On Sunday we spent a few hours eating and hanging out at the 4th Annual Grub Street Food Festival. We were lucky to have beautiful weather here in New York City. There were lots of vendors at the festival selling a great variety of foods and desserts.
When we arrived (around noon) it wasn’t overly crowded and we didn’t have to wait on any lines when ordering but this soon changed. By 1:00-1:30 many booths had long lines and it was much harder to find a place to sit.
Prior to arriving at the festival I had a good idea as to which vendors we planned to try out. Some we’ve had before and a few others were new ones that we had read about thanks to Grub Street. It turned out that both our favorite meal ande dessert were from places that we were trying for the first time. Lucas’ favorite was an old-time favorite of ours and we even took some home for his dinner.
Here is what we ate:
Roberta’s is known for it’s amazing pizzas, among other things on their menu and it’s pretty much always a long wait at their restaurant in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Whenever I see them at a food event I have to get one of their pizzas. This time we went with the “Bee Sting” which is made with mozzarella, tomato, honey, soppressata, chili flake and chili oil.
Roberta’s Bee Sting pizza seemed to miss the mark. The amount of spice overpowered any of the other flavors. I do like a little spice in my food but it’s not the only flavor that I want to taste. Next time I’ll just go with a Margherita pizza.
I first heard about Khao Man Gai NY when reading into the festival and had to give it a try. They won the 2013 Vendy Award for Best Market Vendor so I assumed that they must be good. I don’t recall seeing this dish in Thailand but they say that Khao Man Gai is the most popular Thai street food.
The dish was a lot of fun to eat due to the components and (of course) the amazing taste. It consists of organic chicken slowly poached with garlic and ginger, served with jasmine rice cooked with the poaching liquid, garlic, ginger and Thai herbs. Accompanied by sauce that balances the four main Thai tastes of salty, sweet, sour and spicy. Garnished with cilantro and cucumber. And a light chicken soup for sipping between bites.
The sauce is what really makes this dish. It had a lot of ginger flavor and went well with the chicken and rice. I followed the directions and sipped the soup in between but didn’t fully get the point, not that it hurt the dish.
Khao Man Gai was the best Asian dish that I’ve had in a very long time and that includes recent trips to Southeast Asia! If they show up at other food festivals, we’ll be sure to be ordering from them again!
We also ordered a Ragu arancini (fried rice ball) from Arancini Bros. which we’ve had a bunch of times before. Inside is traditional meat sauce with peas, tomato, mozzarella and saffron. Lucas loved it so much that we took two more home for him.
Lucas loves ice cream so we figured getting him some from Davey’s would be a great treat. I’ve never heard of them before but will definitely be stopping by their shop next time we are nearby. I usually don’t like cookies & cream but their’s was really great. We also sampled the Mexican Vanilla and Black Pepper Watermelon Sorbet. The vanilla was good but I’d probably like it better mixed with chocolate. The sorbet was also really good and different from anything I’ve ever had.
I was a bit disappointed with the choice of flavors that Doughtnut Plant brought with them. With their original location just around the corner I expected to see more of their amazing flavors. I guess due to a lack of space they limited it to some seasonal flavors. We shared a Coffee Cake doughnut which was good but not something that I’d order again. I don’t drink or like coffee and this doughnut was filled with coffee cream! I didn’t mind the taste of the cream but Kim really liked it.
Before getting ready to leave we spotted the line forming for Cronut founder Dominique Ansel’s (in photo, above left) booth which would be selling a new item. We got on the line and figured it was worth the wait, which it sure was.
The booth would only be serving from 2-4 pm so after waiting for around an hour we had our Cocoa Chowder. The chowder was prepared as you ordered so it took some time to get served. The dish consisted of melted hot chocolate served in a hazelnut brioche bread bowl with a choice of topping.
If you are in NYC during next year’s Grub Street Food Festival, I definitely recommend that you stop by!