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I had invited a friend, knowing that together we could try much more of the menu than I could by myself. And while that scheme seemed foolproof, well, it turns out we were fools, especially for the trio of Jerk Pork buns bursting with tender chunks of well-spiced pork belly, bright, acidic cabbage slaw, and shado beni—an addictive culantro-based sauce that I could drink out of a pint glass. As soon as we finished our first order of those pork buns, we ordered another, meaning we didn’t get to try as much food as we’d intended. Still, we did split the perfectly dressed Smoked Herring Caesar salad, which comes dotted with roasted broccoli florets and, for a little sweetness, rum raisin croutons; we also tried the flaky and tender brisket Jamaican patties and the juicy, crisp-skinned, and flavorful Brick Jerk Chicken, which might just be my new favorite meal to eat alone at a bar. This isn’t something you’ll want to share.
But share I did. Well, the food anyway; our drinks went down too fast to do more than grab an errant sip of one another’s, like the spicy, non-frozen Buff Bay (whiskey, benedictine, and ginger beer) and the cough-syrupy-in-the-best-way-possible Above Rocks (Jameson, carpano, and absinthe). Battery Harris also has more than 20 beers on tap, a solid draft list with something smart, if not esoteric, for everyone.
And so, while we’ve gotten to the coldest days of autumn, forced to acknowledge that winter’s definitely coming, it’s a relief to know that there’s somewhere to go in Brooklyn that’ll transport you—if only briefly—to what feels like a tropical locale, where the food and drinks are bright and spicy, and the heat lamps on the patio make it so that you don’t need the warmth of the sun. Get a frozen drink and some Jerk Pork buns and you’ll swear you’re in Jamaica—and that the sounds of the BQE are just the waves crashing against the shore.