Smorgasburg, Brooklyn, NY

Smorgasburg

If you ask the average American, they will probably tell you that New Yorkers are self-important, trend-obsessed, urban sycophants who idiotically feel superior because they overpay for everything.  This isn’t entirely untrue.*  But did you know that most New Yorkers feel the exact same way about Brooklynites?   Brooklyn’s trendy elitism expands to all aspects of life in the borough – including its food scene. But if you hate too hard, you’ll miss out on awesome stuff like Smorgasburg.

A hipstery food scene is in full effect with local vendors and earthy colored signage

Smorgasburg is an outdoor food fair that features all sorts of fare vying to be the “next big thing.”  A hipstery food scene is in full effect with local vendors and earthy colored signage touting organic, gastronomic, all natural, free-range, GMO-free, cage-free, gluten-free, farm-raised, vegan-friendly food.

I was able to get a few bites, snap a few pics, and form a few opinions despite surrendering most of my food and energy to the kids

My trip to Smorgasburg was as a dad, not a blogger.  But I was able to get a few bites, snap a few pics, and form a few opinions despite surrendering most of my food and energy to the kids. Here’s what I got:

aaaaaaRamen Burger (Ramen Burger) – I’ve seen buzz about these things on the internet, so I was happy for an opportunity to try one.  It was delicious.  A unique and well-executed idea.  The ramen “bun” held its shape and had all the flavor of good ramen – with a fried, crispy exterior.  The burger was high-quality and went well with the teriyaki and ramen. The Ramen Burger only loses points for tasting exactly like what you think it does. There was no flavor surprise.  If you’ve had ramen and hamburger then you can already imagine exactly what this tastes like.

Maple Covered Bacon (Landhaus) – This was, of course, very tasty.  But when ingredients are inherently delicious, my expectations are high for them to meld or deliver in some unique way.  With such high expectations, I was underwhelmed.  The bacon was great – thick and juicy. But the maple wasn’t sweet enough and instead focused on a peppery flavor.

photo 5Pupusas (Solber Pupusas) – I’d never heard of this fried corn-dough, meat, and cheese treat from El Salvador.  It was tasty and unique. I’m glad I tried it, but I wouldn’t call it a “must have.”  I had a chicken pupusa and a pork pupusa – nothing exotic.  I wish I’d have tried the cod version or the “Loroco” (an edible flower).  But I was hungry, with kids in tow, and in no position to take food risks – especially at Smorgasburg prices.

phxxoto 2Waffle Cone (Wowfuls – A uniquely shaped waffle comes warm, fresh off the maker.  It melts the ice cream scooped inside and the whole thing is a nice treat.  I waited about 30 minutes to get one of these artfully crafted little treats – only to have my kids destroy in 35 seconds and spill most of it on the ground. At $8 each, I wish my kids had appreciated the aesthetics a little more.  I was able to taste a bit that fell onto my shoe and some that spilled onto my hand. It was tasty.   The genius of Wowfuls is not the taste, but the attractive presentation. A team of folks behind the counter take their sweet time making each one – and it shows.  Walking around Smorgasburg, Wowfulls stood out in the hands of those enjoying it.  Each waffle cone was its own tiny, tempting mobile billboard.

* I feel qualified to say this as a NYC sycophant/jingoist myself (I try to curb it to be polite) who grew up in middle America.