Saturday, May 21, 2011


Today was the first day of Smorgasburg, a weekly event several blocks from our home that brings together a host of local awesome food stuff. As predicted, it was a total shitshow, but a delicious one. I think some kinks are still being worked out with lines and staffing--several places ran out of food at various times, and enormous lines stretched from most vendors (the Red Hook pupusa people...the lobster, EVERYTHING), but that stuff can be worked out.

We stood in a half-hour line for Kelvin slushes--I had an Arnold Palmer with mint, and Priya had a ginger with mango. Mine was good, but the ginger slush was outstanding. The long line happened for a couple of reasons...first, there weren't very many places to just get a drink you could walk around sipping on while you looked at or stood in line for other places; second, the machines kept running out of mix, so we had to keep waiting for the new batch of mix to refreeze. Easily fixable problems in the long run.

While we were waiting for the slushes, I popped over to the Porchetta line for some $5 porchetta mini-sandwiches. Although the line was longer, I was in and out in five minutes--it was run super-professionally, and I mean they're serving a single item that has two pieces, so it's very fast-moving. The sandwich was also great--just as good as the East Village location (if smaller).

We weren't done eating after the porchettas, so we stood in another very long line for Meat Hook hotdogs and "rupture/rapture" dogs (including cheddar cheese). This was maybe my second or third hotdog in the past twenty years and it was pretty good.

We also nibbled on samples and shared a cornflake cookie from the Momofuku Milk Bar tent. There's so many other things I want to try, and will in future weeks (but will have to arrive earlier, or just brave the lines). A lot of stuff was pricey, but nothing was mass-produced...even the shaved ice was made by hand at the shaved-ice stand:

One thing I did not want to try: the mayonnaise stand. I was appalled and disgusted by its very presence, but I'm sure it's good as far as mayonnaise goes (not very far).

I also was a bit disturbed by how the whole thing was basically just a huge value-add for the luxury condos for the wealthy that have eaten up the waterfront, but...well, I guess the money they will pour into artisanal food stuff is important to supporting it.

Eastern District

A few months back, Greenpoint got a fancy-food store of its very own--with craft beers, a cheese and meat counter, and all sorts of delicious stuff. Eastern District is just what the neighborhood needed.

Some things are quite expensive, but there are plenty of things which are equal to or even cheaper than their prices at other fancy-food stores in NYC. I've probably been there biweekly since it opened; it's a nice place to get gifts (I got my mom some Brooklyn Brine pickles, a Mast Brothers chocolate bar, and a bottle of pear cider for Mother's Day) or dinner (they have a nice sandwich menu) or a snack to bring to a party (Ovenly bacon popcorn, etc.).

Dinner the other night was a country-pate sandwich with Brooklyn Brine pickles and My Friend's whole-grain mustard, a Nectar IPA, and some moong dal (not from Eastern District; I just like it instead of chips with sandwiches).

Great place; patronize it as frequently as you can!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

M. Wells diner

We've been trying to go to M. Wells for a long time, and after seeing it mentioned in the New Yorker this past week, we knew we had to go soon before it got even more crowded than it has been. So we woke up early and got there early (10am) so we could beat the rush, and had a nice brunch with Adam & Clara. It never got super-busy while we were there, so I think the trick is getting in early.

Cinnamon doughnut:

Egg & sausage sandwich with pickled jalapeno, cheddar, and tomato on a fat English muffin:

Bacon hash with fiddleheads, morels, and egg:

Pickled pork tongue with mustard and soda crackers:

Gravlax pie with dill, potatoes, and creme fraiche:

Banana cupcake with peanut-butter icing:

Maple pie:

Really excellent; it's only a 20 minute walk from our house (and an even shorter bike ride) so I hope we'll be back again soon.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Ssam Bar

David Chang has been transforming the old Milk Bar space into a Ssam Bar extension with a big duck rotisserie and an eye towards replacing the Ssam Bar prix fixe lunch with an all-duck meal; since we had a half day today, Wooh, Dena, Yvette, and I went over to check it out. Unfortunately, the duck lunch seems behind schedule and wasn't ready, but we had a great Ssam Bar meal anyway.

Steamed pork buns:

Spicy honeycomb tripe with ginger-scallion, sesame, pickled tomatoes:

Duck confit with duck liver mousse and raw beets:

Veal sweetbreads with nuts, saurkraut, and Thai chili:

Spicy pork sausage with rice cakes (maybe my favorite thing at Ssam Bar):

Quark ice cream with malt, chocolate mousse, and beet-maple: