Eats, records at EAT Records.

Ever been shopping for records on a hot, sticky weekend day and wish you could just take a quick pause midway through the “J” section and have a bite?  The owners of EAT Records, on Meserole Street in Greenpoint, hope so, as they’ve morphed over the last year or two from dusty and disorganized record store to slightly less dusty and slightly more organized record store with a café and limited brunch and lunch menu.  Never before have hipsters’ arty musical pretensions and egalitarian refueling instincts collided in such an interesting fashion.

I hear your skepticism.  Impossible to combine music and food, you say, without poorly executing one area or the other?  Not for these guys, whose record selection varies from visit to visit from “excellent” to “sublime.”  One visit produced a $20 copy of the ultra-rare Bob Seger album “Back in ’72,” while another’s difficulty was in choosing between a green vinyl copy of the Iggy Pop/James Williamson post-Stooges effort “Kill City” for $10, and an original US Capitol pressing (with rare insert) of Kraftwerk’s “Radio-Activity” for $13.  If all this detailed record nonsense makes your eyes roll back in your head, just know that, like most of the restaurants I review, they have things you can’t get in Manhattan at prices that are usually significantly easier on the wallet.

And, while the food selection is not extensive, what’s there is appealing.  I tried the tuna melt ($5), which betters the average diner’s variety by including red peppers and capers(!) in the tuna, and using a real piece of cheese (probably a mild cheddar) instead of the fake stuff.  It was sided, pleasingly, with a few freshly fried slices of potato (the menu indicates “chips” but these are more like home fries), some blueberries and a couple watermelon wedges (manna on a day like Sunday, where the temperature climbed to summer levels by lunchtime.

The menu also includes egg and pork delivery devices (in an upset, it’s not a veggie or fishitarian kitchen), at least one other melted sandwich, and the specials board had a freakin’ frittata on it yesterday – seems ambitious!  Need a jolt of coffee to keep yourself awake while browsing the (relatively Mantovani-free) dollar bins?  They’ve got it.  If you’ve already gorged yourself on the excellent Polish food in the area, and just need some kind of sweet in lieu of an entire meal, EAT usually has some kind of fresh-baked cookie available, too.  

When I left yesterday, some folks had set up on the table in the window with a game of Scrabble, tossing their record-purchases aside to drink iced coffees and engage in awkwardly witty banter.  I can’t think of any other place where this sort of thing is possible, can you?


Filed under NYC

4 responses to “Eats, records at EAT Records.

  1. Dan

    Just discovered your blog thanks to a friend and I know what I’ll be doing for a good portion of the day. Loved reading about the record store/eatery… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been pouring through record bins for hours wanting nothng more than a good iced tea or maybe some cheese and crackers to take the edge off. This place sounds great and I can’t wait to read more of your reports. I’ll be adding your blog to the list of links over at and Cheers!

  2. Dan – thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Jody

    Halcyon (now in DUMBO) used to be located on Smith Street, and back then it was both record store <>and<> cafe — I never tried their food but it was a very comfortable hangout with a good selection of coffee drinks and other beverages.

  4. Anonymous

    Halcyon was a dance record store.limitted mostly to dj’’s the best record store in the universe

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