Monday, October 24, 2011

Delicious Eats at the Grub Street Festival at Hester Street Fair!

This summer has been full of great outdoor food festivals and flea markets, and Grub Street's Food Festival on Sunday 10/23/11, showcased a lot of good local eats from NYC and Brooklyn.  Some of the vendors were also with Brooklyn Flea Smorgasburg, but there were still a lot of other great food stalls I wanted to try let's get to it!

First up, we wanted to try Luke's lobster roll to see how it compares to Red Hook Lobster Pound at Smorgasburg.    Luke's has a great roll that actually seems a little bigger with BIG HUGE chunks of lobster meat, but I prefer how Red Hook's seasoning.  Luke's is also a little more mayonaise-y than Red Hook's traditional Maine style roll (I prefer less).  It's all a matter of preference though.

Second was Arancini Bros, who specialize in Italian style rice balls and have a shop in Brooklyn.  We just got the traditional ragu, which had meat sauce, peas, and was sooo delicious!  At $3 a pop, they were like a little ball of fried goodness with a surprise inside! The ragu had simple, traditional flavors but was still excellent.

They also had some other flavors...maybe next time I'll have to try the Nutella rice ball!

Bark Hot Dogs had a stand but weren't necessarily selling all their specialty hot dogs.  Instead, they had a few simple, no frills dogs but had a fixins bar where you can go nuts and top your own dog.  The hot dog tasted great and the bun was nice and toasted.  Here it's topped with pickles, relish, onions, and alfalfa sprouts...delicious!

Snap, who also sells hot dogs, had a pretty interesting avocado fries so we had to try that.  The avocado was super creamy and encrusted with crispy Panko bread crumbs.  It came with a tangy mayo dipping sauce.

Char No.4, which is actually a bar/restaurant in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn that has a great looking menu, had a stand that simply sold a braised short rib and roast pork shoulder chili.  The chili was super meaty and really fills you up and warms you up on a brisk day, but I wish I had more spice (though I know many can't handle it).  So we had to add hot sauce and sour cream, which were offered on the side.

I've had P&H Soda before, but saw that they had a "chocolate" flavored soda that I had to try.  It's sounds weirder that it actually is, as you only get a hint of chocolate.  Pretty good, but next time I'll have to try their other interesting flavors, which include ginger, cream, hibiscus, and quince.

Purple Yam is a popular and trendy Filipino restaurant in Brooklyn, and they had a stand that sold some pork ribs as well as some funky seaweed vegetarian taco...which isn't the least bit Filipino at all!  The pork spare rib with some lightly vinegared rice was pretty good.   The taco, which looks super interesting, uses a fried nori shell as the taco, and is filled with some rice, bitter melon, cucumber, green mango, and bitter melon, actually tasted bland and watery.  I probably won't be trying their restaurant soon and will likely stick to Woodside for good Filipino food.

Pies and Thighs, which is on my list of must-try restaurant spots in Brooklyn, is famous for their fried chicken.  At their stand though, they only had small pieces of what looked like chicken tenders in between buttered biscuits.  This was the messiest thing we had all day and tasted just ok.  I MUST still try the restaurant though!

However, the best thing we had all day had to be the amazingly spicy Jerk chicken at MissLily's, and I found out later they have a restaurant by Greenwich Village.  The pile of perfectly grilled and blackened chicken was $6 for two drumsticks and two thighs, but the oh-so-spicy green jerk sauce that you add yourself was super addictive!  It's the one dish that day I would certainly love to have again!

So, this is probably the last outdoor eats this year, but it was certainly full of good eats!  It's definitely getting cold so it'll be a long time before food festivals start popping up all over NYC again.

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