I hate people who are not serious about their meals. -- Oscar Wilde

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hester Street Fair

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Ice cream sandwiches at 10:30 in the morning is awesome

The Hester Street Fair is tucked away in the Lower East Side in a space that is the size of a really small basketball court. It sits smack dab on the border of the Lower East and Chinatown, at one side is Prosperity Dumplings, the other is the Doughnut Plant. If the Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea are the Yankees, The Hester Street Fair is like the Brooklyn Cyclones (that’s right, I made a sport analogy, I feel a bit manly), although it is smaller and not as well known, it is still enjoyable to go.  Although the Hester Street Fair is one of the smaller markets/fairs it is still enjoyable and worth going and the food options there good and they steadily gaining momentum. 

The Hester Street Fair has a number of food options and although one of them is a Brooklyn transport, Arancini Brothers. Arancinis are risotto balls that may or may not be filled and get a quick batter and fried. I have always seen this as the Western version of Onigiri. Arancini Brothers have ha couple of options ranging from spinach, carbonara and the one that I got, the ragu. The Arancini was hot and still had a crispy exterior, although the ragu was a nice meaty addition, the star of the Arancini ball is inarguably the risotto which was tender and cheesy. Mo' Food after the Jump!

Aracini with ragu

Other savory options at the Hester Street Fair that I have tried were the Bang Mantou buns which were serving up various style buns. I got the Korean pork one which was mainly stir fried pork that was slathered in gochujaing sauce. The bun was had “meh” status, the pork was clunky and a bit on the dry side, and the mantou bun was a bit gummy. Although it is a cheaper option than Baohaus, if you were having a bun hankering, you might as well go there.

Mantou Bun with Pork

I did not try any of the other options from Mighty Balls or Brooklyn Taco due to craving timing (meaning the majority of the time I have been there, I have already had a breakfast/brunch) and I am craving something sweet, which the Hester Street Fair has a fair amount. One of the notable ones and a great breakfast option is Poffertjes Man. What are Poffertjes? They are basically mini-Dutch pancakes; they are similar to ebelskivers but not filled and not Danish. The Poffertjes are simply served with a blanket of powdered sugar and a pat of butter. 

Poffertjes, Pancake Bites

First impressions I was worried that it would be on the dry side but that was not the case at all, the poffertjes were soft fluffy pillows of pancakes and the bit of butter and powdered sugar was the right amount of sweetness. You can also get a chocolate sauce smothering over it, but I was content with just the powdered sugar. Bake goods are predominant at the Street Fair and one of them is Dank Cakeballs making cake ball truffles and lean more towards the truffle part than cake but nonetheless was tasty, although I have yet to try the shaved ice at Hester that has got some recent press, I have liked Melt Bakery.

Dank Cakeballs

The Zen- Green tea ice cream, ginger sinkerdoodle cookie

Crunchy Chocolate Cookie and Chocolate ice cream

Melt Bakery is cornering the ice cream sandwich market and are making some great ice cream sandwich combinations. They are not making chipwiches, such as their indulgent chocolate crispy cookie with chocolate ice cream. The cookie is a chewy yet crunchy chocolate cookie and goes great with the chocolate ice cream filling. For a bit of the lighter side is the Zen, which was composed of a ginger sinckerdoodle cookie and green tea ice cream filling. As a fan of handheld treats, Melt Bakery especially in the heat is a great addition. According to Melt, they are in the works and soon to open a brick and mortar space on Orchard which I will be most definitely be going too. Like all Fairs and Markets, I have unfortunately been unable to sample food from all the vendors but the Hester Street Fair is a must stop for anyone venturing and strolling in the Lower East Side. Unlike the other markets I have visited, Hester has the most relaxed and community/neighborhood feel and with new vendors debuting almost every week and favorites constantly returning, even in the small space it occupies, there is always something new with each visit. 

See you on Orchard!

Hester Street Fair
Essex Street
New York, NY 10002

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