Smorgasburg: Williamsburg

A foodies delight, a starving persons paradise and an indecisive persons nightmare.

Smorgasburg!

Brooklyn takes hosts to two locations that have a notorious line up of food vendors. Saturdays it’s held in Williamsburg and Sundays it’s held at Dumbo from 11am – 6pm. FYI, this weekend (Nov. 23,24) will be the last til next summer.

For now I’ll just do a little run down of my feast at Williamsburg.

Try getting there early or else you’ll end up with crowds like this a little after 1.

First stop: Sunday Gravy

You must try the pesto mozzarella tomato bruchetta! Deliciously fresh tasting.

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Second stop: Parantha Alley

I was craving roti so I thought maybe this could be a good substitute. It was ok.

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Third stop: Charcoal Pit Beef

Foie gras deviled eggs. You could taste the difference from its normal consistency but the foie gras was masked by the egg and you could barely taste it.

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Fourth stop: Ramen Burger!

I really didn’t have a care for it with all the hype that was going on but once I passed by and noticed I would be getting the second to last ticket, I just couldn’t help myself. Luckily by that time the wait was only 20 mins. Since I didn’t expect much from it, I was actually surprised the burger itself had a lot of flavor and the ramen held together til the last bite. I’d eat it again… as long as the wait isn’t over 30 mins.

Fifth stop: Mighty Quinns

This will definitely be the longest line out of the entire Smorgasburg that is not based on hype. Absolutely moist and succulent brisket and pulled pork. I ordered both of course.

And last but not least: Outer Borough

Try their beef rolls! They take a scallion pancake and fill it with cucumbers, cilantro and their special sauce which I think is a mix of hoisin sauce and sweet soy sauce.

As many options as there was, it’s impossible to try them all unless you have a  stomach of a bear ready to hibernate! So that’s that for now, til the next post on Smorgasburg Dumbo.

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Smorgasburg Williamsburg East River State Park
90 Kent Ave at N. 7 St. Brooklyn, NY

Cronut Craze

How did I spend National Doughnut Day this year?

Definitely not on line for a cronut since I’m sure that’s what a ton of other people were thinking as well.

My first attempt to get a hold of this croissant doughnut hybrid was so naive. Oh to think I would actually be able to get there a little before work without having to wait on a line that stretched around the block. My second attempt, I was much more knowledgeable in the trick of the trade. I arrived bright and early at 6:45AM, just an hour and 15 minutes before the store opened. By that time the line already wrapped around the block! I have to admit it was a bit nerve racking not knowing whether you would actually get one since people were cutting the line.

When they first introduced the cronut, the limit per person was six. Then with all the anticipated hype that social media caused, it went down to four and now to two. Which I think is better for everyone and helps prevent these ridiculous money hungry vultures that jump at the opportunity to charge you $20-$40 a cronut!!

As we approached closer to the entrance, I noticed that Dominique personally holds the bakery door open to let a few people in at a time and will casually chit chat with whoever wants. When I went in June, the flavor of the month was the lemon maple, now it’s blackberry.

Once you open the little box that the cronut is placed in, you aren’t sure how to react once you open it. Do you sink your teeth in and take a nice sized bite out of it? Or do you delicately eat it layer by layer?

I took tiny little bites so I could enjoy and  justify my 2 hour wait.

From previous pictures I had seen online, I had imagined the cronut to be more flaky with the layers really prominent. The batch I was given was more of a doughnut making it a little difficult to peel apart the layers. Nonetheless, it was quite an interesting experience and the cronut was delicious. A little too sweet for me with the citrusy lemon filling but I assume that’s just from the flavor combination.

Even with all the hype ceasing to die down for this pastry hybrid, Dominique has decided to continue his creative flow and has just created a new summer treat. The frozen s’mores.

Not exactly sure if this is available now but I have heard it was released to a lucky few this past Friday.

Another item not be missed are the madeleines! As similar as possible to the ones I first fell in love with during dinner at Daniels for Valentines.

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I’ve heard the DKA are another tasty treat, so when I make my next trip I’ll definitely give those a try.

The wait is quite ridiculous but isn’t something always worth a try at least once? If you really rather prefer not to wait, you could attempt calling the bakery at 11AM on Mondays to see if you could snatch a spot on the pre-order list.

As for me, I’ll definitely be making another attempt to try these frozen s’mores. This curious stomach of mine has no boundaries.

Dominique Ansel Bakery 189 Spring St.
New York, NY 10012 (212) 219-2773
http://www.dominiqueansel.com

Mothers Day Brunch

Maureen’s Kitchen is definitely one of the best restaurants in Long Island that serves traditional home cooked American food for breakfast/brunch. Make sure you get there early since they close at 3pm on weekdays and 1:30pm on weekends. Also don’t forget to bring cash since they don’t take credit cards.

The specials for Mothers Day looked absolutely delicious. We started off with the oh so popular baked granola served with hot milk.

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I decided to order for the table since I knew neither my grandma or mom could actually finish a plate to themselves.

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French toast stuffed with bananas and chocolate with strawberries and powdered sugar on top.

Simple and oh so delicious.

On the savory side, I ordered an omelette, a side of corned beef hash and home fries.

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Chicken sausage, spinach and chipotle gouda omelette.

More filling than I expected and the chipotle gave a nice little spicy kick.

Nothing better than a delicious breakfast spent with the two inspiring, wonderful and amazing women in my life.

Happy Mothers Day, Mom & Mamang!

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Maureens Kitchen 1 Larson Ave.
Smithtown, NY 11787 (631) 360-9227

Momofuku Milk Bar: Crack Pie

Found parking literally 5 feet away from Momofuku Milk Bar, so how could I not take that as a sign to walk in! I didn’t want to overindulge so I only had a crack pie slice. The fact that it’s called crack pie explains it all! Next time i’ll try to get something else but it’s just so hard with the crack pie as addicting as it is.

Momofuku Milk Bar 251 13th St.
New York, NY 10003 (347) 577-9504 ext 4
http://www.milkbarstore.com

Australia: Gold Coast, Day 3

Nice little breakfast to get this day started before we left at 9am.

Breakfast

I absolutely love the concept of these tiny meat pies in the morning. As much as I wanted to load some more on my plate, I knew that was a bad idea considering I don’t normally eat such hearty breakfasts.

Another Aussie food product… Vegemite. Or in this case, Brekkie Mite. Which is the same product just manufactured by a different company. I know I tried this before but I can’t exactly recall the details of it, only that I was not a fan! Ignoring my original memory of it, I decided to give it another try. Was it exactly how I remembered it? Yes! Disgusting. Must be an acquired taste.

Brekkie Mite

Driving down to the Gold Coast wasn’t that long of a drive. Considering all the flights we took during this vacation, a little over an hour of travel time was nothing. I wanted to explore some of the shops on Cavill Ave. but there wasn’t much time before our surf lesson so straight to Surfers Paradise we went.

After taking a quick dip in the waters, it was time to take our surf lessons over by The Spit.

When we walked over to the area where we would be surfing, I was kind of surprised by all the blue jellyfish that had washed ashore. They were huge and the size of both my hands put together. Having no clue what jellyfish were poisonous and knowing it was jellyfish season had me worried that I would be swimming with these things only wearing a rashie and not a stinger suit. The instructor of course saw that we were all concerned and decided to scare us first by picking it up and then saying they were harmless.

Unfortunately I left my camera in the car and wasn’t able to get any pictures while we were surfing or with the catostylus jellyfish (also called blue blubber jellyfish). Here’s a picture I found online of the jellyfish; as for whether I can stand up and ride a wave, i’ll prove it to whoever doesn’t believe me. =o)

blue blubber jellyfish

 After a nose dive on my first attempt and all the paddling and pop ups to catch some good waves, I had worked up quite an appetite. So what’s the thing to do after? Get some fish and chips!

This and a sprinkle of some chicken salt on top definitely hit the spot!

After that we went to see the glow worm cave at Mt. Tambourine and watched the Great Outback.

Another wonderful jam packed day!

Afrojack on April Fools

It was hard not to believe that this was a huge April Fools joke. Free concert, Afrojack in NYC on April 1st right after he had a performance at Space in Miami the night before? Yeah… who wouldn’t doubt it.

MLB Fan Cave decided that for Opening Day they would have Afrojack perform as part of their Concert Series. I’m sure they didn’t expect it to get as crazy as it did in their tiny location.

Wristbands were handed out at around 3:30 pm and I was just 5 people shy of getting one. Whether or not I would actually make it into the show was 50/50 so I braved the showers, wind and temperature drop. It was absolute mayhem right before the 7pm showcase. Luckily I was one of the 10 extra people that they let in!

The showcase was great but sadly only 30 minutes. Next time I hope they make the event +21 or at least +18! I guess that’s the price you pay for a free event.

Anyways, here are some of the pictures I was able to take. If I can reformat my videos I’ll post one soon.

Australia: Brisbane, Day 2

Our first full day. Time to go explore the city!

Here are some random things we happen to come upon while passing through the city.

I of course did some research to see what were some of the common food joints and saw that they had endless chains of Pie Face. Meat pies aren’t exactly a popular snack to have here in America so I was quite excited to try the chain. Go figure that the night before my flight I happen to pass a Pie Face on 33rd Street! Talk about ruining the fun in eating something international and only available there. Apparently they now have 3 chains in the city. On the bright side, I have a new spot to go to when I’m waiting for my train.

Roma Street Parklands

Great recreational park!

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

This was the highlight of the Brisbane part of my trip.

It was great seeing animals from across the world and actually being able to hold a koala and pet some kangaroos. I was extremely tempted to just take home that baby koala! We came a little late to the sanctuary so we didn’t get to see some of the great shows that they offer, like the bird of prey show. Luckily we were able to see the lorikeet feeding which was absolute mayhem. There are tons of lorikeets flying around so you’re bound to duck a couple of times thinking they’re going to fly right into you.

Going into the sectioned off field area I didn’t really expect to be surrounded by kangroos. I assumed it would be somewhat gated but it was a huge open field with just you and the kangaroos. There is food that you can buy to feed them but you can simple just grab some grass and they’ll eat it out your hand.

We tried having a barbie (barbecue) but it started raining hard so we ended up just cooking inside. Before we arrived in Australia, we already had the intention of eating some exotic meat. As in, kangaroo, emu and crocodile. We just finished spending the day playing with kangaroos and to end up having kangaroo steak and meatballs that night wasn’t a good feeling on my conscience. Apparently kangaroo meat is commonly found at grocery stores as if it were a main protein like chicken. The steak was seasoned so it was hard to get the real taste of it and the meatballs almost tasted like any other. It was hard enough taking just one bite of each because of how guilty I felt. Never again.

I ended dinner with some common Australian desserts, lamingtons and pavlova.

Lamingtons are an airy sponge cake texture that is covered in chocolate and coconut shavings.

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Pavlova is a cake that has a soft meringue texture with fruits on top for decoration. It is ridiculously sweet and comparable to eating all the meringue frosting off a dominican cake! I really don’t understand how Australians can eat a huge slice of this and not get a toothache!

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Stuffed from all the food and exhausted from a long day, I nearly passed out during dinner.

Agenda for tomorrow… the Gold Coast!