Fifth Avenue Street Fair
Whenever there’s a street fair in New York City, there’s always people selling one special item. It’s not lemonade or sausages or funnel cake or even mozerella filled corn cakes. It’s socks. For some strange reason there’s always at least one table where some dude is selling like five pairs of socks for ten dollars. Yesterday in the Fifth Avenue Street Fair in Park Slope, there was even a table that proclaimed they had the “World’s softest socks.” They didn’t look like the softest socks in the world, so I passed. My focus was on the food. I wanted to really like the Fifth Avenue Street Fair even though most street fairs suck. But this time, I found a $5 dollar pulled pork sandwich from Bonnie’s Grill that might change my view on street fairs.
When pulled pork is mentioned, I immediately think about Carolina style pulled pork, with a vinegar based sauce. A sauce like that would make the sandwich more tart, but not in a bad way. Bonnie’s Grill didn’t seem to be using a vinegary sauce. They used a lot of sauce though… the pulled pork was sitting in a vat that was filled with sauce. Somehow I imagined a ‘good’ pulled pork sandwich to be dry pork, and then with some sauce added. This version, with pork swimming in sauce, is ok too. The sauce soaked through the bottom bun, and since I was in no mood to eat the bun, I just feasted on the pork. Wet and delicious. It probably wasn’t the most authentic but that’s what the Big Apple BBQ is for! Click here for more info. It’s on June 13th and 14th this year in Madison Square Park.
Sierra Mist was also on hand at the 5th Ave fair, and they were handing out free Ruby Splash Sierra Mist. Basically it’s Sprite with grape fruit juice, and they slapped a fancy name on it. It’s like Fresca, but it tastes better. It has the fizzy and delicious taste of high fructose corn syrup. I’ve come to associate fizzier sodas with HFCS because all the real sugar sodas don’t seem to contain as many bubbles. Sugar sodas suffer from bubble deficiency and that’s baaaad. We like bubble.
There was a restaurant that offered a $12 dollar oyster ‘po boy’. From what I could tell, the sandwich contained fried oysters, and cole slaw. What the hell is a po boy? As long as you fry the sea food? That can’t be true because I’ve seen catfish po boys where the fish ain’t fried. So is it the bread? Ciabatta? Or the cole slaw? I felt the $12 dollar price tag wasn’t worth it. Street fairs shouldn’t make you break a $20 dollar bill for a sandwich. I don’t give a fuck if it’s endorsed by Julia Child or something. It’s a street fair that features the worlds softest socks for crying out loud. Give me cheap food!
The last thing I had at the Fifth Avenue Street Fair was this empanada. It was filled with bacalao, supposedly. This was from Bogota Lain Bistro on 5th Ave. I’ve been to the restaurant a couple of times and it’s always been delicious. But this empanada was supposed to be filled with bacalao or salted cod. So it was really strange when the empanada wasn’t salty at all. In fact it was kind of flavorless. The hot sauce didn’t help.
I still think street fairs are a crapshoot. Sometimes you run into food stands that satisfy a particular craving. For the most part though, you’re just navigating your way through italian sausage stands and places that sell cheap socks. To make up for a mediocre street fair, you could always go into the city and get yourself some bubble tea. That always helps.
Posted by Danny on May 18, 2009 at 4:04 pm
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