What do you get when you cross Williamsburg, Brooklyn with a veritable cornucopia and smörgåsbord of food options? A Smorgaburg! Let’s break this down for a second, a smorgasbord is a type of meal served buffet-style with multiple dishes of various foods on a table, originating in Sweden. In English and also in Scandinavian languages, the word smörgåsbord refers loosely to any buffet with a variety of dishes.
Smorgasburg happens every Saturday, rain or shine. Part of the Brooklyn Flea Market, 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. I have gone to this market several times and it is still my favorite NYC STAY-CATION. In my (very) humble opinion, the best foods hail from:
1. Asia Dog: Asiadogs are hot dogs with Asian-inspired toppings incorporating flavors found in China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and more. Try the WangDing: Chinese BBQ Porkbelly + onions or the Vinh: Vietnamese banh-mi style: aioli + pate + cucumbers + pickled carrot and daikon + cilantro + jalapeno.
2. Bon Chovie: This is what happens when a chick with a metal head and a green thumb moves fromSeattle to Williamsburg andmarries a charter boat captain and all-around seafood maniac from Florida’s gulf Coast. If you know what’s good for you, have the fried anchovies “jersey style” (head’s on) and relish in the smoked paprika mayo and pickled sweet peppers on the side. Finally, if your thirst need quenching, they have a non-alcoholic sangria that has more fruit than a Chiquita banana headdress.
3. Brooklyn Soda Works: An artist and a chemist making soda and carbonated juices from scratch, using fresh and seasonal ingredients. If Willy Wonky had a soda factory and a seltzer bottle, he would be making these drinks. Using foraged ingredients like sassafras, knotweed, shiso, fennel and peppercorn, soda works makes the freshest (never from syrups or concentrates) and most refreshing fizzy lifting drinks. I want to use EVERY one of them in cocktails as mixers. Your best best will be the ‘grapefruit, jalapeno & honey’ pop.
4. Schnitz: Schnitz is the Shit(z). It is a quick-serve food business dedicated to serving your favorite comfort food: Schnitzel! For those who didn’t get the memo, schnitzel is thin, breaded and lightly fried pieces chicken, pork or veal. All sandwiches are served on a pretzel bun, your options include Sweet Onion: panko crusted crumbs + jicama radish pickle + beet tzatziki or Bamberg: panko parsley crumbs + cuco-daikon pickle + caramelized opinion mustard. My grandmother made schnitzel like it was her job, mostly because she was a stay at home mother and this was her “job”, to cook schnitzel. She was from the Polish shtetl and knew good schnitzel, this stuff comes close.
5. The Good Batch: This purveyor of ice cream sandwhiches began with a simple mission: bake pure, not overly sweet, delicious food. Anna Gordon, the founder and pastry chef of The Good Batch, has a lot of Dutch people in her life, and after years of receiving eager requests for making fresh stroopwafels, she finally did it. I must admit, the classic Goodwich style ice cream sandwich featuring vanilla ice cream and an irresistible oat cookie loaded with Belgian milk and dark chocolate chunks, and topped with sea salt was the PERFECT combination of salty and sweet.
And then we took the East River Ferry home back to the isle of Manhattan and lived happily ever after…