Playing The Tourist Game in Brooklyn

One of the best things about living in New York is getting to play tourist when people come to visit from out of town. I complain pretty much constantly about tourists here, because they don’t know how to walk down the sidewalk properly, and they don’t take off their giant backpacks on the subway, and they take tone-deaf, smiling pictures at the 9/11 memorial, and otherwise just generally do things that drive me crazy… *deep breath* ...but every so often, spending a weekend seeing the city through the eyes of someone who isn’t completely jaded to it is pretty spectacular.

This week, Adam’s sister and her boyfriend are visiting New York from Israel and staying at our place (if anyone needs tips on how to make a 20 square foot apartment feel absolutely palatial and somehow manage to squeeze an air mattress into the space that normally barely holds a coffee table, I’m your girl). They got in on Friday night and it’s been a nonstop weekend.

Yesterday we woke up and grabbed bagels from our local favorite (H&H, if you’re curious) before heading out to Brooklyn. Adam had a handful of tokens for the tasting room at Brooklyn Brewery and it was a gorgeous day to walk around Williamsburg. For those who haven’t been, Brooklyn Brewery makes some great beers right in the middle of Williamsburg, and has a big tasting room/beer hall where you can sample them all. I had the ubiquitous Brooklyn Lager as well as the Brooklyn Greenmarket Wheat, which was delicious.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Several rounds of beers later, we were hungry again, so we walked around the corner to Smorgasburg, the seasonal open-air food market that has given birth to some of New York’s most insane food trends. It was a little bit of a perfect storm of crowds and craziness with the nice weather and the fact that Smorgasburg only reopened for the season a few weeks ago, so I didn’t get to try everything I wanted, but we did have a few amazing bites.

Read on to learn why this is the only image you'll see here from our Smorgasburg trip

Read on to learn why this is the only image you'll see here from our Smorgasburg trip

Confession time: I am the worst blogger ever and forgot to take a single picture of anything we ate. You have the right to reserve my blogging credentials right now if you so choose. I promise I’ll go back later this summer and eat one of everything again and photograph all of it, but in the meanwhile, I’ll have to rely on the kindness of strangers (and the vastness of Instagram) to show you some of what we ate.

Because there is nothing in the world that goes with copious beers quite like fried food, the first place we tried was Lumpia Shack. Lumpia are Filipino spring rolls, and HOLY HELL ARE THEY DELICIOUS. Adam and I got the original pork, while Dayna and Ron, who both keep kosher (meaning they don’t know about the beauty that is pork, or the heavenly experience of cheeseburgers) got the chicken variety. All I can say about these is that, well, I don’t have a lot to say about them, because Adam and I inhaled our order (which includes six little lumpia) practically before the woman behind the counter could hand them to us.

Photo Credit:  lumpiashack.com

Photo Credit: lumpiashack.com

The lumpia were pretty good, but you know what had been missing from our day up until this point? Mouth-searingly spicy food, of course! Noodle Lane was, fortunately, happy to oblige. In the interest of continuity (and Adam and I being total pigs), we got another pork dish, the Dan Dan Noodles topped with ground pork and cucumber. We ordered medium spiciness, but even so, this bowl of noodles was HOT. But even with my mouth tingling, I couldn’t stop eating this - it was really that good.

Photo Credit:  instagram.com/allyrebec

Given the bagels and the beers and the lumpia and the noodles, we were starting to get pretty full at this point, but I wanted to make one more stop. The one thing I had wanted out of our Smorgasburg excursion, the one thing I couldn’t stop telling Adam about wanting - no, needing - to try, was the mozzarella sticks from Big Mozz. I had spotted their tent the minute we got to Smorgasburg, like some kind of cheese-stalker (definitely getting that title printed up on my next round of business cards), and waited patiently while we tried everything else. So although Dayna and Ron had already reached food-capacity, I know no such limits, and dragged them all across the parking lot to get my mozzarella fix.

Photo Credit:  instagram.com/bigmozznyc

I would love to tell you that these were the best mozzarella sticks I ever ate. I would love to tell you that they were hot and crunch and gooey and creamy and salty and everything you want a mozzarella stick to be. I would love to tell you all of that, really, I would. But alas, I can’t, because lo and behold, when we arrived at the Big Mozz stand, THEY WERE ALREADY SOLD OUT FOR THE DAY. I nearly burst into tears right then and there.

Dreams dashed and day ruined (I kid!), we headed back to the subway. We spent the rest of the afternoon walking all of the food off, heading first to Washington Square Park, and then to Central Park, determined to soak up as much of the perfect spring day as possible.