Monday, July 21, 2008

I heart outdoor food: Brooklyn Flea and New Amsterdam Market

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I'll be the first to admit that it wasn't the antiques, the jewelry, or the clothing that drew me to Brooklyn Flea: it was the food. Specifically, the wares of the vendors from Red Hook that had sought refuge amongst the hipsters and bargain-hunters.
One Sunday I gathered up a handful of friends and we set out from Astoria to Fort Greene. After walking from the subway and sweating all over the place, one of the first things I did once I reached the flea market was make a beeline to water myself with a beverage. The Red Hook vendors didn't have the cashew fruit drink that I had loved so much last year, but they did have watermelon juice. Packed with small chunks of the fruit itself, the icy juice wasn't very sweet but was still the perfect antidote to the overwhelming heat.
The seven of us spread out onto different lines, acquiring various food items for the group. AL and XJS picked out pupusas, one filled with loroco flower and cheese, and another that I can't remember now. The fat cornmeal patties were rustic, piping hot, and totally tasty—awesome.
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One with chicken, and one with beef: huaraches! Each necessitating two hands and at least several mouths in order to consume. Folding those suckers in half and biting into them sideways seemed to be the only way we could pull it off. Stabbing at them with forks worked, too.
After eating we all poked around the market for a while. DL picked up this rhubarb tart from Whimsy & Spice, who were also giving out samples of their excellent spiced shortbread cookies. I tried the honey lavender, the brown sugar gingerspice, and the chocolate orange cardamom, and all were really good.
And then it started to rain. Like mad!
We sought shelter on the steps of a building, under some scaffolding, while trying to figure out where to head next.
It seemed the only sensible thing to do was to head towards more food. So we hopped on a train to New Amsterdam Market by South Street Seaport (after rejecting the Unfancy Food Show as too complicated to get to). The rain had stopped by the time we came out of the station, but the market was almost closed.
Nonetheless there were plenty of treats to be had, both for sampling and for purchasing alike. I was too full to try much though, so I just bought this cup of cold-brewed iced coffee (black, please) at the New York Coffee Society booth. After hanging out for a while (and peeping Olafur Eliasson's waterfalls, anyone else think they just look like something sprung a leak?) we all parted ways, since it looked like it was about to rain again as well.

Just another day of food-centric frolicking in New York City….


  1. you forgot to mention the best part of the day - our matching buttock bruises!

  2. At first, I was really sad that I missed this, but then I saw the rain part, and you know me with rain.