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BYOB’n in Brooklyn: Palmyra Restaurant

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BYOB is a broke-ass’s best friend. It seemed like you could find a BYOB place anywhere in the city, especially with new restaurants waiting to get their liquor license, and luring in new clientele with the promise of unlimited booze. But the city has recently cracked down, and now new restaurants are forced to wait months and months at a time with no BYOB options. But there are those few gems that have always been BYOB and offer cheap and delicious food to boot, a hard combination to come by. Palmyra in Carroll Gardens is one of those rarities.

Formally called Olive Vine Cafe, they’ve quickly becoming a favorite in the neighborhood. They serve fresh, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare, both in large filling quantities, and have tons of options for vegetarians. And the best part is, there’s no corking fee, so when you roll up with enough wine to start your own cellar, they don’t even bat an eye. They just bring you all the wine glasses you’ll need to accommodate your boozy party.

The menu has slightly changed since the new ownership, but they’ve kept the same laid back vibe complete with mosaic tiled tables, stucco walls and a spacious backyard. And since their portions are so hearty, it’s great for sharing.  I recommend any of the platters that come with freshly baked pita, hummus, salad, rice and of course, babaganouj. They also serve their own unique take on traditional pizza. Using unconventional toppings like ground lamb and pomegranate molasses, it’s certainly a fresh alternative to those reheated slices we all settle for. Despite it’s unassuming storefront, Palmyra is a welcome oasis for those of us who are short on cash but still want to enjoy food that actually tastes good. It’s a great place for groups and especially cheap during lunch hour for their half-off specials. As you can see from the picture I took above, your nights there have great potential.

Palmyra Restaurant
316 Court St
Between Degraw & Sackett St [Carroll Gardens]

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Laura S - Spendthrift Scribe

Laura S - Spendthrift Scribe

Laura S, left the "sixth borough" three years ago to settle in Brooklyn. After working at some daily rags, she now does writing on the side but still eats more Ramen then necessary. When she's not moving residences every 6 months, eating her way through every neighborhood, and trying every microbrew known to man, she is unsuccessfully rediscovering home economics. With her binging days behind her, she's now exploring new projects and rediscovering the city that she loves (although is still prone to sliding on her knees during a Prince karaoke set).


  1. alison
    September 14, 2010 at 10:59 am

    mmmm…this place is sooo good! good reporting, scout!

  2. mohammad
    October 12, 2010 at 6:21 pm can bring your drinks but what makes you sure the food is clean? did you check the tickets they got from the health department and why they were shut down on labor day weekend? Does the owner or his Mexican cook use their fingers instead of the thermometer to check the heat of the soup? Does the owner violate labor laws? does the owner pay the minimum wage? did the owner pay to get his workers’ comp and insurance? did the owner threaten any of the illegal workers he has?

  3. justine
    November 23, 2010 at 5:56 am

    I kind of like this place.
    Why the harsh comment?

  4. Michele
    January 7, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I live across the street from this place, and I love their food.I think you have a personal agenda with the owner for you to attack this lovely restaurant like this!!!!!