Heading to a fancy food festival on an empty stomach is a bold move. With the right combination of sriracha, whiskey, and sugar, your carefully-planned schedule can easily turn into an interpretive dance. Four mini cupcakes later, your religion can turn into a cult-like obsession with TASTE Williamsburg Greenpoint.
The little booklets of food and drink tickets were torn apart for a great cause: to renovate the former Engine Co. 212 Firehouse into the new Northside Town Hall Community and Cultural Center. New Yorkers fundraised with a sense of urgency yesterday as local eateries filled the booths and bite-sized delicacies filled the tables. Live bluegrass and Americana from Kings County Ramblers, Big Dog Run, and Xavier Cardriche put an extra bounce in their step as they pored over the menus.
If the biggest lines point to the hottest items, then The Brooklyn Star and Pies ‘n’ Thighs were the definite standouts. Brooklynites must have needed a little TLC yesterday, because interestingly enough, both of the popular spots featured sweet & spicy comfort food. Pies ‘n’ Thighs’ boasted a mini chicken biscuit with hot sauce and honey butter, which was flawlessly flaky and tangy. The Brooklyn Star almost shut the place down with its fried chicken & cheddar cheese waffle cone, topped with mashed potatoes, cole slaw, sriracha, and honey (ridiculous).
Lighter bites included included Anella’s spicy chilled corn soup, a dainty palette cleanser, and Le Barricou’s crispy artichokes with chili lime vinaigrette and herbs, a veritable garden of flowers and flavors. Le Fond’s pâté de campagne wove pickled kohlrabi and grainy mustard into one lovely square. From there on out, the food was hearty, spicy, and rich.
From Chef Michael Psilakis came MP Taverna’s cypriot-spiced lamb sliders, which were impeccably pink and tender – the poster child for medium rare. Rosamunde Sausage Grill’s savory pork cheddar brats were neck and neck with the Meatball Shop’s hot and cheesy pizza meatballs. Teddy’s Bar & Grill sealed the deal with pulled pork chili, kale slaw, and jalapeño cheddar cornbread. Then they thrust us into dessert with their ricotta donut bites, smothered in a mouthwatering praline sauce.
Dangerously enough, the Apple D.E.W. cider from Tullamore Dew was so icy and smooth it didn’t even taste alcoholic. But their straight whiskey shots quickly made up for that. The only logical next step (after mixing up the beer-before-liquor rhyme a few times) was to let Donna’s frozen Brancoladas take you to a sweet and slushy paradise.
Bonus points if you hit Brooklyn Floss before the rain came down, because the freshly-spun flavors – piña colada, vanilla rose, and root beer – were light as air. Salty Road’s nutty, not-too-sweet taffy was a nice respite from all the decadent cakes, pastries, and ice cream. Recommended pairing: a dry blackberry GuS (Grown-Up Soda). Recommended ending: dancing off the feast in the rain.
Article: Olivia Isenhart
Photos: Shayne Hanley