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Saturday Mornings Across the River at Smorgasburg

July 1, 2012

Just across the East River, a short ride on the L train or the water taxi from Long Island City, is Smorgasburg and it’s worth the trip to Williamsburg.  Trust me.

A beautiful Saturday in the summer is a fabulous time to pay Smorgasburg for a visit with a small group of friend in tow so you can try as many stands as possible.  The key is to get there on the earlier side to make sure that you have time to do a few laps around the lot that Smorgasburg is located before crowds start to descend.

Because we can’t get enough of brunches, the Hash Bar is a great place to start the meal.  A whole stand dedicated to hash browns, this is highly customizable.  Fancy a little bit of mustard greens, some tender goat or pulled pork or sauteed mushroom?  Why the heck not?  And of course to complete the order, top off the golden crispy fried potatoes with fried eggs and a splash of hot sauce.

You might think that it’s too early to have a hot dog but the Meat Hook’s artisanal hot dogs are worth it.  All are made by hand, whether it’s the cheesy cheese dogs or the flavor packed suicide dog which consists a mix of all the sausages made this week at Meat Hook’s shop.

These hot dogs have that amazing snap in their casings, releasing the juices inside when broken.  A simple bun and spicy mustard and ketchup are all you need to enjoy the intensely flavorful meat.

If you are not sure what to have next, the Bite Size Kitchen is great to munch on while you and friends decide.  Offering multiple one bite buns, this is a perfect two biter, with a help-yourself hot sauce bar.  The crispy pork bun, for example, is snappy and juicy and gone in two seconds.

By now, you will be just starting to feel full.  This is the time to be choosy about your next bite and you should make it a good one.  One of the most popular stand at the Smorgasburg is Mighty Quinn’s and it’s easy to spot by the 20 person deep line.  This is where someone will have to “volunteer” to stand in line while the others go wander around.  If you do happen to be the one left in line, don’t fret because the line does move relatively quickly even though each sandwich is hand carved and assembled.  A bite of Quinn’s smoked sausage sample certainly makes the wait a little more bearable.

The sandwiches come in two sizes, pulled pork and brisket.  If you are sampling, try two smalls, one of each of pulled pork and brisket.  Otherwise, a large brisket sandwich is definitely a good way to go with.  Whether you choose to go with all the works, including cucumbers, chiles, pickled onions or just the cole slaw, the homemade vinegar based BBQ sauce is a must.  Tangy and slightly sweet, they add a kick to the juicy and fatty brisket.

After devouring the sandwiches, it’s time to go back for sweets.  Whether it’s the mini pop tart from Pop Art Pop Tarts or a refreshing gourmet popiscle from People Pop or the last gigantic chocolate doughnut from Dough, you will be happy with your choice.  Just be prepared for the crowds by the time you are making the dessert lap.

A bonus to all the delicious choices of vendors at the Smorgasburg?  The amazing view of Manhattan and that refreshing breeze from the water.  Walk one or two blocks along the river so you can find a quieter seat away from the crowds to properly enjoy the bounties.  Even as you are sitting there, you will already be planning for a return.  A visit to the fried fish and shrimp shack and the Good Batch for some delicious ice cream sandwiches or a sandwich at the Mile End?  Till next Saturday!

Smorgasburg | East River Waterfront (btw. North 6 + 7 Street), Brooklyn, NY |

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