In the summertime, to make up for its stifling heat, humidity and tourists galore, NYC hosts numerous food festivals. Smorgasburg happens to be one of those festivals, held every Saturday on the bank of the East River in Williamsburg. There are 100+ vendors stationed there and they offer made-to-order, baked, and pre-packaged goodies. Surrounding the area are patches of grass and plenty of benches, so you don’t have to eat or bask in the view standing up.
Pictured above is a papusa ($4), a Salvadoran cornmeal cake stuffed with shredded pork. It’s cooked on a griddle so it’s warm, slightly crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. A fan of polenta or any other cornmeal derived product is sure to enjoy a papusa. It’s topped with pickled cabbage, onions and jalapenos, as well as some sort of tomato sauce and sour cream.
Fried chicken and a cheddar waffle from popular Brooklyn restaurant, Buttermilk Channel ($10): I was looking forward to finding this kiosk more than any other because chicken-and-waffles is a dish I’ve been striving to sink my teeth into for some time now. Surprisingly, this dish isn’t very popular among New York restaurants. The chicken was pretty good but it could’ve used some more salt. And the waffle wasn’t crispy nor sweet, which was disappointing. The salad the dish was served with was comprised of tomatoes, watermelon, radishes and basil. I liked the combination of these items very much (though the watermelon was not sweet at all) and the salad worked well as a palate-cleanser. However, overall this dish was a disappointment.
Last but not least, this yeasty, chewy, salty and delicious, sausage and cheese roll from Commerce Bakery. This thing was unbelievable. Its $8 price tag is a bit hefty but since we arrived at the kiosk near closing time, all items were half off so we got lucky.
We also had some bubble tea and cookies but they’re nothing to write home about.
What I love about these food festivals – besides stuffing my face for several hours in a row – is that you can eat a variety of delicious, and filling, foods for under 20$ per person. Also, it’s not like just going out to eat at a restaurant, where you sit down, eat up, and leave; Here, you can stay for just half an hour or choose to make a whole day of it. Note: Ladies, if you decide to head out to Smorgasburg, DO NOT wear a short dress or skirt. The area tends to get pretty windy and you don’t want to find yourself worrying about any accidents.