Our latest installment of Quick Bites brings us to Greenpoint for boiled peanuts, smoked chicken, and pinball.

Opening a dive bar as a dive bar is a tricky undertaking, with too many newcomers erring too far on the side of campy, gimmicky, or grim.

The great NYC dives of yore, some of which happened to be the bars of my youth, earned their beloved status over time. They were grimy but comfortable, brusque but nonjudgemental, and the dim, insulated atmosphere was immersive enough to encourage lost hours. But they weren't too depressing.

The bar food is tough to pull off at these newly-minted dives as well: it has to be simple, nothing too "elevated," but no one wants to eat a crappy meal just for authenticity's sake.

If anyone can pull this all off—the worn-in comfort of a "old-man bar" vibe—it's Chris Young and the crew behind Williamsburg's The Commodore and Bushwick's El Cortez. And at The Drift, recently opened by the BQE on the Greenpoint-Williamsburg border, they nail it once again.

The color scheme here is all tans and browns, with wood paneling and faux stone, dimpled banquets vaguely redolent of previous occupants, and cushioned bar stools that are actually quite cozy. There's taxidermy, a decent jukebox, and a KISS pinball machine, only a quarter per play.

(Photo by Scott Lynch/Gothamist)

(Photo by Scott Lynch/Gothamist)

It's easy to cocoon here. There's no TV, the only glow coming from a backlit mountain-lake vista hung behind the bar, and the outside world is hidden from sight by tiny, curtained front windows. There are outlets everywhere, however, in deference to the smart-phone age, so if you choose you can get enraged/terrified on Twitter as long as you want.

The Drift is far enough away from the L to dissuade weekend warriors and Instagram ballers from crashing the low-key, neighborhood party here. Were I still a drinking man, I would never want to leave.

The menu at The Drift is short but loaded with winners, all courtesy of chef and Alabama native Mamie-Claire Cornelius. Start with the Lo Country Boiled Peanuts which, despite being slightly mushier than I prefer one night, exploded with that intense, salty flavor that always makes me wonder why more places don't serve this highly addictive Southern snack staple.

There are three sandwiches on offer at The Drift, and all three are superb. The Smoked Chicken is piled high with sliced-up thighs, then drowned in tangy Alabama White Sauce and topped with bread and butter pickles, straight from the jar. The potato roll does its best delivering this heavenly mountain to your mouth, but know going in that there will be a mess.

The porky Hangry Man is just as good (and equally messy), with peppery, charred-up rib meat doused with a lively mustard sauce and more pickles. I loved the heavily sesame-seeded bun on this one, too. And for vegetarians and all people who enjoy delicious things, the Smoked Mushroom sandwich is hearty as hell, unexpectedly spicy, and wholly satisfying.

Also bringing some sneaky heat (as well requisite smoke) are Cornelius's Coconut Collard Greens, which go well with all of the above. The only clunker I encountered during two visits to The Drift were the Deviled Eggs, two topped with jalapeño, two with pimento cheese, that arrived rubbery.

For dessert you have only one choice, but it's a solid one: Banana Pudding, served super creamy with chunks of fruit and laden with whipped cream.

The Drift is excellent, both as a straight-up bar and a place to grab some Southern-style grub. If you live within walking distance you are a lucky human being, but I'll also be making the trip again as soon as possible.

(Photo by Scott Lynch/Gothamist)

The Drift is located at 579 Meeker Avenue between North Henry and Monitor, and is open at 4:00 p.m. weekdays, 11:00 a.m. on the weekends (718-504-7776).