Today we met up with some friends at Smorgasburg, the artisanal food fair at the site of the Brooklyn Flea Market. My plan: to eat, drink and be merry. Their plan: to gaze in wonder at my belly and the fact that I’m not due till November.
Because of my incredible size Alex and I drove there which meant dealing with the traffic cops who suddenly decided to redirect the bridge and tunnel traffic as per their whims (seriously on the way back we were re-routed away from the Holland Tunnel three times for no good reason), and the adventure of driving through the hipster “slums” of Williamsburg before you hit the fancy-pants redeveloped waterfront. The best way to describe hipster “slums” is to imagine The Wire country of Baltimore but the products being pushed on every street corner are ironic hats, orthopedic foot wear and vintage plastic glasses frames that would have got you beaten up in grade school but are now the bleeding edge of hipster fashion.
Any way back to Smorgasburg the food is good. Some of it very good and some of it okay and a little too fancy for its own good. I didn’t really pay that much attention to the names of the stalls – it was hot, and we were eating as we walked which meant I was focused on staying upright. The best thing I ate was a roast pork belly roll and it was so good I had two. It was simple and delicious. The roll contained fat and crackling as well as the meat. If I go again then I’ll just eat that over and over again. Perhaps they do a bulk discount. The Bite Sized Kitchen did meat on a stick which was also tasty, the kimchi pork buns from We Rub You were disappointing (not spicy enough and meat cut too thin), and we also had grilled sweetcorn covered with peach butter and salt that was okay (bit of sweetcorn purist and if the produce is at its peak it doesn’t need to be slathered with anything). For desert we split a mint biscuit mochi that again was just okay, and our friends went crazy for (like everyone else) frozen banana. Literally a frozen banana shoved through a meat grinder (or something similar) to produce an frozen banana “ice-cream” but only made with bananas. Absolutely genius as the mark-up must be phenomenal. I am trying to figure out how to make these at home.
Drinks wise you have every iteration of lemonade and ice-tea going. Since I’ve started making my own watermelon juice I can’t part with $5 for something I make at home for significantly less (it’s the same with ice-tea and lemonade). We settled on a pineapple, mint and spring water concoction that was delicious and I will now be making at home, and selling on a street corner near you.
I am really glad we went, and would happily go again but my main criticisms is that everything seemed to cost $5 and up, and the portion sizes were on the small size (perhaps artisanal is the new tall?). I’m not just saying that because I am 7 months pregnant with the appetite of a small army. The quality of the produce is excellent but I think they could increased the portion size or have some ‘Two pork buns for $7″ style offers without hurting their margins too much.
Alex took a few photos and they are up on his Flickr site.