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.
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