I’ve been finding myself in Brooklyn a lot lately visiting friends, shopping, aimlessly walking around and most certainly eating. The most recent visits were more for festivals. It’s always a great opportunity to try new things and find old favorites with hundreds of your closest (in proximity) friends.
The first festival is the epitome of New York City street festivals, Atlantic Antic. For one day only, thousands of people converge on Atlantic Avenue from the Barclay Center to the BQE. There are clothing and art vendors, children’s activities, live music and more.
My modus operandi at festivals is to do as big a loop as I can to assess where I want to spend my calories and money before honing down on the one. Well, my winner-winner was literally a chicken dinner—OK, a sandwich.
The awesome people at Red Star (@RedStarBK, 176 Smith St., 718-935-1999, www.redstarbk.com) didn’t have the most lavish tent and the name didn’t call me in. However, when I saw gorgeous fried chicken sandwiches steadily coming out to the patient line of customers, I had to investigate. Findings: These weren’t your average sandwich.
On the first pass, I tried the Korean fried chicken sammy with gochujang sauce, dill pickles, daikon, lettuce and mayo. I immediately had a Lionel Richie Grammy moment with “Outrageous” as my first reaction. Hot, crispy chicken, tangy umami spicy sauce foiled by great bread and just the right amounts of condiments.
The second pass had us try the General Tso’s chicken sammy. This one was the same fried chicken but covered in that mysterious sauce Americans love and finished with pickled peppers, jalapenos, lettuce and mayo. After eating this one, I became an uber-fan and will return to their shop soon!
We topped off the day with a stop at the store of one of my favorite chocolate makers, Nunu Chocolates (@NunuChocolates, 529 Atlantic Ave., 718-834-1818, www.nunuchocolates.com). I’ve loved these little morsels from afar for a while, so the opportunity to be at the source couldn’t be missed. Though we didn’t partake in the chocolate smorgasbord, the espresso and frozen chocolate drink were the perfect closing salutation.
The second festival was a quick but delicious pass through Cheers NY (@CheersNY) Craft Beverage and Food Festival, held in Industry City. There, I got to try some awesome Brooklyn- and New York-made foods and drink.
I wish I had made time to sample more. The food favorites included an awesome array of Mama O’s Kimchi (@MamaOsKimchi), Mixed Made’s (@ByMixedMade) spicy-sweet honey (Bees Knees) and maple syrup (Trees Knees) and Aunt Butchie’s (@AuntButchies) crazy good cheesecake in a almond tuille cone.
The beverage section of Cheers NY showcased an array of craft beers and spirits, hard ciders and mixers. However, my friends know that when I hear the word “gin,” I come a-runnin’! Adirondack Distilling (@ADKDistillingCo) makes award-winning vodka, bourbon and whisky, but it is one of their gins, Old Oak, that spoke to me. Here they take their delicious unique gin blend, infused with native alpine bilberries, and soak it in their bourbon barrels for six months. The light amber color and smooth bourbon flavor makes the perfect sipping spirit for me.
Go Brooklyn! Really—go to Brooklyn.
Happy eating and thanks for reading!
Kysha Harris is a food writer, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service offering weekly and in-home entertaining packages. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations? Email her at kysha@iSCHOP.com, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @SCHOPgirl and on Facebook www.facebook.com/SCHOPnyc. For even more recipes, tips and food musings, subscribe to her blog at www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com.