More than ever before, I feel this need to consume, to spend money, and to buy. In a small part, it’s because I am no longer in school, have a paying job, and therefore can afford to be a consumer. In a much larger part, I think it’s this city. When I think about why I love this city, it’s because New York offers you products, events, things that you can’t find in other places. When you are presented with all of these clothes, food, events, and trinkets that you never knew you needed, I feel this looming fear of missing out. And I think, “I HAVE to take advantage of living in this magnificent city. I MUST have that…and that…and also that.” All of a sudden, buying Smucker’s jam is no longer good enough. I have to go buy Sarabeth’s.
Smorgasburg is the perfect example of a food consumer’s playground and what I find so mesmerizing and mind-boggling about New York. All the stands that make it to Smorgasburg feature artisan goods, homemade specialties, or quirky twists on classics. Next up is a conglomeration of various eats from various trips to Brooklyn.
The line at Yuji Ramen is so long because people love their dry ramen. The more popular choices like the uni miso will also run out within an hour, so make this your first stop. I do like their system of taking your name and order down and then giving you a time estimate, so you don’t have to waste time standing in line. You can wander and explore other stands and come back in 15 minutes for your food. Plus, I think Yuji’s neighbors appreciate not having a an obnoxious line snaking around their storefronts too.
This is the bacon, egg, and cheese ramen. It’s like a breakfast explosion but with noodles. The egg is poached perfectly, and the noodles are al dente with a nice bite to it. Happy slurping!
Palenque serves Colombian open face arepas. The arepas are crispy and smell so good. There are all kinds of toppings and many vegetarian options…
The Lumpia Shack is a hub for Filipino food. These were the classics (ground pork, carrots, shallots with some pickled veggies on top), but they also have non-traditional fillings like duck or pork belly.
Milk Truck does some very creative grilled cheese sandwiches. The Classic with a Twist adds in onions and dijon mustard to gruyere on rye bread. Look at how the cheese oozes. My favorite grilled cheese is still weirdly from Bouchon Bakery (yeah, a french bakery of all places), but this is not too shabby either.
Continuing in this trail of comfort food, we have the Hash Bar, specializing in hash browns. There are a number of add ins you can choose from bacon and sausage to onions and mushrooms. And DO add an egg on top!
Tacos from a stand that I can’t remember name of. The taco itself was kind of forgettable too.
Nadia’s Kitchen does this Moroccan merguez sandwich that is really outstanding. The sausage is bursting with flavor, and the bread is toasty. This is very filling, so split it with some friends, if you want to have stomach room to eat anything else.
Bee Hive Oven made really fluffy, Southern style biscuits. I have this thing for biscuits. Virginia, which is where I’m from, is home to some excellent biscuits, and it’s been amazingly difficult to find similar quality biscuits in New York. I was so excited when I tasted Bee Hive Oven’s biscuits that I came away with a 8-pack to freeze and save for later.
Now that you’re stuffed yourself with all this food, it’s time for dessert. One of my friends always says, “Dessert doesn’t take up room.” I think it’s a lovely motto to live by.
I love Blue Marble Ice Cream! It’s so creamy and rich, and the vanilla just tastes like VANILLA. You know how sometimes vanilla ice cream can end up more icy with a tiny hint of vanilla. Well, this is creamy VANILLA. So good.
I didn’t really care for this slush from Kelvin Natural Slush Co. It was very sour, so my face was scrunched up from two sips of it. This went into the trash unfinished.
People’s Pops always has fun flavors for a refreshing treat. After all the heavy foods, this is actually a dessert that can help balance out the oil and grease in your system.
The strawberry cream popsicle is great. What’s not so great is that I didn’t realize the unfortunate positioning of this photo until after I got home. Oops.
My must-get at Smorgasburg every time are these ice cream sandwiches from The Good Batch. Vanilla ice cream with caramel between stroopwafels, which are Dutch spiced waffle cookies. I’m a sucker for all things spice and cinnamon. These are amazing and highly recommended.
I always end up spending an obscene amount of money at Smorgasburg. It’s back to the whole “I didn’t know that I needed specialty, artisan-made fill-in-the-blank, but I won’t be able to find this anywhere else and since I live in this city, I have to take advantage of all that it offers, so I am now going to drop another $20 on five pieces of chocolate.” My own personality has a lot to do with this mindset as well. Moderation is valuable lesson that I am trying to learn. Maybe that can be a New Years resolution.