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Exploring the Boroughs – Brooklyn

The hubs and I spent a day wandering about Brooklyn exploring flea markets and the Fort Greene Park.  I’d been wanting to check out the Brooklyn Flea for a while now, not so much to forage through overpriced furnishings and art, but for good food.  Also, a really good friend from the West Coast is visiting next weekend and I’ve brought it upon myself to use those few days to sell her on moving to NYC!  Hence, I’ve got about a week to put together a greatest hits itinerary and since we’re both very much obsessed with food, finding the greatest of what NYC has to offer when it comes to noshing is top on my list.

Trekking out to Brooklyn can be kind of a pain.  Trains don’t run as frequently on the weekends and it can be hard to justify going such a “far away” distance when there’s already so much to do around our own neighborhood in the West Village.  That said, I’ve been craving fig-ricotta caramels ever since the summer of 2010 when I first tasted them during a demo by Liddabit Sweets at the French Culinary Institute and while they do have some distribution at the SoHo Dean & Deluca for their candy bars, I had to go straight to the source for the caramels.  And, the source this past weekend happened to be situated at the Brooklyn Flea.

If I’d read the Brooklyn Flea website carefully, I would have noticed that there are multiple Brooklyn Fleas on Saturday and that Liddabit would be at the Williamsburg location, at the Flea dubbed “Smorgasburg”,  so named because it is 100% made up of food vendors.  Instead, we ended up first going to the Fort Greene location, which had far fewer food vendors.  Not knowing any better, we stayed there a while and snacked on some delish morsels from Red Hook Lobster Pound and Solber Pupusas.  The Maine-style lobster roll from Red Hook was pretty delicious, and at $16, came with a pretty generous serving of lobster meat.  I liked how their lobster meat was fresh and very lightly coated in a simple lemon mayo sauce served atop a buttery and lightly toasted roll.  Although not the absolute best lobster roll I’ve ever had, that honor goes to Pearl Oyster Bar’s lobster roll, Red Hook’s version is pretty solid especially since it’s a good deal less expensive.  Plus, it’s pretty hard to screw up lobster meat in a buttery roll.  Just sayin’.  The pupusas from Solber were also quite delicious, and perfect for a quick lunch snack.

When I couldn’t find Liddabit at Fort Greene, I realized that we were at the wrong location and so we hiked the heck out of there, after waiting over an hour at the subway station, to make our way to the hipsterland that is Williamsburg.  We caught the last 30 minutes of Smorgasburg, and with it 3 packs of Liddabit’s fig-ricotta caramels (just as good as I remembered them!), as well as a few interesting bites from Noshi (Danish seafood curing techniques married with Japanese sushi flavors = Nordic + Sushi = Noshi).  The Noshi we had were pretty tasty – I enjoyed the well-cured fish topped with creative Japanese-influenced jellies of ginger and earthy red beets, but I wasn’t a fan of the bread it was served on.  I look forward to seeing how their offerings mature.  Judging from the number of vendors that were packing up as we were arriving, it looks like Smorgasburg is a destination worthy of the trek into Williamsburg.  Even though hipsters can be a little scary to be around.

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