Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hester Street Fair: Bruce Cost Ginger Ale & Pork Buns! Fat Radish Pot Pies! Doughnut Plant Salty Peanut Butter!

Yo dudes and dudettes!

The second in the trifecta of weekend street fairs is the Hester Street Fair, now limited to Saturdays only (aw sad!).  This weekend was opening weekend, and it was nothing short of cuhhhrazzzy.  It was obvious everyone was excited about all the food (20+vendors) + the perfect sunny spring weather.  I liked those things too, but unfortunately there was *such* a standstill in the back food sections, that I quickly gave up on trying to eat a four course meal there and settled on the two that I could grab without getting my hands chewed off!  Next time I gotta head there earlier to avoid the crowds and give y'all a proper samplin'!

Newyorkina was back with bunches of Mexican popsicle flavors.  Unfortunately they were not offering any minis which I like to sample, but they had no problems selling oodles of their large pops.  (Previous coverage here and here).  My favorite flavor of theirs is coconut.
Wonder City is a new vendor serving up freshly brewed coffee and doughnut hole skewers with caramel sauce
Wonder City's doughnut hole skewers
Melt Bakery offered ice cream sandwiches made with red velvet whoopie pies and chocolate chip walnut cookies.  The vendor spent his Friday night making those clay ice cream sandwich replicas seen above.
Bruce Cost is a new table at the fair; I first sampled his ginger ale at Porchetta and rather liked it (made only of fresh ginger and cane sugar!); I was surprised to see steamed buns offered at his table in addition to three flavors of his ginger ale

There were two kinds of buns: roast Berkshire pork buns and whole wheat edamame (yahh-weird right?)
Naturally - got the pork, baby.
Freshly steamed, fluffy and hot.  I loved sinking by giant chompers into the pillowy dough.   The bun was amply filled with sweet and savory pork cubes.  For a $1.50, I'd grab a few of these suckers!
They had original, pomegranate and jasmine ginger ale flavors on site.  The original tastes great: not too sweet but warming from the fresh ginger.
I tried the jasmine tea, but could not discern the jasmine flavor all that well.  The nice burn of ginger definitely was enjoyed though!  
A charming New Orleans style band was on site by the port a potties.  Great music while standing around struggling with how to eat all your food standing up.
The Fat Radish had no line and a menu dedicated primarily to pot pies.  Do you know I love pot pies?  (Or maybe just the crust from pot pies?)
And look at the beauty of the crust on these golden pot pies!  They were out of ham and leek unfortunately, so I ordered the celery root pie with the promise that was their best seller at the restaurant.
But seriously though.
Celery root?
Pot pie?
Doesn't sound that awesome (where's the meat?).

The crust couldn't quite adhere properly to the aluminum tins, so proportioning crust to filling was a bit of a challenge to the semi-hollow interior.  Aside from that, the pot pie tasted exactly like it was named...like celerywith the texture of cooked potatoes.  If I was a better celery fan, I might've enjoyed this more, but the semi-hard stringiness from the celery was a constant reminder that I kind of just don't like that vegetable!
Finding the Fair impossibly hard to navigate, I took my business back to the subway, with a minor pit stop at the Doughnut Plant.

Or so I had hoped.  Look at this tremendous line at 2p on a Saturday (out the door)!

Once people survived the line, they immediately plowed into their brown bags to consume the doughy delights.

Female gathering of doughnut eating
Male gathering of doughnut eating

My favorite Doughnut Plant doughnuts remain their cake ones - and there was quite a selection to pick from in addition to their famous tres leches, blackout and carrot cake doughnuts.  They had a Mother's Day special laced with rose water and petals as well as strawberry glaze and salty peanut butter.
Also a basket of beautifully long churros that kept distracting me.

Hello, gorgeous.  What do you have for me?

Oh, a salty peanut butter cake doughnut?  Don't mind if I do.
The doughnut was topped and filled with bits of toasted, chopped peanuts and flakes of sea salt.  It was nutty and good, but a part of me deep down inside wished there was a ring of creamy peanut butter in the middle.
I also ate a carrot cake one because it's my new love from DP (previously covered here).  It was just as amazing as I had remembered.  Oh, sweet love!

Hester St & Essex
NYC, Saturdays only

379 Grand St

1 comment:

  1. Whoa, those doughnuts! I've so enjoyed your coverage of the street fairs and summer markets and I can't wait to read about more of your finds!