New York is a city of pockets - those areas packed with particularly good sh*t. We’ll call them hot pockets. What makes a hot pocket? They’re full of crowded restaurants and bars, there’s at least one overpriced sunglasses store, and there are girls wearing those baggy-in-the-crotch rompers that make them look like flying squirrels. Hot pockets are the happening micro-neighborhoods you walk through and, even as an outsider, immediately realize that you’ve stumbled into one of them. Prince between Lafayette and Bowery. Bushwick around the Jefferson stop. Bedford Ave circa 2005.
The dividing line between Williamsburg and Greenpoint, at the top of McCarren Park, has become a piping hot pocket. You might have found yourself there a few years ago when your friend dragged you for the sole mission of brunch at Five Leaves, but things have changed. Now there’s also Frankel’s, and Cherry Point, and Sauvage, and Tørst, and Manhattan Inn, and a Van Leeuwen Ice Cream. And in a triangle-shaped space at the center of this triangle-shaped hot pocket is Nights and Weekends, which has quietly remained one of the better places to eat, drink, and hang in the neighborhood for the last five years.
Owned by the same people and operating ten steps from each other, Nights and Weekends is like Five Leaves on a heavy dose of Xanax. The design you might refer to as “Brooklyn-y” is there (the place feels like a stylish Mexican pirate ship), but the hordes of humans anxiously awaiting their chance for an avocado toast-agram are not. Nights and Weekends is overlooked by the majority of people traveling to Greenpoint for a meal, and that’s exactly why we’ve become regulars here.
The menu slants Latin American - although you can also find things like a burger and yogurt & granola here. In most cases, the food at Nights and Weekends is much better than you’d expect, and also exactly what you need in whatever moment you’re here: chips and guacamole and not-too-sweet frozen margaritas after a bad Monday, a solid kale salad when you’re looking for something healthy-ish, or a breakfast burrito when you’re not sure whether you want to laugh or cry or vomit.
When you find yourself in this hot pocket, you have a lot of options. Nights and Weekends isn’t the place to choose if you’re looking for life-changing food or an unforgettable experience. But if you’re going for vibe, ease, and affordability? This is your move.
So your friends want to meet at a bar, but you want something kind of healthy? Here's your (surprisingly tasty) solution. Just ignore the fact that your frozen daquiri has more calories than a Slurpee and you'll be good.
Kind of like the kind of hot and sour fried Chinese delivery you force yourself into believing you don't love. These are addictive, and the moment you accept them into your life and onto your table you'll be a happier person.
Pretty damn good fish tacos, and we don't take that title lightly. You're going to want them fried, not grilled, but you already knew that.
Fine, not great. There's no acceptable reason for getting these over the fish.
Your hangover doesn't stand a chance. Unless it's a really terrible hangover. Then you should maybe just stay in bed. No one wants to see what you drank last night.
A tower of things you want: fried tortillas, beans, avocado, and egg. You have the option to add chorizo. It's not an option.
If your interests swing towards lunch over brunch, this is a good bet. Not quite Cafe Habana status, but a very solid Cuban with the perfect bread-to-filling proportions.
Every time we see a breakfast taco on a menu, we have no choice but to order them. And every time we order breakfast tacos, we're filled with crushing disappointment. Avoid the emotional trauma here.