sidewalk.
Wow. Just, wow. Everything I had tried recently and enjoyed so much were on those shelves (including three bottles of Westvleteren, at the cheapest price I've yet seen them for). I picked up a St. Bernardus Abt 12 and a De Dolle Ara Bier, as well as a proper trappist glass (finally!). The beers were $4 apiece.
Incidentally, of the Westvleteren 12, Rochefort 10, Brasserie des Rocs Grand Cru, Chimay Grand Reserve, De Dolle Ara Bier, St. Bernardus Abt. 12, Duvel, Westmalle Tripel, and Anker Gouden Carolus that I've tried within the last few weeks, the Bernardus has been my favorite.