Having arguably overtaken Williamsburg as North Brooklyn’s most formidable food hub (where else can you find Pakistani barbecue, movie theatre/bar/restaurants and coffee shops-turned-10 course prix fixe supper clubs?) it only stands to reason that Bushwick should have a tasting event of its own, Taste of Bushwick. Here are just a few edible highlights from last night’s al fresco affair, which officially have us fearing an impending L-train shut down.
Montana’s Trail House/Twin Sun’s Deli
Manning adjoining tables, these sister businesses offered shots of their invigorating, ginger-forward switchel, as well as a duo of substantial sandwiches; seeded triangles of muffuletta cemented with olive salad, and beef cheek reubens, beribboned with house-cured kraut.
The neighborhood’s newest seafood spot served up schools of bluefish salad-smeared crostinis, accented with fronds of dill and rosy stalks of pickled ramp.
They may have been located at the far side of the tent, but fragrant coils of smoke from BK Jani’s grill worked their way towards the entrance; the best possible advertisement for cubes of lamb, chunks of chicken tikka and rounds of black angus seekh kabab, puddled with mint-rich raita.
We’re easily woo’d with raw oysters, but it was only one of the options amongst Mominette’s well-chilled spread, which also included silky salmon toasts, and sips of avocado soup and gazpacho.
The second we slid a spoon into Faro’s duck liver mousse — textured with caramelized, pickled and fresh wild onions, and shards of toasted bread — we swiftly got over our disappointment that they weren’t serving pasta.
Was it a dessert? A cheese course? Maite’s dulce de leche stracciatela — dusted with crispy chickpea bits and smoked salt — was the most bewitchingly offbeat bite at Taste of Bushwick.
Tortillera Mexicana Los Hermanos
This Starr Street favorite served up plate-sized tostadas — an excellent way to showcase their housemade tortillas — slathered in refried beans, pebbled with chicken and striped with tangy crema.
The event may have been largely populated with neighborhood newbies, but Simon Glenn (and his chilled shrimp, chili and watermelon salad) asserted Tchoup Shop as one of its most notable O.G.s.
Queen of Falafel at House of Yes
Adept at packing a world of flavor into teeny tiny spaces (the year-old spot is little more than a counter, squeezed into an art and performance house), Queen of Falafel’s slim table accommodated a veritable Middle Eastern feast, including lush hummus paved with whole chickpeas and deep-fried crisps of pita, paired with bowls of brick red harissa, and garlicky, verdant zhug.
To be sure, their all-natural banana and pineapple frozen desserts were just the thing for a gorgeous spring evening. But the fact that this Bushwick-based popsicle company donates profits to supporting critically endangered species in the U.S, as well as preserving big cat habitats in Africa and aiding the rescue and rehabilitation of dogs, won them a VIP pass to our best-of list.
Photos by Maggie Shannon.