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Charleston, a dive bar/music venue on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, used to offer free pizza with each drink. It was a good deal, but not nearly as tasty as what’s going on in the kitchen now. Honeychiles’ is a new restaurant within the bar, opened by Jesse Crawford and Josh Martin of the punk band Ex Humans, and Jameson Proctor, who worked at ‘wichcraft and also happens to play in the country rock band the Weight.
Honeychiles’ offers po’boys, jambalaya, hush puppies, cornbread, and black-eyed peas, among other dishes, and it’s some of the best bar food in Brooklyn.
Last night, the seafood po’boy special was made with fried shrimp, the cornmeal-crusted shellfish crisp and peppery. They’re stuffed into a crusty loaf with mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato — shake on the Trappey’s hot sauce that’s available on the side. The sandwich is only marred by the bread, which is too dense and tough-crumbed.
The Cajun holy trinity of onion, celery, and bell pepper gives this jambalaya a full-flavored backbone; a heavy dose of cayenne lends a lingering burn. The andouille sausage is deliciously smoky while the chicken thighs soak up the stew just fine.
Whatever you do, get the hush puppies on the side — crusty and hot, the cornbread fritters are seasoned with scallions and punctuated with small, molten craters of smoked cheddar. Two brews from Louisiana’s Abita are on tap.
174 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn