Serious Eats: New York
The Bar Food's No Slouch at Post Office, a Whiskey Bar in Williamsburg
There is no shortage of bars with good food in Williamsburg, but Post Office, which sits in the shadow of the BQE, attracts much less of a scene than comparable watering holes a few blocks North and West. On a recent Thursday night, the crowd was a mixed bag of lone drinkers and small groups grabbing affordable dinner, and though there wasn't a free seat at the bar, there were plenty of available tables.
Post Office is primarily a whiskey bar (with dozens of American varieties), but it also offers some creative cocktails. One of the more memorable ones, the Pick Me Up ($10) stirs together Grady's cold brew coffee and vermouth for a dark, bitter, and sweet drink.
Compared to the extensive bar offerings, the food menu is comforting and safe; the dishes are all classic Americana with the occasional small twist.
The grilled cheese($7) takes textbook form with buttery soft sourdough sandwiching gooey American and cheddar cheeses. Thin slices of thoroughly cooked bacon add a shattering crunch to each bite. While nothing about the sandwich is particularly exceptional, it embodies the grilled cheese ideal so many look for.
On the same note, there are no surprises with the devilled eggs ($5): a smooth filling mixed with vinegar pickled cucumbers and finished with a heavy dusting of paprika.
A steak tartare ($12) may not come to mind as your first bar snack, but Post Office's version is a rich, salty spread for the accompanying slices of toasted olive oil-brushed baguette. The pale color is slightly off-putting, but is not uncommon for heavily seasoned tartares, so dig in.
A Vietnamese-style hot dog ($5) and the chicken liver and bacon sandwich ($12) heavily draw inspiration from a banh mi, both with sweet pickled cucumbers and carrots. The sandwich, with a smooth chicken liver spread, frisée, and crisp bacon, was certainly enough to make a meal. The hot dog, with a generous squirt of hoisin (and yup, more bacon) was surprisingly well balanced thanks to the heap of pickled vegetables.
The lone dessert option, a pleasantly soft and warm cinnamon bread pudding ($6), is drizzled with a subtly boozy whiskey glaze. It's light on custard, so the texture seems closer to a soaked cake or a cinnamon bun.
As we were finishing our meal, my companion and I both agreed that the food at Post Office was surprisingly good. Why exactly it was a surprise... I'm not so sure. Perhaps a bar with interesting cocktails, satisfying affordable food, and a place to sit and have a conversation is not as common as you might think.