Go big or go home – my way of living when I was in New York City. Tiffany and I decided to go to the Smorgasburg Food Festival on Saturday, August 2nd to eat and enjoy the local street foods of the Big Apple. I was surprised that it wasn’t as crammed as the Richmond Night Market or the Vancouver Food Cart Festival so I was extremely lucky to try most of the popular booths. It was eye opening to eat some local flavours instead of what all tourists would eat, cough, Shake Shack. The weather was pretty gross and hot with clouds covering the sun, but I still managed to get a sun burn. Who cares, let’s feast on!
Eating to a view like this was definitely a highlight for the event. No big deal right?
First stop, Noodle Lane by Lane Li. To me, Noodle Lane served spicy Sichuan noodles with a blend of Western taste buds into it. There were three types of noodles available at the food festival – Dan Dan Noodles, Cheong Fun Noodles and Cold Peanut Noodles.
Cold Peanut Noodles
What’s in it: Egg noodles with cucumber, scallions, chili oil.
I really should have been more brave and went with the medium spicy because mild was definitely amateur spice. I even overheard the guy say that mild spicy was nothing and most people go for the medium spice – I chickened out.
The chili oil and peanut sauce blended very well together and the cold cucumber gave the dish a refreshing and summery kick. Near the bottom of the noodles, the peanut sauce does get a bit too heavy and overwhelming. I also should not have started with noodles because noodles have a lot of flour and I was feeling my stomach get a bit full afterwards.
Arnold Palmer and Cold Peanut Noodles
What’s in it: 1/2 tea, 1/2 citrus slush and white peach mix-in.
You seriously cannot miss the Arnold Palmer from Kelvin Natural Slush. The slush was not too watered down and I could taste the incredibly peachy flavours from the mix. On the other hand, the peach was so strong that I couldn’t taste the tea.
What’s in it: Charred corn, turnip, chili and mint.
Sweet corn grilled with a smoky flavour could never taste any better.Everything about this golden salad was sweet and herbed.
I usually don’t like the taste of turnip but the flavours from the mint and chili made the turnip a delicious and crisp addition to the salad. It was fun to chew on something extra crunchy once in a spoonful.
Next stop was the famous ramen burger. We lined up for about 45 minutes under the sun for this trendy burger thinking it was around $5 per burger just like the other vendors – turns out it was $9 when we got closer to the booth and saw their menu.
As you can see in the picture above, the person flipping burgers purposely set up the grill in a slanted position so that all the oil would drip into the floor bucket instead of anywhere else.
Finally! We ended up sharing one ramen burger since it was a bit pricey and we wanted to try other foods before getting too full. We took things slow and small so we could try more – this is called eating smart.
For a 45 minute line up, I hate to say it, but the ramen burger was bit of a disappointment.
The patty was very dry and even when they added sauce into the burger, I could barely taste anything. I would not line up 45 minutes for this again.
That barbeque sauce smothered all over the brisket though. I’ve never had such perfect barbeque sauce in my life!
When the lady was cutting the brisket, smoke would creep out from the sides. Placed on a properly toasted bun, the brisket was moist, tender and very hot.
It wasn’t possible for us to eat this with our hands without making a mess so we ate the burger with forks. I think if we did eat the burger with our hands, I would be able to experience the full BBQ flavour exploding in my mouth with cole saw and brisket.
Enough salty foods for now. There were several dessert options – ice cream sandwiches, shaved ice, or popsicles. I felt like popsicles were roughly all the same anywhere and I wasn’t a fan of shaved ice so we ended up sharing a blackcurrant soda from Brooklyn Soda Works and an ice cream sandwich from The Good Batch.
What’s in it: Oat chocolate chunk cookie, sea salt, chocolate fudge, and vanilla ice cream.
Normally ice cream sandwiches would have a soft chocolate with vanilla ice cream in between, but I really enjoyed the hints of saltiness in the Goodwich.
The fudge was rich and very chocolately that went so well with the extremely creamy vanilla ice cream. The cookie’s texture was similar to a granola bar with salty bits that complimented the ice cream and fudge.
I can’t describe how perfectly brilliant the salt complimented the dessert.