I’ve been eyeing the Hester Street Fair since the beginning of the summer after reading about these yummy La Newyorkina popsicles, but just hadn’t been able to make it out there until this past Saturday. I’ve never been, so I wasn’t sure about the details but all I knew was that I was going to find some good quality, CHEAP food. It was a an absolutely beautiful Saturday in LES and I was running a little late, but I don’t think Little Miss Chatterbox really minded since by the time I got there, she apparently had sampled half of the vendors.
As soon as I got there, it was small. Smaller than I anticipated, but the minute I stepped through the iron threshold, I knew I was in love. First thing I see? Pretzels and La Newyorkina side-by-side. YES! But I composed myself and my very empty belly and decided to look for LMC, scope out all of my food options and make a plan of consumption. I found her perusing the Brooklyn Craft table selling sock monkeys. Yes. Sock Monkeys. But, they were the cutest damn sock monkeys you’ll ever see.
After taking a quick spin around the lot and suggestions from the already seasoned LMC, it was down to Luke’s Lobster Roll or White Slab Palace’s Swedish Meatballs. Since Luke’s Lobster is a regular vendor, I went with White Slab Palace because I didn’t know when they would be out again. I ended up getting the last batch and once we tried them, we realized why. The texture was perfect and the sauce was amazing…we kept soaking it up with the potatoes! To hydrate we went with the lingonberry lemonade which was surprisingly not to sugary and just right. Next time lobster roll! Promise.
Once we were done eating, we decided to check out everything else. First stop was the visually stunning spice and tea table. Since I’m Indian, I have half of those spices in my pantry so I was more fascinated with the teas. You had everything from Flu Tea to chocolate orange tea. YUM. I just wish I drank more tea, but I’m a bit to partial to Indian chai so they just never do it for me. We moved onto one of my favorite two vendors there on Saturday–Guerilla Ice Cream. I sampled three different flavors and let me tell you the Libertação (chocolate + port wine) left every part of your body tingling. It is served with frozen caramelized bananas and cashews. OMFG. I had to hold off on ordering a full portion because I wanted to try other vendors and I was afraid these guys were about to ruin it for me. Next stop Melt Bakery. Here’s one for your entrepenuerial spirit. These two guys quit their jobs to make ice cream sandwiches and debuted them on Saturday. Brilliant. But not as brilliant as their sandwich’s flavor combinations (peach + bourbon brown butter shortbread?, mango lassi + cardamom crackle?; salted caramel + brownies?!). They are just starting out, so head down to the fair and help these guys out because the product is worth it.
Moving on…I saw a pulled pork table, but with noone there buying…nor selling. No idea what happened there, but maybe next time I’ll have something more to report on. At this point, I was back at the beginning and smack in front of the whole reason why I even came…La Newyorkina. *cue heavenly sounds* I just stood in front of the board of flavors not able to make up my mind…but after much back and forth I narrowed it down to the Mango con Chile and the Sangrita. Pick one. Which one?! I’ve made life-altering decisions faster than I made this one. Ugh. I went with the Mango con Chile but I felt like I was tearing my self away from the Sangrita. I’m a brunchtime Bloody Mary drinker, so I was torn. Get a grip. So I sunk my teeth into it and tasted mangos…no chile. Not happy. So I took another bite and woah…there’s the kick. It was like a frozen version of the fuit smothered in chile-limon. So sweet with the perfect amount of kick. They are living up to the hype I built up over the past four months. But I didn’t want to leave Sangrita behind! So I walked around and visited the other vendors below to give my tummy some more bandwidth. Then came back. I got the frozen spicy tomatoe treat and it was exactly what I wanted it to be–savory, spicy, tart, perfect. All I needed was a shot of tequila on the side and I would’ve been done. So satisfied.
Roundup of the rest of the vendors: SkimKim had a great variety of spreads, bloody mary mixes and salsas. The chick (Kim I presume?) was pretty cool too. Kickstand Coffee produces what they claim to be the best cup of coffee around by using local roaster and peddling their goods on bicycles. Different. The patrons who tried a cup seemed to enjoy it. We passed Macaroon Parlor who had an awesome display. I liked their marketing style and their macaroon flavors were definitely unique. Too bad our belly’s were at capacity, but must try next time.
If you’re in the neighborhood, this is a must-do local spot. How can you pass up sock monkeys and spicy tomato popsicles? You can’t.