A rainy start to this past weekend didn't stop vendors and eager crowds of shoppers with food on the mind from flooding the Brooklyn Flea Market on Sunday. Since the start of the Market earlier this year, the number of food, clothing, and furniture vendors has grown at a remarkably quick rate. We did a rundown of the food options back in May but so much has changed since then, we decided to revisit again to see what tasty tidbits have been added.
Red Hook Vendors
As expected, lines were long for pupusas from the Red Hook Vendors, which at $2.25 a piece are the best food deal found at the market. In addition to the standard beef, chicken, beans, and cheese pupusas, Sunday's vendor featured "special" zucchini and loroco versions. The adjacent two stands offered everything from huraches to flautas, a myriad of fruit juices, and of course, the much loved Mexican corn. Though long, the lines here pale in comparison to those at the original Red Hook location.
This time of the day is usually devoted to sweets, so your sugar rush is after the jump.
Right across from the Red Hook Vendors the People's Popsicles were doing brisk business with their lovely summer popsicles. They were $3.50 a piece and available in flavors like blackberry, honey & yogurt, and a watermelon, cucumber, and hyssop combination. Hand shaved ice was also on the menu with syrup choices of Tristar strawberry and lemon-basil. We couldn’t detect much basil in the pucker sweet lemon-basil shave ice, but that didn't stop us from drinking it all up beneath the warm sun. The taste alone is reason enough, but if you need another to support this popsicle affair, all fruits used in the popsicles are fresh from the local greenmarket.
At the other end of the market, Chida also offers sweets of the icy sort. Tasting like a cross between ice cream and shave ice, the flavors change every week; and on this occasion we were greeted with temptations of hibiscus-watermelon, cucumber-jalapeño, and goat milk cajeta, and Mexican coffee. Chida's owner is perhaps one of the most friendly vendors at the market and for $4 they let you layer anywhere from one to all four flavors in a the cup. We favored cucumber-jalapeño the most, with its remarkably refreshing and light taste that had the slightest kick of jalapeño. The goat milk cajeta was a close second, complex and smoky with the pleasantly funky undercurrent from the milk. (Note: the owner noted that this might be her last weekend at the market for the next couple of months. She said she will return later on in the year if weather conditions permit).
Salvatore Bklyn Ricotta
While many vendors vary their offerings from week to week, the lovely cannolis at Salvatore Bklyn Ricotta have proved to be reliable mainstay. They're not cheap at $3 a piece but a single bite should melt away any doubts about the value. We've touched upon this specific cannoli once before, but it seems to only grow more delicious with subsequent visits. Lemon zest, tiny chocolate chips, and a touch of marsala mixed into the luxuriously rich ricotta, piped to order, it earns its rank on the not-to-miss list of edible treats at the market.
La Crosta Pie Co.
The highlight of La Crosta Pies is found in the ingredient list, one which features nothing more than seven all-natural ingredients. The overall product isn’t that of an amazing or memorable pie; though it is significantly better than the majority found at Greenmarkets around the city. The fact that they use half the amount of sugar typically called for in pies, and "let the fruit do the work," speaks to the pride taken in the creations. We found the crust erring on the side of hard and the filling somewhat lackluster. For those who prefer not to commit to an entire pie ($15), go for the shareable turnovers priced at $5 a piece. Keep in mind that they tasted significantly better when warmed and browned in the oven.
Red Hook's Baked just started making appearances at the market, bringing with them cookies (chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin) and loaf cakes (pumpkin chocolate chip and banana walnut), in addition to granola. None of their signature whoopie pies were spotted this week, but we were perfectly content with the moist pumpkin chocolate chip loaves—decadent yet tender and speckled with enough chocolate chips to satisfy even the most intense chocolate craving.
Hot Blondies Bakery
Hot Blondies Bakery has but one item on the menu, but they do it well, and that's all that matters. Brownies come in eight flavors, each categorized under "Blondies" or "Brunettes" at $3 a piece. There's something to please every individual, be it butterscotch white chocolate chip, s'mores, or even oatmeal raisin. The Nutella hazelnut was a sure pleaser, meeting at the drawing line of fudgey and cakey, with a decisively rich Nutella streak and a surprisingly high number of hazelnuts.
Don’t forget to check the Brooklyn Flea website each week for an up to date list of vendors at the market. We're sure to be back many more times in the fall, for there's still plenty eat—Nunu Chocolates, Hot Bread Kitchen and Blue Marble Ice Cream are but a few fancies that come to mind at the moment.
Brooklyn Flea Market
176 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn 11238 (map) Open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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