It’s hard to believe when there are still grubby patches of snow on the ground that resolutely refuse to melt, but yes, spring is officially here. And that means the triumphant return of Smorgasburg to its original, open-air locations, the weekend of April 4th (East River State Park in Williamsburg) and 5th (Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO).
And since we’ve all heard the statistic that it’s harder for applicants to get into Smorgasburg than Princeton, founders Jonathan Butler and Eric Demby have made sure to uphold their impossibly high standards this year, selecting only 15 new vendors after multiple rounds of tastings, from a pool of over 300. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the notable additions to the incoming freshman class.
Rise and Swine: Even if you stumble into Smorgasburg at 4pm, you can still enjoy these bacon-focused breakfast sandwiches, including an Asian-style combo of Lap Chong sausage, avocado, pickled ginger and cucumber, and peppercorn and aged soy bacon, on a spongy potato bun.
Curd’s the Word: After five straight years, how is possible that no one ever thought to peddle deep-fried, beer-battered cheese curds (served alongside zesty dipping sauces, in adorable paper cones) before?!
Big Mozz: Unadulterated hunks of cheese are apparently a running (and not entirely unwelcome) theme amongst this year’s Smorgasburg crew. And this stand arose out of co-owner Matt Gallira’s desire to find the perfect showcase for his marinara line. Enter the mozzarella bomb—milky globes of cheese made on site, and ceremoniously injected with sauce.
Duck Season: In case you hadn’t guessed it, this stand is entirely devoted to duck, which is piled into sandwiches, fried into cracklings, rendered and used to cook tiny purple potatoes, or prepared confit on the bone.
Best Buds Burritos: Most places preach the gospel of the Mission burrito, but this duo is eager to represent San Diego, with lard tortillas stuffed with carne asada, crema, cheese, salsa, guacamole and—wait for it—wads of skinny french fries.
Antica Pesa: A favorite of globetrotting celebs, this Roman transplant opened a luxurious Williamsburg location (complete with leather couches and a flickering fireplace) two years ago. And now, they’re hitting the streets of Smorgasburg with a dish sure to rival that breakout Smorg star, the ramen burger: Frittata di Pasta—two pucks of griddled, then deep-fried spaghetti, cradling saucy lamb ragu.
Von Kava: Smorgasburg may be the ultimate ode to down-and-dirty street food, but pinkies-up diners can avail themselves of an actual tasting counter this year. Complete with water service, the 15-minute chefs table menu will offer tiny bites such as white asparagus soup with charred ramps, poached cod with pickled fiddlehead ferns, and pork loin with smoked gnocchi, prepared by Mas Farmhouse’s John Kava.