Leave it to Brooklyn to turn an empty lot in the East River State Park into the food extravaganza known as Smorgasburg. An offshoot of the Brooklyn Flea, the wildly popular company that runs many eclectic flea markets throughout the East Coast, Smorgasburg comprises a wide array of more than 100 vendors bringing their assortment of foods to the people of Brooklyn.
We arrived as it opened at 11am, its walkways already teeming with hungry patrons and late vendor arrivals, pushing and hauling their sustenance ready to be consumed. There was some time to walk around and take in all of the food options. Then, the arrival of hungry bodies allowed only for movement by rubbing shoulders.
We traveled up and down the walkways, our eyes darting from one goodie to the next. Vendors, with their colorful and eye-catching booths, seemed to call to us vicariously through their wide-ranging décor and ever-apparent smells. The question for us was not what to eat, because there wasn't a lack of delicious choices. No. Our question was rather, where do we begin?
As we roamed the grounds, becoming more crowded with each step we took, the one thing that caught our eye was the absurdly long line at Ramen Burger. By 11:30am, the queue had already extended outside the realm of the food fest perimeter and onto the black pavement next door. What better place to begin our experience than on the longest line because? Of course, the longest line means the most delicious food.
We found the burger, sandwiched between two cakes of Ramen noodles, nothing short of wonderful. We feasted on a chicken saltenas from Bolivian Llama Party, and washed them down with Mango Maracuya Soda. We visited McClures to taste their pickles and walked away with some of the best Bloody Mary mix I've ever had the pleasure of drinking.
We nibbled along the way, taking advantage of any tasting set before us. Then, we hauled our feast to the adjoining grass for a picnic. Daniel ran around and marveled at the ships passing in the East River, a beautiful backdrop to our meal. John lounged on our blanket, refusing to take a nap (as usual), and took in the fantastic people-watching platform.
We braved the amassing crowds once more to choose our dessert. A Goodwich ice cream sandwich from The Good Batch is not dessert, but rather a small slice of heaven. Its description; "oat chocolate chunk cookie, seas salt, drizzled fudge vanilla ice cream" was the perfect song to our sweet craving taste buds. Daniel decided he not only wanted his ice cream sandwich, but my Strawberry Rhubarb ice pop from People's Pops which between the two, left him with a wardrobe change.
We wandered into a nearby park and spent our remaining time there enjoying the train and sandbox. We vowed to return again in the hopes to sample even more delectable goodness. Go for the food, stay for the park, and always think outside the box in your adventures in life with your children.