The one problem I see with Barcade is the lack of food (unless you count small packages of beer nuts or potato chips as "food"). Fortunately, there was a nifty little felafel joint just up the block. After the five of us chowed down, Wally and Robert opted for the early subway ride back to Manhattan. David, Dan and I headed off for the next joint. Dan was still hungry so he went into a local pizza joint, "Betterfella's."
The irony of the name is not lost on me. If they had just called it "Goodfella's" they would have merely shown their pride in their Italian/Mafia heritage. But, no, this pizza parlor is called Betterfella's, so obviously it must be WAY better than those other, merely good, guys. Dan came storming out incensed at the audacity of the $2.25 price for one slice—then again, he did not come out empty-handed! Anyway, given the brutal violence of the movie Goodfellas and the real-life connection between the New York City mob and pizza parlors in years past, I don't think I would even joke around like that. "Are you sayin' your pizza is better than mine? huh? You wanna slice of this?!? Eh, tough guy?"
Across the street, we found stop two on our pubcrwal, Spuyten Duyvil. This narrow storefront joint had a nice wide beergarden in back. The crowd was lively and way better looking than we three. It had all of the makings of a great beer emporium except, as it turns out, the beer. There weren't a whole lot of taps and what was there didn't really grab me at all. I opted for a Jolly Pumpkin Black Ale.
There's no jolly pumpkin IN the ale, mind you, it's just the name of the "artisanal" brewery located in Dexter, MI. The website proudly touts "Jolly Pumpkin wins Bronze for Luciernaga in Saison category 2008 GABF." OK, I happen to know that GABF is the Great American Beer Festival held every fall in Denver (road trip?) and I know bronze is for third place. Probably the rest is largely indecipherable. The Black Ale is described this way: "Aromas of worn leather and cool autumn nights. Notes of sweet plum and toasted raisin, hints of coffee and cacao. Lingering tart and refreshing finish." Personally, I could not get past the warm leather. David came back with round two, Jolly Pumpkin Farmhouse Ale. Bleck!! I guess it's an acquired taste.
We walked several blocks to our next stop and passed an interesting looking club along the way. We asked the bouncer about it and she said had muff-muff action or something like that and that we might find it boring. The three of us then had a lively conversation about the wonderful diversity we have in New York City. By the time we arrived at Mugs Alehouse, things had already started to quiet down, but it was immediately clear that it would rate three stars in a Michelin pub tourguide: Worth the journey!
The tap selection was great and the bartender, Scotty, was friendly and knowledgable. The clincher, though, was the same Brooklyn Brewery Cuvee de Cordoz that I'd enjoyed at Barcade, only here it was six bucks for a 20 oz. glass, versus Barcade's 10 oz. pour. I am definitely coming back here!