I’m no stranger to Smorgasburg, the weekly gathering of food vendors that grew out of the Brooklyn Flea. It has grown so big, with at least three locations around the city, that I’d actually gotten a little tired of it. Then there was an announcement: the Smorgasburg usually held at Brooklyn bridge Park was moving to Prospect Park. Not just Prospect Park, but a ten minute walk from my apartment. It was so close that it seemed silly not to check it out. I met up with Donny on one of the first Sundays at Prospect Park, and it was PACKED. We walked around but it was too crowded for us, and we left. I returned a few weeks later, much earlier in the day, and the crowds were much more manageable. This past Sunday was the final week of Smorgasburg in the park (they are moving to Industry City for the winter), so I met up with my friends Jess & Garrett (and their son) for the final hurrah.
One of the reasons I had gotten tired of the event was that I was getting sick of the same old vendors that seem to show up at every single food event. On my two visits I tried to get some food I hadn’t eaten before, and some of it was quite good. At the top of this post you’ll see banh cuon, tightly wound Vietnamese rice rolls filled (in this case) with a flavorful mix of tofu and mushrooms, from Bep Vietnamese. Just above this paragraph is the pan con queso, the vegetarian option from Venezuelan hot dog vendor Santa Salsa. A long hunk of chewy white cheese is marinated, seared on the griddle, and then served in a bun with various sauces and crumbled potato chips. Other delights: vegetarian laksa from Mamak, a Malaysian food vendor, and black bean-stuffed sopapillas topped with a fantastic New Mexico-style green chile sauce from Zia.
I still don’t plan on making Smorgasburg a habit; it’s just too crowded and over-hyped for me. But it’s nice to know that it’s still capable of surprises, and of providing some good food.
Smorgasburg — check website for dates and locations