Sunday, December 18, 2011

"Smorgasburg- Lil Bite Of This, Lil Bite Of That" Williamsburg, Brooklyn

By the time I met up with Andy (the knife) and Matt (the spoon) I was disgruntled from having to pay $2.75 non-Chase ATM charge down the block, exhausted from getting 4 hours of sleep (theater folks, and chef's maybe, wrote the book on night owling), but most of all famished. And, I'm dangerous when I'm low blood sugar... like the sky before it bursts into a tornado. I think we were all anxious to get to the grub. The legend of the Smorgasburg in my mind was an empty lot where all great food trucks convene and appeal to the public's taste buds. I imagined cutthroat foodies hopping from parked vehicle to vehicle critiquing just loud enough for the cooks and purveyors to hear, leaving bits of unwanted bites on the ledges. A frenzy of hungry Brooklynites just like me. Reality was quite the opposite. It was not nearly as competitive a scene as I imagined. In fact, it felt like a food support group.

First off, there were no idle food trucks which eliminates the whole smell of rubber and breathing in exhaust factor. And no one was serving you from their tire perched truck. In my mind, BWAYBITES couldn't have picked a more perfect food event to inaugurate our food blogging adventures. When the three of us walked into that gated off lot on the coast of the East River filled with cozily packed food stands, we felt like we were welcomed into a community of food lovers, people passionately bound by matters of the mouth and the tummy. Bean sellers, picklers, gourmet food shops, local farmers uniting to celebrate the art of eating. And BWAYBITES could not have been more honored to be participating.

Blue Bottle Coffee Company
Andy suggested we take a once through to get a lay of the land, to enjoy and appreciate the event before we hone in on bites here and there. Matt and I broke that rule quickly. Caffeine called. We answered. Not more than 4 yards in front of us was Blue Bottle Coffee Company, Matt got a single drip (a nostalgic looking process of pouring hot water into a single filter hovering above a cup below). I got a New Orleans Iced Coffee. As I've learned New Orleans style iced coffee usually has a healthy serving of milk and sugar to balance out heavy hitting chicory flavors underneath. It was the best New Orleans iced coffee I'd ever had…and my first. It had a smoothness, a depth of flavor like a good brandy.

Matt, how'd you like the single drip? How'd it compare to something like a french press cup of coffee?

"French press is a bit grittier, allowing tiny pieces of grounds to settle into the bottom of the cup which can on occasion lead to a very thick, syrupy feel, an homage in my mind to a Turkish coffee which leaves a sludge like consistency at the very bottom. Single drip, using an unbleached paper filter (a must if you're a coffee drinker who uses paper filters [Go Green!]), has a much smoother, cleaner taste and texture. More on chicory when I get my hands on some begniets!"

We continued our walk, Matt wanted to buy everything, Andy was glued to his camera phone, documenting our reactions, and I was in a daze, overstimulated. We decided to get a bunch of things and share bites, a style of eating that these kind of events were designed for. We had a delicious empanada from Victor's Famous Empanda, really mild and delicate, filled with ground local beef, potatoes, peas and spices. Some turkey chili, from the bean seller, which wasn't my favorite and tasted like it hadn't really developed yet. The highlight for me was Mighty Quinn's beef brisket sandwich. A small potato bread bun filled with fall apart tender brisket, cucumber, and harissa mayo. A real knock out bite: well seasoned, satisfyingly savory, simple and fresh as can be. 

On our way out, we stopped by the doughnut stand, aptly named 'Dough,' and grabbed a sweet treat for the road, Blood Orange iced doughnut. I was really intrigued by the sound of the icing, and was equally interested by it's flavor, but I've been spoiled by the best doughnut shop in NYC a few blocks away from me in Brooklyn, PETER PAN Bakery on Manhattan Ave between Meserole and Norman. Maybe BWAYBITES'll be back in Brooklyn soon..
Fresh Fruit Jams from "Anarchy Jams" and Butternut Squash Soup by "Sunday Gravy."
Adam and Andy take a bite or Victor's Famous Empanadas.

Andy, what was the prettiest bite you snagged on your camera?

"The prettiest bite? Definitely Mighty Quinn's brisket and pork belly sandwich. Definitely delicious. But I must say I was equally distracted with the crowd. Beautiful men and women left and right. As much as I wanted to grab a picture of the beautiful Porchetta Sandwich, I also wanted to snag the Sexy Hipster that was eating it. I found Smorgasburg to be a definite feast of ALL senses!"

Our Smorgasburg favorite, "Mighty Quinn's" Pork Belly and Brisket Sandwiches.
 About Smorgasburg: Every Saturday on the Williamsburg waterfront between North 6th and North 7th St., at the East River, from 10am to 5pm, Smorgasburg brings together food entrepreneurs and established purveyors from New York City and across the region selling both packaged and prepared foods, in addition to a Greenmarket with 5-10 vendors and other food-related stands (kitchen utensils, housewares, etc.), for a total of approximately 75 vendors. The market is open rain or shine through Saturday, November 19. For winter plans and more information visit

1 comment:

  1. Pork belly AND brisket in one sandwich? Amazing. Am loving this blog post from y'all and noting down places to visit for when I go to New York!

    Also as well as theatre types and chefs, I'm pretty sure there's a chapter in the book of insomnia written by food bloggers (well, I could write it, at least.)