This Little Piggy Went to the Market: Smorgasburg
Summer in NYC isn't complete without attending a few (or all) of the food markets in the city! This Little Piggy Went to the Market is a guide to the city's best food markets, join me through the hundreds of vendors out while I taste what they've got to offer! To kick off the series this week is: Smorgasburg!
Smorgasburg is one of the most anticipated summer food events in the city. With 100 vendors and attractions such as the Ramen Burger, Mango Lassi Pops, fresh pizza from a mobile pizza oven, and Sicilian tuna, its no wonder people flock to Brooklyn by the hundreds every weekend!
Here’s my list of favorites, from both Williamsburg (Saturdays) and Brooklyn Bridge Park (Sundays). Check out more photos from my weekend at Smorgasburg here!
Sicilian fisherman Alessio Fallone serves prepared fish products and preserves in the Eolian traditions (Eolian islands off the coast of Sicily) with simple ingredients, olive oil, sea salt and fresh capers from Salina! My favorite is the delicate, yet complex pane cunzato, bruschetta with homemade tuna, capers and cherry tomatoes! Yum! But he also impresses crowds with beautifully grilled stuffed squid, tuna salad and scallops!
Outer Borough’s scallion pancakes aren’t the pancake appetizers you’d get at your neighborhood Chinese restaurant. Carson Yiu puts a spin on these traditional Taiwanese scallion pancakes, offering them with delicious fillings like braised beef, egg and sausage, roast bbq pork, all with their signature “Borough Sauce.” By far my favorite was the Beef Roll: tender, thin slices of braised beef, cucumbers, cilantro, scallions, topped with the tangy, complex brown Borough sauce, wrapped in a crispy scallion pancake.
When I first walked in and saw this hunk of steel hitched to the back of a truck with a roaring fire inside I knew it was a must-try! Pizza Moto serves made-to-order, Neapolitan-style pizzas in a wood-burning fire. The “Margherita” is a classic, with a thin crust, red sauce, just enough mozzarella for that cheesy bite and topped with fresh basil and olive oil. Wow! This is how pizza should be eaten!
Tip: Get there early (they run out later in the day) and be prepared to wait in line for this one! I’ll be honest I’m still trying to wrap my head around this. The “noodle bun” wasn’t as crispy as I expected, in fact it had a slight crunch yet was still chewy. The burger meat was nothing spectacular, had nice crunch from the scallions and flavor from the soy garlic onion sauce. But it was super messy even with the wrapper! Glad I tried it to see what the hype was all about, but didn’t quite live up to it for me.
When you pass Antonella Zangheri’s stand, you see a gorgeous display of foccacia, quiche, cookies and pastries. What’s special is that everything is gluten-free! But tasting it you’d never guess! Her foccacia topped with tomatoes and olive oil brings me back to summers in Italy! Divine! Her quiche is quite delicious as well. Ask for it warm and you’ll really taste the flaky crust, creamy filling with mushrooms.
If you’re looking to cool off after a day of gorging on these delicious eats, head to the ultra-cute bike cart, serving up a frozen-twist on the classic Indian yogurt drink. On any particular day they offer samples of their frozen mango lassi pints. But on a hot day, the frozen mango lassi pop really hits the spot. It isn’t just a frozen mango lassi, the one I had was spiked with mint, ginger and honey, taking the mango-ness to the next level!
Williamsburg vs. Brooklyn Bridge Park
Both Smorgasburg locations have the same vendors, yet each location brings a unique charm. If you want to channel your (secret) hipster, spend a Saturday in Williamsburg. Located at the East River State Park, right off the L Train, you can stroll through the stands and eat on a picnic table over-looking Lower Manhattan with a nice breeze along the East River. A few steps away is also the Williamsburg Flea market with 150 vendors of vintage, antique, art, handmade products and food!
While spending a Saturday in Williamsburg is appealing, my favorite of the two is in Brooklyn Bridge Park. A Sunday afternoon walking in DUMBO along the cobble stoned streets and through piers 1-4 on the waterfront park generates quite the appetite. After adequately filling your stomach to over-capacity, you can cool off and digest walking through the green space, laying on the field overlooking Lower Manhattan or just enjoying the view of the Brooklyn Bridge.