SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010)

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billyboy
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2010/10/03 11:36:15 (permalink)

SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010)

I try to keep up with what's happening in the food community by reading some of the local food blogs every day.  One of my favorites is SeriousEatsNY.com.  Ed Levine and his crack team of bloggers explore all kinds of eats throughout all of the New York City boroughs and throughout the U.S.  When they posted about a meet-up at the famous ball fields in Red Hook I knew I had to go.  For decades there have been a dozen or so street cart/food truck vendors who have set up shop at the ball fields all summer long.  Here is a how-to list for traveling to Red Hook for some awesome Latin food:  http://newyork.seriouseat...there-what-to-eat.html
Anyway, I took the subway to:

And after getting lost walking in Brooklyn I asked for directions and finally made it here: 

there are usually baseball and soccer games taking place, but today it was only soccer.  I found the Serious Eats team at a picnic table and met Ed Levine, Adam Kuban, Alaina Browne, Erin Zimmer and Leah Douglas.  Their bios can be found here:  http://www.seriouseats.com/bios/  They guided me to which vendors I should seek out. 



I started out with an order of the revueltas with all of the trimmings.

These were excellent and very rich.  Toasty, cheesy, crunchy, spicy, creamy with lots of soft shreds of pork.  Just a whole lot going on with this dish and the Salvadorian cream, pickled cabbage and sauce were excellent and like nothing else I have ever tasted.  I'm not sure what words to use but it all came together for me

My Maranon (cashew drink).  I'm not sure if this is a cashew "water" or "juice" but I really liked it and it was thin with an assertive cashew flavor.  Cold and very refreshing on a hot summer's day.


 
After taking a food break to chat with some of the people at the meet-up I made my way to the next cart of choice for a watermelon agua fresca


As much as I liked the cashew, this was amazing!  Very fresh tasting and lots of pulpy watermelon mixed with with very cold water.  

My next stop was for an ear of grilled corn on the cob (on a stick) slathered with mayo, crumbly cheese and liberally dusted with spices.  Wow!  I think about 3/4 of the way through this culinary Excalibur I realized that I wasn't talking or interacting with anyone because I was too busy stuffing my face with this blade o' goodness.  The combination of ingredients may sound odd but they do work together and it really is a love it or hate it kind of thing.  I have friends who wouldn't go near something like this but I can't get enough of it!  The mayo helps the cheesy-spicy coating cling to the ear and the grilling really helps bring out the flavor of the corn.  


I had planned to try a couple of other vendors on my own but the Serious Eats team was moving on and had mentioned they were walking through Red Hook to Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies.  Well, my ears pricked right up as Steve's had been on my to-do list for some time!  It was really nice to talk and walk through the neighborhood.  Lots of people were out at the ball fields barbequing, playing games and just making the most out of a beautiful summer day.  
The signs are pointing in the right direction.  To be honest, it was a long walk from the ball fields made shorter by the great conversation along the way.  Part of reason I had never been to Red Hook before is that much of the area is industrial (warehouses, docks, abandoned buildings) and not a place I would necessarily walk by myself and certainly not at night.  I probably would have gotten lost on the way to Steve's more than once if I was alone. 

Getting closer...

Almost there (and right on the water too!)...

Step right this way BB, CTD and CK!  Your pie destiny awaits...


I love this sign.  Sounds like Roadfood to me.

He only works with one thing...key limes.  Gotta respect that dedication to a single ingredient.

Even Col. Steve Austin agrees.  He swooned so much over this pie that he left his lunchbox behind!

Steve's is pretty much a wholesale place and he sells to many restaurants and grocery stores but I am very glad he has set up a small retail shop so that I and many others can taste it right at the source!

Not sure, but I believe the bearded man at the right is Steve.

I believe that THIS is what Willis was talkin 'bout!!

As good as everything sounds on the very small menu, many people told me I just HAD to try the Swingle!

My sincerest apologies for this somewhat blurry pic, but it was a very hot day and time was of the essence.  If you are ever in NYC, I would STRONGLY suggest making your way to Red Hook for one of these.  Not sure if he keeps retail hours in the winter, but really, who would want to walk along the water in the dead of winter for a frozen treat?  He has 3-4 picnic tables set up outside and this was definitely a 5-napkin affair.  A rich chocolate coating, very tart key lime filling and buttery graham cracker crust made for a one-of-a-kind experience!  

 
Serious Eats, along with Roadfood, has been a huge mine of information for me in my search for good eats as well as a tremendous inspiration in my own writing about the foods that I love.  Thanks so much for setting up this event and I definitely look forward to many more!  
 
"Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride!" - billyboy, 2010
#1

20 Replies Related Threads

    mar52
    Sirloin
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/03 11:56:46 (permalink)
    Pupusas, curtido and key lime pie.
    You're talking about my own heaven!
    Guess I still have time before I get there.
     
    I really would drive that 3000 miles to get there if I could.   Those are a few of my favorite tastes!
     
    Well done.
    #2
    BillyB
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/03 12:36:18 (permalink)
    Billyboy, looks like a great day, Elote, Pupusas and dipped Key lime pie, why leave NYC. I am still working with my employees on making fresh Pupusas, its a work in progress...............Thanks for the post..............Bill
    #3
    leethebard
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/03 12:40:05 (permalink)
    Some very unusual food,,,,great report...would love to try that corn on a cob....amazing!
    #4
    joerogo
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/03 13:04:22 (permalink)
    billyboy, Great report, thanks!
     
    I know I saw this place on TV, was it Andrew Zimmern?  
     
    Edit:  Answered my own question
    post edited by joerogo - 2010/10/03 13:12:28
    #5
    Greymo
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/03 13:14:36 (permalink)
    I really enjoyed this report..........................what a fun "eating day" for all of you!
    #6
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/03 19:13:28 (permalink)
    I'm sorry, I passed out a little thinking about what if you made that roasted corn diggly with Minnesota sweet corn.  And then you had to go and pull out *chocolate covered* key lime pie.  Jeeeesus.  Wonderful report sir!
    #7
    Tony Bad
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/03 21:33:28 (permalink)
    Hey Billy, nice work here!
     
    I know it may be sacrilege to some to suggest that a great Key Lime pie is being made in New York City (I was thinking of that Pace salsa commercial as I typed that) but those pies are the real deal. I love Key Lime Pie and they are very near the top of my list of best ever. Not cheap, but worth it!
    #8
    billyboy
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/03 21:39:04 (permalink)
    NEW YAWK CITY?!  Git a rope...
    #9
    Tony Bad
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/03 22:27:29 (permalink)
    billyboy

    NEW YAWK CITY?!  Git a rope...

     
    Exactly! You weren't one of the cowboys in that ad were you?? 
    #10
    billyboy
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/04 14:19:59 (permalink)
    Nope.  I was the chuckwagon cook.  However, these days making authentic salsa in NYC is just a hobby for me.  My full time job of assembling muffalettas, stuffing bierocks, blending real fruit smoothies, roasting green chiles for cheeseburgers and  toiling at the stovetop stirring classic Indian Pudding just consumes so much of my time here in Manhattan!  Stop on by for a taste of some gen-u-ine Roadfood.  We got it all, baby!
    #11
    wanderingjew
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/04 18:41:07 (permalink)
    billyboy

    Nope.  I was the chuckwagon cook.  However, these days making authentic salsa in NYC is just a hobby for me.  My full time job of assembling muffalettas, stuffing bierocks, blending real fruit smoothies, roasting green chiles for cheeseburgers and  toiling at the stovetop stirring classic Indian Pudding just consumes so much of my time here in Manhattan!  Stop on by for a taste of some gen-u-ine Roadfood.  We got it all, baby!


    And I have no doubt that if there's one man who can find all of these regional specialties in the Big Apple it's you !

    Great report Billyboy
    Nowadays if there's anything that can be deemed regional food in the NYC area its not the   sparse outdated Jewish Deli's  that few still try to cling to or even those "famous" pizza places that attract tourists- but its the cuisine of El Salvador, The Dominican Republic, and Guatemala that has integrated into the culinary community of NYC and beyond.
    #12
    Wintem01
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/05 10:36:01 (permalink)
    Anyone know what cheese and spices they put on that corn? I'd love to try that at home.
    #13
    Ivyhouse
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/05 15:33:24 (permalink)
    Billyboy,
     
    A friend sent me this link to Budget Travel's recommended food carts in NYC -- [link=http://www.budgettravelonline.com/bt-dyn/content/article/2010/09/27/AR2010092702314.html?referrer=emailarticle]http://www.budgettravelon...?referrer=emailarticle[/link]
    They look good!  Have you tried any of them
    #14
    wheregreggeats.com
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/05 15:42:58 (permalink)
    Whew.  I dunno ...

    #15
    Wintem01
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/05 15:52:03 (permalink)
    I'm guessing mayo with grated parmesean, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes or maybe some cayenne. Was there some heat to it? Or was that intended as sarcasm?
    #16
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/05 17:19:57 (permalink)
    Try this wintem: http://allrecipes.com//Re...-cob-elote/Detail.aspx  They don't specify a spice but I would try starting with your basic Lawry's and expanding from there.  When I make tacos without the packet I use equal amounts of chili powder and powdered adobo, maybe a little bit of cumin and salt and pepper.  That should get you there too.
    #17
    billyboy
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/05 23:30:40 (permalink)
    @Joe, yeah Zimmern went there with Bourdain.  I also found out about it from NYCFoodGuy.com.  He has a really good breakdown of the vendors on his site.  I'll have to head back next year to try some of the other spots.  It could easily be a Sat./Sun. event as there is so much food there!
     
    @Nancy, the chocolate dipped pie was my "ace in the hole".  I had a feeling it bring out a positive response!
     
    @WJ, I don't know man.  I think some of those delis and pizza places are still good.  I hear ya on the tourist thing as that can ruin a place if they cater to it to the point that quality suffers.  I have always had a great experience and great food at Grimaldi's and Lombardi's, Totonno's (although I haven't been there since before the fire) and I'm sure there are other whole pie and slice places that would still qualify as Roadfood.  I still dig Katz's and Sarge's and I have yet to eat at Carnegie or get back to 2nd Ave Deli in the new location (I did go at 2am the day they opened, so not the best litmus test, as it were).  I'm with you on the Latin American spots and that is a Roadfood mine waiting to be tapped.  There has been quite an influx of fried chicken places in the past two years and even a Nashville "hot chicken" place in Brooklyn called Peaches Hothouse that just opened.  Once the dust clears, we'll see what the real deal is.  I do hope you try the burger at Luger's on one of your trips to the city.  I know you're more of a midwest burger kind of guy but I'd be curious to know how you feel it compares to the heartland versions.
     
    @Wintem01, I forgot to ask.   I think the cheese may be cotija which is a dry, crumby Mexican cheese available in many Latin markets in NYC.  Not sure about the spice but I suppose you could use paprika.  This version I had wasn't spicy but had a lot of flavor.  
     
    @Ivyhouse, I have tried some of them.  The vegan Dosa cart in Washington Square Park is pretty good and the cheeseburger at Carnegie John's was right on!  I've heard of Shirley's and it's on my list as I live nearby and Magdy's sounds really good.  On of my faves that has both lovers and haters is the 53rd & 6th cart.  I used to work near there and they were only open 7:30pm to 4am.  Lots of taxi drivers, Con Ed (power company) workers, subway workers, cops and club goers would be in line waiting for their fix.  Now I haven't eaten a lot of Halal food (and believe me there is tons of it in all boroughs) so I don't know how this truly stacks up, but I love it.  Heavy, but scratches an itch, you know?  Here's their website:  http://www.53rdand6th.com/  Hallo Berlin has (had?) a wurst cart during the weekdays in Midtown and was beloved by many, including me.  Rolf Babiel, the owner for almost 30 years died of cancer last year and I'm not sure if his brother has kept it going.  Their website says they will be opening up the cart again sometime this fall.  Here is my RF review:  http://www.roadfood.com/R...2166-5630/hallo-berlin  Happy Eating!
     
    @Gregg, that is some god eating', brother!  Don't think I'll be adding to my daily regimen, but an occasional naughty treat?  Yes!
    #18
    Wintem01
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/06 10:04:35 (permalink)
    Perfect, thanks Nancy!!
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    Wintem01
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/07 15:42:54 (permalink)
    I will say that I went and got corn yesterday and made this with mayo, parmesean, salt pepper, chili seasoning and cayenne. I was done making three ears and stood over the sink to try a bite before sitting down. Like a typewriter gone mad, I devoured all three ears standing over the sink. I will not eat corn on the cob at home any other way from now on.
    #20
    FoodBully
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    Re:SeriousEatsNY Meet-Up at the Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn (June 2010) 2010/10/07 16:52:48 (permalink)
    America's Test Kitchen did a show featuring Mexican Street Corn.  I've tried the recipe before and it was very good.  It is available for free on their website.
     
    http://www.americastestki...&extcode=M**ASCA00
    #21
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