I'm sure many of you are saying, "Han, seriously. Enough with the Brooklyn Flea already. We get it. It's awesome. You need to branch out."
I know. I have a pretty serious problem, but I can't help it. The brilliant minds behind the Brooklyn Flea just keep making it better, and they keep making it better a handful of blocks away from my apartment. Occuring every Saturday, there will be a Brooklyn Flea event solely dedicated to food featuring nearly a hundred food vendors and local food artisans as well as Greenmarket Farmer's Market vendors. This Smorgasburg event is in addition to the regular Brooklyn Flea on Sundays at the same riverside location. Amazing right? I can eat here all weekend (I will try my hardest not to. :)
I actually went to the Smorgasburg for its inaugural weekend back in May, but I sure have taken my sweet time to post. This was the lawn at 10a.
Here is the same lawn from above at 2pm. This is just a fraction of the people who showed up. The place was overflowing with eaters. Obviously, I would recommend everyone to come up in a time in between - most likely 11a-12p would be the sweet spot. At 10, half the vendors were still getting situated despite the event start time of 9a.
Here are some snapshots from the Smorgasburg!
Kings Crumb serves up fresh baked biscuits with clotted cream or gravy. Beginning at noon, they serve fried chicken filets on their giant biscuits. Of course we waited until noon.
The sage in the biscuits shined through, but we were partly too full at this point (we might've had some doughnuts and several other snacks preceding this) for us to fully enjoy this sandwich. The biscuit itself is very dense (read: bready) and thus needs an ample stomach to devour.
The chicken was very good though - juicy with an oily-crunchy crust.
I tried a sample of smoked duck breast from the duck booth (man, I can't remember its name), and it was awesome. Sufficiently fatty and lean all at once. I don't know what one does with smoked duck breast (make sandwiches? eat whole?), but I need to look into it and buy some.
Beef jerky from Slant Shack Jerky. They offer generous samples of all their flavors which are available in both grain or grass fed beef.
The jerky has strong notes of cumin and chipotle and has a far more tender chew than the grocery store varieties.
Fresh ginger ale seems to be a new trend with Bruce Cost slinging bottles at the Hester Street Fair (along with his super baos), and Q Tonic here at the Brooklyn Flea.
Q Tonic is less sweet than Bruce Cost, but Bruce has a bit more gingery zing that I prefer. Still, Q's is quite crisp and good.
The story goes that Shorty Tang was the ultimate guru of sesame noodles in the 1970s, and now his sons are trying to bring back the magic of that signature dish. Lo mein noodles are tossed by hand in a light brown sesame sauce. It requires much concentration as you can tell from that furrowed brow below.
In later visits, I have not seen the grass jelly return, but on their initial exposition, a nice vat of cold grass jelly was available for a drink. His mom (?) scooped me a nice cup of it.
As for the noodles, they were good. Served cold, the predominant flavor was ginger, which I love, but I wasn't floored, amazed, or interested in finishing the whole generous portion.
Dumont, widely heralded as offering one of the best burgers in the city, later joined the Smorgasburg clan, and I tried their little burger sliders out.
Crisped buttery bun and solidly flavored little burger. It surprisingly filled me up for $5, but that might have just been a fluke in my eating capacity.
Now, again, I urge you to not come after 2p. Yes, the event goes to 5p, but you'll arrive fresh faced from your late weekend slumber only to see things like this:
Yes. Sold Out. The most unfriendly disappointing words in the world. It's so sad! Don't voluntarily subject yourself to this kind of sadness!
Bon Chovie, specializing in fried anchovies and sweet puns, was also sold out of everything but the Jersey style anchovies (which has both heads and tails still attached), so I decided to go for it anyway.
The fish is simply prepared with egg wash and seasoned breadcrumbs, and then dropped into a bubbly vat of hot oil for a nice deep fry.
With a nice squeeze of lemon, the anchovies were just perfect: the tender, fresh fish and the salty, lightly crunch breadcrumbs are wonderful together. I wouldn't recommend getting it Jersey style if you can't stand popping the whole fish in your mouth (the head has a very metallic taste), but definitely try out the decapitated version at least once. I know many people have a strong stance against anchovies, but fresh ones are truly a different story.
Bon Chovie also offers a fruity non-alcoholic sangria with plentiful chunks of fresh fruit. It's not very sweet and pretty refreshing on a hot day (though my heart belongs to Thirstea for my Smorgasburg beverage of choice).
If you haven't come out to a Brooklyn Flea event before, I think the Smorgasburg is something everyone should try to do, especially with the convenience of the East River Ferry now available.
But be careful, eating so many delicious eats on a warm summer day may have some narcoleptic effects.
N 6th & Kent