In theory, the Great GoogaMooga sounds like the most mind-blowing food festival known to man. Free admission. Almost 200 of the city’s best restaurants, breweries, and wine purveyors assembled in the bucolic Nethermead Meadow in Prospect Park. Pop-up dinners like Roberta’s Urban Ren Faire, The Spotted Pig Haus, and Little Wisco Seafood Boil and BBQ. Collect-them-all-trading cards (I’ll swap my pic of “Hamaggedon,” the steel pig-shaped functional rotisserie, for your mug shot of Andy Ricker, the evil genius behind Pok Pok ny!) And oh yeah, there’s music too. But tell that to last year’s intrepid Googa attendees, left baking in the sun on endless lines with no water, bathrooms, or cell phone service to speak of, and greeted by — more often than not — empty chafing dishes by the time they reached their desired booths. And forget about the poor suckers that forked over $250-plus for the pleasure of remaining above the fray in VIP, which by all accounts, devolved into a fight to the death over passed platters of Blue Ribbon fried chicken.
So, ready to give it another go?
Googa’s back for round two this weekend, with a new, carefully plotted out recipe for success. They’ve tacked on another day, for starters, kicking off the celebration on Friday with a staged concert, and resuming on Saturday and Sunday with ticketed access to the wide-range of food vendors and booths. Each restaurant has been strictly instructed to prepare more food (and bring along more servers), and more thought has been given to pleasing the assembled vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-freers. But at $8-12 a plate, it’s dangerously easy to blow through an excessive amount of cash, that could have gone towards finally paying off your student loan. That’s why we’ve compiled a handy top ten list for must-visit booths during GoogaMooga — and incidentally — this is probably the first and only time you’ll find us actively recommending Manhattan spots. They’re on our turf, so it still counts as eating in Brooklyn, right?