The Good Batch
Two Good Batch salty oatmeal raisin cookies housed a squashed scoop of Adirondacks Creamery chocolate chunk ice cream. Give it 15 minutes to thaw and you end up with a mighty tasty ice cream sandwich.
If you've gotten this far you've already heard about Hugh Mangum's superb barbecue at Mighty Quinn's. Hugh is making my favorite barbecue in New York right now.
George Weld's Hash Bar could be renamed the Genius Bar (I know Apple would sue, but not if they tasted these hash browns). Crunchy, crispy, and golden brown on the outside, tender and creamy on the inside, these babies are dee-licious.
As you can tell from this photo, getting to Smorgasburg early means no lines, which means you will have your very serious Buttermilk Channel fried chicken in a matter of seconds. Dark brown, plenty of crunch in a thick-ish batter, moist meat underneath the crust, and well-seasoned with plenty of salt and pepper. Skip the soggy waffle. Some things are not meant to be sold outside and pre-made. Watermelon salad was a lovely summery touch.
Smorgasburg has no shortage of pie vendors, but there always seems to be room for one more. Rachel's cherry pie was studded with whole cherries, not goopy at all, and the flaky butter crust was just a tad too thick. She's definitely a pie baker to watch.
The Meat Hook
Jessica's photo of a Meat Hook hot dog makes it look like a piece of edible pop art. It was no masterpiece, but it was a solid hot dog, taut and snappy and well-spiced with plenty of garlic. I do wish they had toasted or at least steamed the bun.
Runner and Stone
Bread bakers are usually served particularly well by solid apprenticeships with great bakers, and Runner and Stone's Peter Endriss has worked at Amy's and Bouchon Bakery, among others, and his breads show it. Everything from his pretzels to his rye bread had gorgeous hole structure and a lovely crumb. Note to Runner and Stone: Hurry up with that bakery you're planning for Gowanus this fall.
Noah Bermanoff, the man, the myth, and the legend behind Mile End, was at Smorgasburg slicing his very smokey and succulent smoked meat.
The Landhaus' Matthew Lief makes killer maple bacon sticks (great idea, Matthew), superb ginger mint lemonade, and a lamb burger with a schmear of feta cheese that would have been perfect if it hadn't been slightly overcooked. That was really our fault, since we ordered the burger and then went to get some cash at the ATM.
The Stand's strawberry-rhubarb lemonade was a gorgeous color, but good lemonade of any flavor should be simultaneously sweet and tart, and this was only tart. Made our lips pucker.
Baby Got Back Ribs
Baby Got Back Ribs were solid, meaty, and fall-off-the-bone tender, but they won't change your life. At least they didn't change mine.
I am not one of those late-night or early morning pop tart gremlins, but if I could have access to Magpie's Meghan Ritchie's pop tarts, with their flaky butter crusts and terrific Hope and Anarchy In a Jar's jam filling, I might be persuaded to join the pop tart cult. My only wish: that her filling-to-crust ratio was a little higher. Of course that would mean violating the ratio that in some way defines just what a pop tart is.
First Prize Pies
Allison Cave's pies just keep getting better and better. Her strawberry rhubarb pie was just about perfect.
Vendy winner Kelvin's slushes need no introduction, but on a warm June Saturday at Smorgasburg they really hit the spot.