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Bricolage – A Vietnamese Gastropub Grows in Brooklyn



frontI sifted through recent Eater Heatmaps in Brooklyn for something new and interesting.  Sent Alex a few options and she texted back “Let’s go to Bricolage and hit that shit hard.”

Some online due diligence reveals that two cooks from The Slanted Door in San Francisco partnered up with locals to create this much-needed Vietnamese gastropub in Park Slope.

drinkHaving read some Yelps and articles, I had an idea about what I wanted to try.  First, I need a drink STAT. This knot in my shoulder isn’t gonna soothe itself.  I order the Jaxon’s Punch. At least I think that’s what it was called. I drank them pretty quickly. My girl tried it and gave me the “too sweet” face.

Alex had a non-alcoholic drink that was bright and citrus-y. Jason had a Margarita. I was jealous it came in a rocks glass.

Between small and large plates, there are a lot of choices on the menu. Everything from traditional papaya salad and whole branzino to inventive Vietnamese crepes.

We started with Sriracha Butter Chicken Wings and they were a hit. I think we needed at least another order. The sauce was a bit spicy but my girl painted it on happily.

We should have ordered two Crispy Imperial Rolls, too. Pork, shrimp, glass noodle, wood ear mushrooms – fried hard, son!



These Summer Rolls were a tasty treat, with a slightly spicy peanut sauce. Even if these shrimp look like they’re trapped in The Matrix.


My girl had the Claypot Shrimp – and it wasn’t spicy enough for her. But she likadaspice!  Tasted good to me, but I was more than mildly obsessed with my own dish, the Unshaking Beef. Niman Ranch flank steak, pearl onions, scallion, lime-pepper sauce.  Mmm. The table dug it, especially those caramelized pearl onions. The lime-pepper sauce gave it just the right amount of Vietnamese funk.



By now these drinks are giving everything in the room a soft haze. I have a great view of the kitchen. Perfectly charred steaks and chops make it hard to consider being a vegetarian. Those poor delicious animals. OK, this has to be my last drink.

Jason had the Lemongrass Grilled Pork Chop, which I now realize I never tried. I could be better at this. But it looks good in the picture, no? I could go for one of these right about now. Looks simple and perfect.
20150823_190549Alex got the House Made Banh Canh Noodles – coconut milk, tofu, pickled vegetables, herbs. It was delicious. She let me dip twice. Those noodles were perfect, with a coconut flavor that ran deep.


Lubricated with rum, I don’t even care when a kid at the next table drops a metal school-bus on my girlfriend.

“Can you get that for me?” the mother asks my girl.
“I will cut you and your child,” she thinks to herself.

There are two options for dessert. The table agreed on one so I ordered both. “And one more of these,” pointing to my empty glass.


The Coconut-tapioca Pudding with five spiced ginger syrup was subtle and lovely. On the other end of the spectrum, the Chocolate Molten Blue Cheese Lava Cake was complicated. Yet even the skeptical among us were instantly converted – getting that deep chocolate into a bit of blue cheese dragged through salty apricot jam.  Savory to sweet something like 60-40.  A perfect way to end the night.

Bricolage is certainly another plus in the Brooklyn column. I look forward to getting familiar with their entire menu, including cocktails.




Rest Easy Eric Curran a.k.a M.C Krispy E



Almost every year for the past 6 years and on the same day, I’ve posted the same pic of me in the hospital  during my temporary and untimely demise  in 2015. A few weeks after I was back to “normal”, I asked Eric “Why’d you take the pics?” And he said, “I knew you would want to write about it if you lived.” Eric was right. Eric was often right and Eric always had my best interest at heart. I am going to miss my friend.

You ever meet someone and become friends immediately?! Well this was not the case with Eric. Before he was my manager at Morgan Stanley, I would often see this 6’4″, giant white guy walk up to the only black woman at work, say something then walk away without any hint of human emotion. Naturally I thought he was a jerk until I asked her “Yo, is that dude bothering you?” She laughed and proceeded to tell me he was a great person, which I ultimately got to experience first hand. Little did I know this Italian from Staten Island was more Brooklyn than most Brooklynites.

Eric was not with the shits!! If there were ever someone who lived their life in direct, honest and no uncertain terms, that would be Eric. He would ask me questions at work like “Why are the other consultants making more money than you?” I knew the answer to that question and so did he. Eric then proceeded to increase my salary by 15K. After arguing with all our managers that “You need to hire Alfred!”, they eventually did 1 year prior to the 2015 incident. In the hospital, one of my friends asked me, “What if you didn’t have health insurance when this happened?” I would be in debt for the rest of my life is the obvious answer. I still am in debt for the rest of my life but at least, it is to those who made sure I had a more enjoyable life and for that, I will gladly repay.

My mom loved to tell me the story of how she met Eric. After they told her I was going to be in the ICU for some time, she told the doctor “Well I’m not going anywhere.” She then hears a voice from that back of the room that says “Well I’m not going anywhere either!” That was Eric and in true form, he was at that hospital every single day until I was discharged.

Eric passed away in December 2021 of stage 4 cancer. After feeling faint on his way to my bbq, he went to get checked out and was diagnosed. During the past 5 years, Eric lost his mom, twin brother and dad. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must have felt like but I’m glad that pain he was feeling is no more.

It’s been a bit difficult to deal with it to be quite honest and I’ve been writing this in my head for years but never had the bravery or grace to accept that my friend wouldn’t be here soon. I also can’t imagine what it must be like to lose your entire family nucleus unexpectedly. In true Eric fashion however, I would like this to not be about me but whomever has lost someone and has been coping. I’ve always intimated that my life would not be as enriched as it was were it not for the people in it. The problem with that is there is also no way to deny that it feels empty without those who helped craft your path. Rather than focus on the negative, I would rather focus on the examples of duty, family and emotional intelligence. All concepts reinforced by Eric that have led me to have successful relationships since I’ve put them into practice.

From being my manager to my business partner, writer, book editor, artistic director, and most importantly, my friend, I am going to miss you MC Krispy E a.k.a “Enrique Pollazo!” And although you told me Enrique means Henry in Spanish and not Eric, it was too late!

Sidebar. The day I was discharged, while everyone was deciding what was best for me, no one had remembered that I would need clothes in order to leave the hospital. Eric shows up (unasked) with all the clothes I had on the day I coded, laundered and ready to go. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve friends like this but i need to keep doing it! Sidebar complete.

Rest in Peace Eric. “Be Good.”

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Writing Your First Book / Should I Self Publish?




I had the distinct pleasure of  participating in a panel discussion on writing your first book, presented by the Harlem chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.  Alongside Jim St. Germain, Author – A Stone of Hope: A Memoir and Dr. Keneshia Nicole Grant, Author – The Great Migration and the Democratic Party: Black Voters and the Realignment of American Politics in the 20th Century.  We opined on pain points, benefits and strategies regarding our inaugural voyages into authorship. Feel free to watch for your self and I hope this provides some insight to all those looking to make the same voyage. Enjoy!

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What the NFT is a BEEPLE?



On March 11 this year, the digital artist Beeple sold a collage of digital images from his “Everydays” series for nearly 70 million dollars as an NFT, or non-fungible token. And if that sentence confuses you, you’re not alone.

A non-fungible token is a unit of data on a digital ledger called a blockchain, where each NFT can represent a unique digital item, and thus they are not interchangeable. NFTs can represent digital files such as art, audio, video, and other forms of creative work. While the digital files themselves are infinitely reproducible, the NFTs representing them are tracked on their underlying blockchains and provide buyers with proof of ownership.” – Wikipedia

Still confused? Let the artist himself explain it, and learn how he went from NFT newbie to making the third most expensive artwork by a living artist in three months. Not to suggest Beeple is an overnight success. The “Everydays” series alone involved creating a piece of art every day since May 1, 2007 – and he hasn’t missed a day.

Check out some of Beeple’s amazing and controversial work below.

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