Brooklyn Eats on Myrtle
474 Myrtle Avenue, Clinton Hill
“But I’m not at all athletic!” my friend protested when I told her that we were going to play some ping-pong.
“I love sports, but I can’t play them,” she said as I dragged her to the brightly lit back room at Myrtle Avenue’s new bar/ping-pong spot, Brooklyn Eats on Myrtle.
It was around 6 on a weirdly warm November Tuesday when we visited, and the place was pretty quiet, with just a few people sitting at the slate-topped bar in the long, narrow front room. Considering there are an abundance of nearby bars and restaurants dotting this stretch of Myrtle Avenue, it takes something special to stand out as a newcomer, and for Brooklyn Eats that something special is the presence of a single ping-pong table, which is free to use for anyone drinking or eating in house. There is a sign asking that patrons only play games up to 11 points, but the rule wasn’t enforced the evening I was there—nobody else seemed to want to play.
And that was too bad, really, because the ping-pong table was pretty much the best part of the bar. Sure, it’s nice to go to a place that has solidly cheap happy hour drinks (generous pours of well drinks for $5, and $3 beers in the bottle), but it’s not like that nice, it’s not that exciting. The same goes for the food we tried. The fried chickpeas were a savory, salty snack—kind of the platonic ideal of bar food. But they were also $5 for a treat that is oftentimes complimentary. The other food we tried—a shrimp quesadilla with not enough cheese and sausage sliders which were almost all bun with little meat—was almost aggressively mediocre, like it was daring us to say something other than “meh.” Reader, we couldn’t. “Meh” was all we could muster.
And yet, despite all that, we had fun. Probably it was because we had the ping-pong table all to ourselves and so could play right up to 21 points. And there is a jukebox in the ping-pong room (as well as some jarringly silly quotes painted on the wall like “Why Fit In When You Were Born to Stand Out” and “University of Brooklyn School of Reality;” huh?), so there’s that. Plus, as my friend and I quickly learned, athleticism is not a requirement to having fun while playing ping-pong—only alcohol is. And since alcohol is abundant and cheap, it’s pretty easy to have an ok time at Brooklyn Eats on Myrtle. But, you know, only ok.