Saturday afternoon, I braved the heat (or sweltering smog, I should say) and headed down to Gansevoort Street for TASTES from the Meatpacking District through Chelsea. For $35, you get a ticket that's good for 6 "tastes" from restaurants such as Bill's Bar and Burger, Pastis, Spice Market, Stella's Pizza, Matsuri, Amy's Bread, The Red Cat, and many others. The benefits from this event go to the NYC Lab School for Collaborative Studies, and if it wasn't so damn hot out, it would have been a lot more enjoyable. However, one thing that's good about food festivals that aren't free: they usually aren't too crowded. This area wasn't very big, and everyone was still able to move around comfortably and there were no lines for any of the vendors. Speaking as someone who has been to her fair share of New York City food festivals, I can say that this one was a delightful success compared to some of the others.
I thought at first that only six samples was not going to be enough food, but honestly, it was not the type of weather where gorging would have been a good idea anyway. I had six "tastes" and I was satisfied; it was literally too hot to go binging on a bunch of mini sliders and swedish meatballs. The six I picked were: Pastis, The Red Cat, Bombay Talkie, Matsuri, The Green Table, and Klee; not normally what I would have chosen, but they had some of the best looking options. My favorites would have to be the sausage and peppers sandwich from the Red Cat, the eggplant, tomato, feta and chickpea salad from Pastis, and the chicken Banh Mi from The Green Table. Aside from the sausage and peppers (how can you resist that?), I tried to keep my fare somewhat light given the extreme heat; so let's just say I didn't go running over to the hot salsas from Dos Caminos. The chicken banh mi was really cool and spicy at the same time, and the sausage and peppers just had so much flavor. See below for some pics from TASTES!
Oh, and if you're wondering what the blueberry mustard from Klee tasted like - imagine mustard with blueberries pureed into it. You're welcome.