Even the creeping crawl of the downtown Lexington Avenue subway lines and the L line rerouting couldn’t keep folks away from checking out the new Northside Market and taking in the Ice Cream Day at Smorgasburg today. The hot weather was a perfect excuse to indulge in some creamy treats and to check out some great food vendors. I came home with a whole bag full of goodies to cook with this week from both markets, well if the next heat wave doesn’t hit us that is.
I’d been hearing a lot about the Northside Market summertime pop-up to be held in Williamsburg not far from the waterfront from Robicelli’s Twitter feed. It was a nice way to start off my day, and I found some really great edible items to sample there. As it is also a craft market, too, you will want to plan to have separate bags to carry away the food vs. non-food goodies that you pick up. I saw the cutest clothes for babies and toddlers, some beautiful jewelry, and other really interesting things with which to start building my holiday gift list.
In planning out my day to be able to get to Smorgasburg, I realized that both markets were only a few blocks away from each other, so that I could indulge my cupcake fandom and also have ice cream. When Allison posted that they were bringing out one of their winter flavors from the secret recipe vault, I knew I had to make a pit stop to pick up the Crème Brulée, a vanilla cupcake with custard-flavored frosting and lots of crunchy sugar bits on top. It completely mimicked the taste, aroma, and texture of breaking into a heavenly dessert.
Robicelli’s does Brownies! Introducing The Moverly (left) and The Maltz (right), both of which have a liqueur-tinged profile in addition to deep, fudgy chocolate.
The market also introduced me to some new folks, too. I am familiar with Mate only because I had met someone a while back who had done a Peace Corps stint in South America and who carried it around with him since then. This is the first time I’ve seen these items for sale in a general market here in the city. Packets of yerba mate leaves (which is used to make the drink, much like steeping tea) were also for sale.
Another brewed drink which has become very popular over the past few years, and which shows up regularly at the local markets is kombucha. It is a fermented tea-type drink which some say is very beneficial. For me, I don’t really enjoy the taste of it, however, it does seem to be very popular, with several locally-produced varieties for sale. The Beyond Kombucha folks, who are based in Astoria, had some refreshing-looking glasses for sale to help everyone combat the day’s rising temperatures.
Then, there was the option of eating spicy food in hot weather to manage one’s body temperature. The sauces from 303 Salsas, which just started production, are perfect candidates to try for this. The green version is a vinegar-based sauce made with five types of green chilis. I picked up a jar of this to have on hand at home. Drizzled over my morning eggs, it packed a hefty punch, powerful enough to get my day kicked into gear. I also enjoyed the oil-based garlic and red chili sauce, which would be an ideal marinade or basting sauce for a barbecue. The thick red chili sauce is more typical of what you might find in a restaurant served with tortilla chips, and was rich and flavorful. I’m looking forward to tasting some more of their products as they build out their line.
Custom-baked goodies outlet, You’ll Eat it and Like It was another contender for my sweet tooth yesterday. If it wasn’t that I had to walk around for a bit more in the scorching heat, I would have looked a bit more closely at picking up some of their breads and pastries to take with me. On my next visit, I think I might have to bring a larger carrying bag to try to fit some of their items into it.
If you were a bit more interested in having something for lunch at the market or in picking up other treats to have at home, Meunier Gourmet had patés, rillettes, and other items to pick up that would be perfect picnic-style food. They were also selling beignets and mini-quiches which all looked really delicious.
The sandwiches from Le Comptoir looked amazing, just waiting for me to make a decision on them to take away for my mid-day meal. I wish I’d had someone with me to share them so that I could have bought one of each. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until later on that I ran into some guys whom I knew, and they’d already maxed themselves out on ice cream.
Another set of folks who had been talked about on Twitter were the guys behind Dub Pies. Hand-held pies were actually the working man’s (it was just men then) quick lunch of choice in an earlier century. We’ve gotten away from this in favor of sandwiches and salads and those hot food bar takeaway places. I sort of think that the hand pie should make a comeback, especially with ones that were as delicious as these Thai Chicken Curry ones (photo). Tender chunks of chicken in a lightly spiced, herbal-citrus sauce in an edible, portable container (i.e., the crust) made this the perfect thing to carry me on my way off to find ice cream.