Williamsburg Waterfront @ N7th Street
The weird hipster hangout of Williamsburg, which I frequently make fun of, has come through with the AMAZING Smorgasburg! This is cheap eats foodie heaven in an outdoor lot overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Spud and I ventured here on Saturday in scorching temperatures, but our cravings were quickly cooled by dozens of stands cooking up the finest grub Brooklyn has to offer.
We started out with handmade cold sesame noodles from the chefs at Shorty Tang & Sons ($6), which were traditionally flavored with scallions and some heat. Next we tried a Saltena from Bolivian stand La Casa de Camba; it was our first time trying this cuisine. It was similar to an empanada, but the Saltena had a sweeter corn dough, which was balanced by a variety of hot sauces and filled with chicken and hard boiled egg. A delicious snack. After a short break in the adjoining park listening to some street jazz, we were back to split a cemita from Cemita’s Mexican Sandwiches & Mas. This king of sandwiches contains no less than 10 ingredients (see photo) and is one of my favorites. We had the pork which balanced nicely with the pickled onion, avocado and many other toppings.
Now on to dessert, which would have been a big decision with so many options such as cookies, pie and slushes, but Spud and I both had our eyes on the same prize: A peanut butter ice cream sandwich from The Good Batch. The sandwich comes mega-frozen, so there is no drip and you can take your time and savor the experience, which you’ll want to do, because it was the best ice cream sandwich we have ever tasted. It was half chocolate, half vanilla, topped with a layer of real peanut butter on a thin crisscross chocolate cookie. It might not sound incredible, but The Good Batch has figured out the secret to the ice cream sandwich cookie, and it’s not two full sized cookies, which is messy and too much to eat. This balance was perfect and makes the ice cream the star, as it should be.
As you may have guessed, we are quite excited about Smorgasburg and will return to try many more combos before the fall, possibly classics like a lobster roll, BBQ ribs, and pie or more exotic like Jamaican jerk, Vietnamese spring rolls, and Japanese tacos. Oh, and we will have to try those great looking donuts from Dough. If guilt is already setting in, ride a bike here or treat yourself with a scenic ride on the East River Ferry. It’s open every Saturday from 11-6, rain or shine.