Nothing says summer in New York like a plethora of new outdoor-drinking establishments. It was hard to decide which to try first, but when I saw this Serious Eats slideshow, promising crunchy, juicy Thai fried chicken and Eastern European sausages of various persuasions, I moved BeerParc to the top of the list.
Though the companion article to the slideshow billed the space as an “outdoor extension” of FoodParc (the food court on the ground floor of Midtown’s Eventi Hotel), I was completely unprepared to find myself drinking beer in what amounted to a mid-block passageway. This did not bode well.
First, the ticket system. If each ticket costs $3, and each item on the menu costs between one and three tickets, how many tickets do two hungry, thirsty patrons need to purchase to leave the premises fully sated? Math has never been my strong suit, so it took much longer than it should’ve to solve this word problem.
Nevertheless! We muddled through, emerging unscathed with Tucher Helles hefeweizens in hand. (Nota bene: Bring cash to tip the bartenders. They have no use for those tickets.) We grabbed a table, then formulated a plan of food-attack.
We decided to split a sausage to start, the Käsekrainer from the Edi & the Wolf cart. Even slightly overcooked, anything that oozes Gruyère
cheese is fine by me. When combined with the caraway-studded slaw and a swipe of mustard, this was a fine—though unexceptional—bite.
Given the praise heaped upon the fried chicken from Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle’s Soi 29 stand, I had high hopes; sadly, though the meat was indeed moist and the dipping sauce fishy and delicious, the skin was a soggy disappointment. It’d obviously been sitting for awhile—a complaint that didn’t stop us from picking the bones clean, mind.
To go with our second beer, we chose the Weisswurst sausage, also from Edi & the Wolf. I’m not normally a veal eater, so this pork-veal combo was a dark-horse pick; really, it was the thought of the accompaniment—a vinegar-based potato salad—that tipped the scales. I should’ve listened to my instincts: Served at room temperature, the flavor was bland, the texture off-putting, and the potato salad, while decent, wasn’t enough to redeem an all-around underwhelming offering.
The one bright spot in the afternoon was the beer—that hefeweizen was the perfect choice for a warm, humid day. That’s not enough to compel me to return, though, especially given the number of freshman establishments I’ve yet to try. Here’s hoping the next one on the list has better atmosphere and more successful food, with equally solid beverages.
845 6th Avenue
New York, NY