Smorgasburg which is basically a synonym for New York summertime, is an outdoor food explosion with several food and drink vendors that make lots of people smile and Instagram happy. On Saturday’s it’s in Williamsburg (hence the spelling of Smorgasburg) and on Sunday’s it’s in Dumbo at Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 5. This provides an outstanding view of Manhattan, and when the weather is nice, there is nothing better than walking around trying all different delicacies. What’s so nice about the food market is that it gives chefs/cooks/future restauranteurs a chance to experiment in the food space without committing to a restaurant space. Some places do so well they make it to brick and mortar, Mighty Quinn’s, thank goodness because their sweet potatoes and brisket are a major BBQ staple for me. Also, the infamous Ramen Burger erupted here and is still onsite. There are several different cuisines that you might not expose yourself to otherwise such as Puerto Rican, Egyptian and Vegan and most items are under $12, so multiple tastings from different booths is the way to go.
If you’re coming from Manhattan, make a Sunday out of it and walk the Brooklyn Bridge to Dumbo (don’t worry it gets less crowded once you reach the middle) and get a tan while working up your appetite. Upon arrival, you immediately see the Ramen Burger which comes wrapped up in brown paper that looks just like the way a Big Mac would and how you can unravel it in a circular motion in your hand. I passed Wisconsin Cheese Curds, Japanese inspired tacos from Takumi Taco, Butternut Squash Donuts and Lemonade, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Columbian food, Grilled Cheese, Dough doughnuts, Kelvin slushies, etc.
I dove for the Taiwanese scallion pancake rolls which are basically just awesome burritos wrapped in scallion pancakes. These are only sold here and need to move to a store in the Lower East Side immediately. You have your choice between Roast Pork, Braised Beef, Crispy Pork Belly and Scrambled Egg. While the egg really did look like the best breakfast sandwich ever, I tried the Crispy Pork Belly since it’s their most popular and made with Thai Basil, Mint, Onion and Watercress ($9). You can watch the boys making the wraps, and these guys are oh, so kind. They thank everyone for waiting which isn’t even that long of a wait and they are so gracious. I’d like to go back for the egg immediately.
Bee Hive Oven caught our eye because we are Texans who rarely see chicken fried steak around here and I’ll eat anything with a biscuit involved. They have a storefront in Williamsburg where you can get Fried Chicken Biscuit sandwiches and also build your own. The steak was crispy yet still tender and the crumbly, butter biscuit was an adorable size and even though it looks small you can definitely share it – you just might not be willing to give up any bites.
It’s a rule that you need to always end on a sweet note. If I had known how amazing The Good Batch ice cream cookie sandwiches were, I would have started with one as an appetizer AND finished with one as dessert. This line might look 15 people or more deep, but it shoots by quickly because all the sandwiches are already made. This also keeps the cookies in line with the ice cream instead of slipping out. Genius. The Goodwich involves an Oat Chocolate Chunk Cookie, Sea Salt, Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Fudge. Yes, this salty cookie gets you here and then you bite into the fudge which is drizzled on the ice cream and then you get a taste of a chocolate chip and it’s called heaven. These monsters of an ice cream cookie sandwich actually taste way better than they look and the cookie is soft. Love them. For serious fans, they also have a store in Clinton Hill.
Take a moment to taste a few things, share with loved ones, enjoy an outdoor experience with new food, make some new friends and look out onto the water. Life is good.