New York 2012: Smorgasburg, a Brooklyn Food Flea Market

I was sitting on the hotel bed, tv switched on to food network and doing my last minute planning for the next day’s itinerary. Unique Eats was showing and one of the presenters raved about delicious beef brisket in a food flea market called Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, New York. As luck would have it, I was returning to New York that weekend from Boston. A quick google search and I got all the details I needed.

So fast forward to that weekend, we headed down to Williamsburg in Brooklyn. I suggest traveling there using the sub (instead of taxi for example. Those from Manhattan aren’t familiar with the roads in Brooklyn sometimes). It’s pretty straightforward but please trace out the route from the station as it’s a distance away from Smorgasburg. The best hours to visit are 11am-1pm. At 1pm it gets really crowded. While the carnival-like atmosphere at this time is great, you would want to have food at hand by now. The queues would be pretty crazy by then.

The Smorgasburg website sums up what this food flea market is all about:

“Every Saturday on the Williamsburg waterfront between North 6th and North 7th St., at the East River, from 11am to 6pm, Smorgasburg brings together food entrepreneurs and established purveyors from New York City and across the region selling both packaged and prepared foods, fresh produce, and other food-related stands (kitchen utensils, housewares, etc.), for a total of approximately 100 vendors. The market is open rain or shine.”

Many came prepared with picnic mats, but there is also a seating area next to the Smorgasbar. 

A make-shift ATM

Now on with the food!

1. Mighty Quinn’s

Mighty Quinn’s was the stall featured on Unique Eats. Clearly they are famous. Look at the queue!

Huge bbq pits. The owner shared that they barbecue their meats overnight for at least 13 hours if I’m not wrong.

Carving the meat

Soft broiche burger buns. Choose between a mini or a normal-sized burger

Pulled Pork Burger

Beef Brisket Burger

Gosh they were both so good. Fork tender meat, and the buns soaked with all the meat juices… such a delectable combination. But if I had to choose, I would go with the beef brisket because it’s more moist. Both meats were tender but not mushy, and the smoky-sweet-savoury flavour permeates throughout the meat- now this is what slow cooking is all about!

2. Shorty Tang & Sons

Cold Sesame Noodles

Refreshing and tasty with the nuttiness of the sesame dressing being the most prominent.

3. Dough

HUGE donuts here

Had two donuts, Blood Orange (above) and Passion Fruit & Cocoa Nibs. It’s a traditional yeast donut, light and airy, my favourite kind (: The glazes were both good too. Sweet but it didn’t feel overwhelming because the sourness tingled the tastebuds and balanced it all out. I love how strong the flavours were. Homemade and good quality ingredients no doubt.

4. Bon Chovie

Anchovies fried ala minute.

5. S’more Bakery

Frozen S’mores. Would have preferred them to take it further and make marshmallow icecream. When you’re outdoors in the summer all you want is ice cream no?

That said the graham cookies were good- crumbly, cinnamon-ey and I got the muskiness of the honey.

6. Anarchy in a Jar

The parents were thrilled by the variety of jams available. Fun flavours, and all homemade. Bought a couple of jars as gifts for friends.

There are many many more stalls that we didn’t get to try. Mum had the impression that street food = bad quality food but she admitted that she was proven wrong here! These vendors are very serious about what they sell- expect quality ingredients, great cooking technique and creative twists. Be sure to bring a pair of sunnies, a cap, and wet wipes when you go! We were fortunate enough to get cloudy weather but I can imagine how hot it must be when the sun is out.