In a previous post I wrote about how nice everyone was in NYC. Now it’s time to discuss the food…and it was amazing. As self-appointed foodies, much of the plans we made for our trip included food. In the weeks prior to leaving we watched countless YouTube videos discussing restaurants in Chinatown and Brooklyn neighborhoods of Park Slope, Williamsburg, and Bushwick. It sounds crazy, but our stomachs literally felt full from watching the videos (I should watch a few everyday and see if it curbs my hunger).

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The view of Manhattan from Smorgasburg

A major addition to our list of foods and restaurants to try was a food festival called Smorgasburg suggested by our friend Bev. A little research helped us find the details of the event and it made it’s way to the top of our must-do list. We even found a couple of YouTube videos showing some of the delicious food that would be available. I quickly proclaimed that while in New York, I would not worry one bit about what I ate. Nothing would be off-limits. And boy, I did not hold back.

Smorgasburg is a weekly event held on Saturdays in Williamsburg, and on Sundays in Prospect Park in Park Slope starting in April and running through the summer. The vendors are curated over the winter by the organizers so that high quality, unique choices will be offered during this summer food extravaganza.

Saturday we made our way to Williamsburg via the subway and arrived at the festival shortly before they officially opened. The place was hopping already in spite of the cold rain and snow flurries. The smells were amazing and the hustle and bustle of the vendors preparing their booths was electric. There was an energy and an unspoken connection among the visitors and the vendors, all who obviously love food.

 

First stop was for a Raindrop Cake. I had read about them online, and already there was a line for the unique (weird?) non-cake-like treat invented in Japan. We watched others take bites out their Raincakes with varying facial expressions, mostly of curiousness. Mike said the “cake” looked a bit like a breast implant. It tasted ok, but I wouldn’t get it again, and we did toss most of it in the composting recycle bin.

Next stop…quail eggs on a skewer. The tiny eggs were cracked into this cool cooking griddle that looked like it could also make cake pops. Nicely seasoned, the eggs were still runny which made for interesting eating off the skewer. That one got a thumbs up.

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Eggs on a skewer

I generally don’t eat doughnuts (particularly ones that are the size of my head) but we had seen a recommendation for the ones at this festival so I procured a chocolate salted caramel delight. And delicious it was. We shared it, as we did all the food we chose, but we did eat the entire treat. Wow!

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Didn’t try the hibiscus doughnut, but it sure looked pretty

Now that we have had a couple or sweet treats and eggs for a pseudo breakfast, it was on to a lunch choice. What could be better than a burger with ramen noodle buns. The “buns” were cooked ramen noodles fashioned into burger-sized disks and surrounded a grilled Kobe beef burger with cheese. Can you say “yum”? Another score with this one, especially the pleated wrappers they used to wrap around the sandwich.

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Who would have thought to make buns out of ramen noodles?

And…we should top off a burger with some beef brisket. The coleslaw was amazing too. Glad we are sharing all these treats.

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One not so great choice…at least it wasn’t for our taste, was takoyaki – a Japanese snack made of a wheat-based batter cooked in a special pan and filled typically with shrimp. The flavor was pretty good, but we didn’t like the consistency of the dumpling itself. Half of that also went into the compost bin.

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That’s dried fish flakes on top

There were so many more things to try, but by now we were full and cold and wet and wanted to get out of the rain for awhile. We walked around in Williamsburg and stopped in a few shops, most notably a resale shop where I found a much needed winter coat for $11 and a couple of Eileen Fisher denim dresses for about $20 each. It was a great store and I would have liked to spend more time there, but we wanted to move on.

But wait there’s more…more food, that is.

We actually felt a little hungry later so after walking around for awhile (and about 4 miles) we stopped in for a brew at a local restaurant and ordered a fried avocado taco appetizer. It was perfect.

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What a day! so glad we walked 8 miles to burn off all those calories! Food is love and we felt and tasted the love put into all of the delicious goodness we ate today, even the stuff we didn’t really like. It was a joy to try new things and watch other foodies delight in creating these wonderful delicacies to share with the world. And the best part? We did it all again the next day when Smorgasburg was at Prospect Park! I’ll save those details for the next post…

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