I was SO excited when I heard that Grub Street (the food section of New York Magazine) was going to be holding a food festival when some of my favorite people were in town to visit. I immediately picked this as our first destination. Some fantastic restaurants that I had wanted to try were going to be all in one place. I was SO excited!
And then we got there… It was being held in a very small, fenced off area and it was packed TO THE GILLS. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m short, but I HATE being in a place where I can’t see past a huge group of people. ESPECIALLY when I want food! You couldn’t see where lines began or ended nor what each place was offering. I would have GLADLY waited on line for many of these places, however, it was so damn packed that it was uncomfortable and frustrating. I was ready to throw in the towel, but the team calmed me down and came up with a plan of attack. We would all find one place with interesting stuff, get it, and meet back towards the front to share our spoils. Ready… Set… GO!
The first place that caught my eye was selling chocolate chip pretzel cookies. So I got one of those and it was unique and delicious. Surprisingly soft. Unfortunately, I never got enough room to take a picture of where it came from.
UPDATE: In a fortuitous turn of events, I happened upon a stand for this very company when I went to the Columbus Circle Holiday Market this past weekend. So now I know… Sigmund Pretzelshop make fine pretzel cookies!
I also decided to try the cheddar truffle pretzel while I was there this weekend. It was good, but could have been more truffly.
I REALLY wanted some risotto balls that were being cooked near the front, however, they obviously didn’t anticipate the amount of people and said it would be at least 10-15 minutes before new ones were out. I diligently waited since it was near our waiting spot, however, when they finally came out there were only about 6 to buy… so I didn’t get one.
I still had a bit more time, so I found a place near our meeting spot with a shortish line called The Smile that was serving grilled cheese sandwiches. It was good, but a bit too generic. Not exactly what I would serve to people to convince them to come in to try a meal.
Mike proudly came back with a short rib sandwich. It was VERY tasty! Wish I knew where it came from…
Our friend Sarah came back with an empanada. I couldn’t eat it, but I hear it was good.
UPDATE 2! Thank you Lillian for sending me this link that talks about what to eat at the festival. Here I learned that the fried pumpkin pies came from Melt Bakery. (By perusing their site, I found out that they have classes! I also found out that they DELIVER! And they are most famous for their ice cream sandwiches. Goodbye diet… HELLO Melt Bakery!)
A funny side-note, however… Bethenny Frankel (best known for being on the Real Housewives of New York), was filming her new(ish) show at the festival when we arrived. Mike even gave her a fond “How You Doin?” She had a full crew with her, and I’m surprised she was there with all of the people. But it was a fun local celeb siting.
It pains me at how frustratingly crowded this was. The small, gated area made it quite miserable. I hope that they will do this again, only do it in a larger area that isn’t so confined. I probably would have spent a good deal of money trying the various places, happily waited on line, and returned to my favorites for full meals later on. What a loss. BUMMER!
Next time Grub Street Food Festival… Next time!