New York Openings: Kent Ale House, Lake Trout, Blue Collar

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Williamsburg cuisine is all over the map. There’s no shortage of trendy, overpriced joints utilizing buzzwords like “locally sourced” and “micro-organic.” Sometimes, you just want something simple. Three of the nabe’s newest players provide a counterbalance to pretense. At Kent Ale House, Lake Trout, and Blue Collar you can find tried-and-true essentials that won’t make a dent in your finances.

Kent Ale House, across from Williamsburg Park, puts the emphasis on its smart selection of New York and New England craft beers. The menu covers snacks like spicy popcorn and sweet potato fries, as well as a “build your own burger” section with beef, bison, and veggie options. A pre-Prohibition mahogany bar from previous owners is still here, along with the requisite chalkboard, subway tile, and exposed bulbs. 
 
On the south side, Fette Sau‘s Matt Lang elevates the fried whiting sandwich, which you know from your marathon Wire sessions as lake trout. The interior doesn’t exactly put on airs, with Orioles-orange plastic chairs, rec room wood paneling, and Charm City sports legends on the wall. Lake Trout’s menu goes beyond its trademark sammy to include fried shrimp, chicken wings, and grandma’s crab cake recipe. Believe, hon.
 
At the same address you’ll find Blue Collar and its classic burgers and dogs. An efficient space pumps out West Coast-style patties that are cooked to order and won’t drain your wallet. The beer and wine isn’t on line yet, but in the meantime they’re serving creative milkshakes like peanut butter and cookies ‘n’ cream.