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Smorgasburg Opening Day 2012

A crisp breeze and an azure sky, what could be more a perfect setting for the opening for Smorgasburg, the weekly food-centric market on the Williamsburg waterfront that launched its second season today.  The design of the market is a bit different from last year’s with all the vendors in a double row ringing the perimeter of the lot.  The center interior space, I was told, will become a beer garden at some point during the season, featuring locally brewed beverages.  A few intrepid friends and I gathered this morning and literally ate our way around, taking in samples and noshing on some great treats.  (For a more complete look at our edible excursion, see my Flickr album.)

The debut of Guava flavor by Danny Macaroons - just a little snack while waiting for my friends to arrive

Brooklyn Cured‘s handmade pastrami, delicate and rich, perfect with their robust mustard, which made a special appearance for this opening market day.

“Why hasn’t anyone else been bringing these to the markets?” I thought when I saw these portable, flavored Soy Milks from the brand new Soy Hound.  The Matcha was creamy, nutty, and refreshing.

Saucy By Nature – the Cilantro Lime was definitely a zingy “Ka-Pow” of flavor, the Spicy Pumpkin Ginger was a bit strong for me on its own but would be wonderful on a sandwich, and the Polish Kimchee is beautifully smoky with umami notes and would give a fabulous punch to a hotdog or sausage.

D’Vine and Olive – I overheard her wowing some new fans with her delicious oils and vinegars

Small, indulgent, tasty bite-sized cakes with full-size flavors from Bitemecheesecakes

Krumville Bake Shop‘s gluten free items were a big draw.  I really enjoyed the savory goat’s cheese and zucchini foccacia.  Others around me were chattering about her chocolate chip cookies.

Best Summer Vietnamese rolls

At this point, we were so hungry that a couple of us split a hearty Lonestar Empire sandwich.  Perfectly-cooked, pull-apart moist meat and a drizzle of spicy barbecue sauce accompanied by crunchy sour pickles and sweet-tangy pickled onions.

I just love that S’more Bakery toasts marshmallows to order at the market.

One of the other new things to see is that this year, Smorgasburg has a trash separating system so that items can be put into recyclables and composting.  Many of the vendors are also using eco-friendly utensils to serve up their dishes.

The Good Batch - I’m loving this Compost Bar of “leftovers.”  Next time, I’ll get one of their amazing ice cream sandwiches made with stroopwafels.

How convenient that they were next to Grady’s Cold Brew – smooth, caramel-toned iced coffee was a great pick-me-up

Chicken Bastillas from Nadia’s Kitchen – so tasty with thin, sweet crust wrapped around savory, spiced succulent chicken.

Mrs. Kim’s Kimchi – everyone was diving in for samples of this spicy, vinegary concoction

With barbecue season approaching, I think We Rub You‘s sauce might need to go to a cook-out with me.

Anarchy in a Jar – I picked up a jar of Triple Berry Jam for this week’s breakfasts

Spicy ‘n Sweet – a jar of their tangy, tomato-y, kicky Red Pesto would make a nice sandwich spread, especially paired with some fresh mozzarella

Buckeyes from Granola Lab – we treated ourselves to these sweet, peanut-buttery, chocolatey sweets

Salty Road Taffy – fragrant, floral Bergamot and buttery Salty Caramel Apple

Ish premium horseradish – your gefilte fish has been begging for their Beet Ish.  The Citrus Ish was an explosion of heat, fruit, and nose-tingling flavor.  I’m looking forward to sampling their other versions the next time they are at the market.

Mighty Quinn’s brisket sandwich

One thing hasn’t changed from last year, which is that this vendor has the longest line at Smorgasburg, and with good reason.  The brisket is tender with a great smoky flavor and a caramelized crust.  Add some pickled onions, a splash of sauce, and pile it up on a soft roll.

I’ve always opined (and have been backed up on this) that Washington, DC has better Ethiopian food options than NYC.  With Taste of Ethiopia, whose lentils were a favorite of one of my friends, I might have to change that tune.

Baby Mash – something healthy for the teething set to munch on

Runner & Stone‘s tempting baked goods are something I’ll look out for at the next market, too.

What Easter basket would be complete without Butter + Love‘s spicy Ginger Bunnies?  Their almost-decadent, fragrant Orange and Cardamom cookies would be perfect with a cup of steamy, milk tea and their buttery shortbread cookies filled with jam would be a great reason to take a mid-afternoon snack break any time.

First Prize Pies‘ S’mores Pie was a hit at Pie Party Live last year.  On Allison’s advice, I picked up a Shaker Lemon one to try at home.

Blue Bottle Coffee

The second longest line at the market today was also a return vendor: Blue Bottle Coffee with their hand-brewed beverages.

I think I maxed out on taking photos today for just a single market visit, so I created a slide show on Flickr to capture all of the hustle and bustle going on today.  Full of great food and caught up on the latest goings-on in our respective lives, after a few hours, we all headed our separate ways to finish up Saturday errands and projects.  I can’t wait to try some more fantastic foods and to discover some other amazing finds on our next trip.

Buon appetito!