With rows of heavy wooden picnic tables and a full outdoor barbecue setup that includes a grill and smoker, Greenpoint's t.b.d. is Destination Summer. Easily accessible by East River Ferry or a short bike ride from the Williamsburg Bridge, the expansive bar and beer garden boasts the "biggest, baddest backyard in Brooklyn."
The backyard menu resembles the sort of hodge-podge of dishes that a friend would throw together for an impromptu summer party: burgers, hot dogs, nachos—all accompanied by plenty of beer. Still, it's not quite summer without a fresh stalk of Corn on the Cob ($3), here smothered in sriracha mayo and chile powder. The fresh pop of sweet juicy kernels and the slight hint of spice is one of the season's best simple pleasures.
t.b.d. cooks up a decent burger, perhaps not the most composed-looking one in the city, but certainly a tasty one. The 'Bama Burger ($8) with pimento cheese, caramelized onions and house BBQ sauce encapsulates the spirit of summer—carefree and a bit burnt, but full of flavor.
The t.b.q. Chicken ($8), which is supposedly slow-smoked, was not only disappointingly dry, but also lacked much of the special house-made barbecue sauce that the grill master proclaimed to be the owner's secret recipe. Shame, because the barbecue sauce was darn good—enough so to have saved the bland chicken.
Pineapple Salsa ($5) is another one of t.b.d.'s house-made concoctions that will be devoured much faster than the chips that accompany it. The sweetness of the pineapple works beautifully with the saltiness of the tortillas. We only wish the tiny ramekin of salsa were twice as big.
We had planned on ordering up one of the Hot Dogs ($3) as well, particularly the one with the pineapple and garlic relish, but unfortunately we ran out of cash. As it turns out, the backyard grill is cash only even though the bar indoors accepts all major credit cards, so be sure to bring sufficient funds.
t.b.d. also hopes to keep its patio open throughout the fall. With several TVs and a projection screen, summer's backyard hangout may also become autumn's go-to backyard tailgate.
About the author: Nancy Huang, who comes to New York by way of Los Angeles, writes The Wanderkind, a food and travel blog of adventures here and abroad. She loves noodles, subway maps, and word games.