When I heard about the food-only version of the Brooklyn Flea coming to Williamsburg this past Saturday (and every Saturday thereafter!) I was super excited. So many great vendors and local farmers come together for this event, I didn't know where to start, but I grabbed $20 and headed over anyway.
I got to The Smorgasburg around 11:30 am, and surprisingly it wasn't too packed…yet. Around 12:30 things started getting real: lines for the more popular vendors like Asiadog, Grilled Cheese Truck, and Momofuku Milk Bar were really long. I saw one woman munching on a piece of raw kale while waiting in line. Really? It's not THAT dire, lady. And is it me or does munching on leaves while standing in line waiting for a hot dog sound kind of counterproductive..?
My first stop was Danny Lyu's Cemitas Mexican sandwiches. What is a Cemita? Fortunately they break down the anatomy of the Cemita for you: sesame bread roll, chipotle sauce, papalo, avocado, white cheese, pickled onions, tomatoes, lettuce, meat (carnitas, pork or chicken), mayo and black bean spread. I went with the panko-crusted fried chicken cutlet for $8.
This sandwich is ridiculous, in a good way. It's HUGE first of all, I'm not kidding when I say it was half the size of my head and weighed a couple pounds at least. I wanted to try other things, so I knew I had to take a few bites and save the rest for later. I'm good, but I'm not THAT good. The chicken was perfectly crunchy, served nice and hot between the cool layers of cheese, lettuce avocado and tomato – people were actually stopping me to ask what I was eating, to which I responded, "it's a Cemita and yes, it IS as good as it looks." I am now left with $12.
I really wanted the Red Hook Lobster Pound sandwich, but it was $16 - a tad out of my budget - so I went over to Asiadog instead. I got the Vinh hot dog, a banh-mi style beef hot dog with pate, spicy aioli, pickled carrots, daikon, cucumber, jalapenos and cilantro. Of course, I told them to nix the cilantro, and of course they didn't. Grrr! My dog was $4.
I have to say that I was NOT excited when I got this dog. Maybe it was the cilantro, but the look was just not that appealing. That said, once I disposed of most of the cilantro and took a bite, I had a change of heart and stomach. It was really good! Who knew. All of these sweet/spicy flavors are hidden underneath the heap of cilantro I guess. Would definitely return and try other flavors. I am now left with $8.
At this point it was time for me to get some sweets. I was heading over towards Momofuku Milk Bar, but I wanted something new and noticed the glorious scent of bacon in the air. It was coming from Ovenly, a creative, sweet and savory snack venture started by Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin. There was a spicy bacon-caramel popcorn calling my name, as well as a salted chocolate chip cookie. The popcorn was my fave of the two, slightly spicy, sweet, and guess what? The bacon comes from The Meat Hook. The chocolate chip cookie was good too, with gooey chocolate chips and chunks of sea salt on top. Ovenly is like crack for people like me who love the combination of salty, spicy and sweet. Both of these together cost $7.50.
I am left with .50 cents. That can't get you anything else at The Smorgasburg, so I used it to tip a random vendor on my way out. Sharing is caring. I'll be back to see what $20 can get me next time…I got my eye on a few places. But if you're not as big of a pig as I am and you want to do The Smorgasburg for $10, you can get:
A rather hefty portion of Shorty Tang & Sons peanutty noodles for $5, and Scratchbread's "Hot Sticky Mess" for dessert for $5. Three of their Chai Sticky Buns are seared on a griddle and covered in a "sticky" creme anglaise. I've had these before and they are so, so good it's almost unfair.