Two Saturdays ago Sona, the Navins and I hit up Brooklyn Flea at Fort Greene to sample the offerings of its storied food vendors.
Three in particular were on our my hit list: Porchetta, Asia Dog, and the Red Hook Lobster Pound.
I should note that previous Flea adventures were had this winter at the Atlantic Avenue terminal at Hanson Place, but were not documented as I was sans camera and apparently making empty promises about writing new entries.
For those of you keeping track at home, it's been a while since I've actually sat down to write about food and I must ask for your forgiveness and time.
I'm a bit rusty.
But more importantly, I'm extremely hesistant about using words for this entry.
Just look at this stuff:
Pork. Ricotta. Arugula. These people don't mess around.
Salvatore Brooklyn's stand was actually the first vendor we tried. It was not on my radar (I had no idea this place existed) but after some initial trouble locating each other, Sona and I found ourselves in front of their table, staring down at what probably used to be some adorable pig turned into the kind of stuff that makes Anthony Bourdain, well, do this.
Can you blame the guy for waxing poetic about this stuff, though? The stand exists to showcase Salvatore's ricotta cheese, but the prosciutto they used was so tender and perfectly cured that I couldn't taste anything else once my tongue hit the slices meat and marbled fat.
This four-biter (five or six if you like to take your time) cost us $3 a pop and was a wonderful surprise.
Moments later, after some jewelry gazing (involving an impressive amount of self control exhibited by yours truly- and by self control I mean using the Chase app to confirm my poverty- and by poverty I mean do I really want to pay $180 for earrings? I think not) we wound our way toward the Porchetta stand where this beautiful thing was sold to us for $5:
Do you see the specks of spice rub resting on the fragrant globs of impossibly soft pork? It's also hanging onto the delightfully crunchy pieces of pork skin and pork fat and oh my god my entire mouth just filled with saliva.
The obscene thing is this sandwich tasted better than it looks.
Than it looks.
The Navins joined us sometime after our pork reverie. A newlywed couple fresh from a romantic wedding in California, Navin and Navin (hence the Navins) were in the market for apartment furnishings as well as the much talked about creations at Asia Dog:
Sona and I both ordered the Sidney, described on their website as: "Thai style relish with mango + cucumber + red onion + cilantro + crushed peanuts + fish sauce." Pictured is the beef hot dog although Asia Dog's vendors recommend ordering this style with chicken, which Sona readily sampled.
The Navins ordered the Vinh (Vietnamese banh-mi style:aioli + pate + cucumbers + pickled
carrot and daikon + cilantro + jalapeno) and the Ito (Japanese curry + homemade
Our overall verdict (evidenced by stuffed cheeks and heavy nods of serious approval): The combination of distinctly Asian flavors spread over a plain American canvas amounts to a playful and thoroughly enjoyable few bites, which also, now that I think about it, could easily describe my last two relationships. Ba dum ching!
We never made it to the Red Hook Lobster Pound stand (covered last year, here), which I suppose was just as well. All of the items featured above combined were cheaper than a roll at RHLP and as much as I love me some lobster (wait till you read the next entry) I must say, I think I'm taking a turn toward the Bourdainian love that dare not squeal its name.
That's right. I really did just write that.
Brooklyn Flea: Fort Greene Saturday, 10am-5pm, Rain or Shine | Through November 19, 2011 176 Lafayette Ave. (btw. Clermont + Vanderbilt Ave.)