If you are a living, breathing New Yorker, chances are you heard about the Great Googa Mooga festival this past weekend in Prospect Park. A two day event complete with food, alcohol, and music. Oh, and beautiful, sunny skies. What else do you need on a weekend? Not much, my friends. Not much. Maybe a little Hall and Oates? Some Anthony Bourdain? Some grilled cheese, foie gras donuts and horse baloney? Ahhh yes. Googa Mooga had all of that and more, and I was happy to partake in the festivities on Sunday with my buddy LG.
Considering this was the FIRST Googa Mooga event ever, I thought it was executed rather well; a few minor kinks here and there, but that was expected – an event of this size and scale could rarely go off without a hitch. If I had to complain about three things it would be this:
1. Lack of staff that actually KNEW where anything was. I swear we walked miles before we got to anything even remotely related to a food festival.
2. Port a pottys. Nuff said. I realize there’s no other option but….ew. I only had one beer because I didn’t want to pee in there. True story.
3. Lack of supplies in the food department. A lot of the more delicious sounding foods were sold out by the time I got there (Soft Shell Crab sandwich from Vinegar Hill House and Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken Wings – wahhhh). This event had thousands of people – prepare yourselves dammit! You know your food is delicious! Make enough of it! Ok I’m done. Now for some highlights:
Oaxaca Grilled Cheese from Little Muenster. Oh. Em. Gee. I have been swearing off bread for a while now (for BAM – Bathing suit Awareness Month), but I couldn’t NOT eat this bread. It’s a grilled cheese – bread is a necessary component. The bread was slathered with spicy mustard, and the cheese was melty and perfect with jalapeños on top. It was hot out, but not so hot that I wouldn’t have eaten two of them. But it was so expensive that I couldn’t justify eating two of them ($12 for a grilled cheese!)
Sloppy Joe Sliders from Dickson’s Farmstand. This brought me BACK. I haven’t had a sloppy joe in ages. Why? Because I’m an idiot, obviously. What’s better than loose, saucy and sweet meat on a potato roll? Damned if I know.
Smoked Meat Sandwich from Mile End. If you have watched any of the food shows on The Cooking Channel that round up some of the most awesome sandwiches in the country, then you have heard of Mile End. They are located in Brooklyn, and this is their famous smoked meat sandwich. I got mine served with potato salad and a pickle ($10), and the meat is super tender, served on traditional rye with a little spicy brown mustard.
Dirty Duck Dog from Craft. I love duck – just not so sure I love dirty duck, and to be fair, I don’t even know what made this “dirty”. It was good, but I thought the “dog” was a little flimsy. It was tasty, but the cabbage slaw on top was what bulked it up and made it look more impressive than it actually was.
Dirt Cake from Katzie Guy-Hamilton (Top Chef Just Desserts). Umm…how do I put this lightly. I LOVE DIRT CAKE. This was the exact description on the booth: What is Dirt Cake? Awesome. Choc pudding, devils cake, Werthers, worms (have to), crunchy stuff, orange cream = Dirt Cake. Yum. Crunchy stuff and worms? The worms were gummy and guava-flavored, fyi. Mmm. And this was seriously the best milk chocolate pudding I’ve ever had in my life. It was so smooth and rich – I don’t know how they did it but it was delicious AND affordable ($5). Now THAT’S rich!
Now, for the piece de resistance….drum roll please…HALL. AND. OATES. Ok, slap some feathered bangs on me and call me a loser – totally dating myself right here but whatever I love Hall and Oates. I can’t listen to them and be in a bad mood. It’s just not possible. You Make My Dreams Come True? Try to stand still during that song. I DARE YOU. If you can do it, I believe you have no pulse and for that matter, no soul. Same goes for Maneater. And Rich Girl.
I heard mixed reviews about them from friends who were at the festival – personally, I thought they could have been better on SOME songs, but then again this was the first time I have ever seen them live, so I have no basis for comparison and still had a great time. AND not to mention, we were SO close to the stage that John Oates threw his guitar pick into the crowd and guess who got it?! ME! ME ME ME!! Well, LG picked it up and gave it to me…because she’s a good friend and didn’t want to get her eyes scratched out.
All in all, loved Googa Mooga and they couldn’t have picked a more beautiful weekend for it. I wish I was there on Saturday for the cool Extra Mooga stuff like Anthony Bourdain, Aziz Ansari, and Ruth Reichl, but oh well. Maybe next year!