Der Schwarze Kölner
I wouldn’t say that I favor beer halls over other drinking establishments, so it was odd that I ended up at semi-isolated Hungarian, Draft Barn, Friday evening and at Der Schwarze Kölner two nights later.
Fort Greene’s German contribution isn’t a true beer garden—there are smattering of outdoor folding tables and chairs facing Fulton Street—and food isn’t really the point, but the bar was just right for a Fourth of July stop, post-BAM.
No, I didn’t mess around with fireworks or barbecues this year. Instead, I witnessed my first Nathan’s hotdog eating contest in person, then sobered up with some bleak Americana while watching Winter’s Bone.
The dark (and extra echoey) room was the perfect setting to test out my new point-and-shoot, an uncharacteristic impulse buy. My old-ish PowerShot SD800 died last week and I could make do like the rest of the world who now seems to rely solely on iPhones for photos, but the quality doesn’t cut it (plus, I don’t have an iPhone). I’m not always in the mood for cramming an SLR in my purse, but still want to take casual photos on occasion. Things like pretzels and sausage that can only be so pretty.
And clearly, I still have some way to go in mastering this new camera. These are not glamour shots. (By contrast, the first time I ever used my SLR in the wild at Hill Country, my photos turned out well despite not knowing what I was doing—amusingly, one of these test shots was recently used in an Ozersky post).
True confession: I hate hotdogs. My patriotic eating duty went unfulfilled at Nathan’s. That doesn’t mean I dislike sausages, though. Weisswurst are more delicate and I kind of like their albino appearance. And no one can argue with a soft pretzel.
Obazda was completely new to me. The cheese spread, a sharp blend of cream cheese, butter, brie, beer and caraway, is like Bavarian pimento cheese, in a way. The radishes and dark Spaten Optimator added an additional layer of welcome bitterness to the dip.
Der Schwarze Kölner * 710 Fulton St., Brooklyn, NY