I love street festivals and especially local country fairs. You never know what you’re going to find, and more importantly EAT! This Grub Street Food Festival though wasn’t made up of cotton candy and carnival rides, it was a food fair of some of the local food trucks and shops around Manhattan. Honestly, I was expecting a better turn out of vendors, but what I sampled was pretty tasty. I even managed to wander a bit out of my comfort zone to try some new and interesting foods!
It all started with Kim-Chi. Yup, I’ve never had it before! I’m not a fan of cabbage, but I didn’t mind Kim-Chi! The one I sampled had a pretty big kick to it! The texture reminded me of a runny cole-slaw but the flavor definitely had Asian spices.
Next came the Teriyaki Balls… I tried all three: sausage, shrimp, and potato. They were these round doughy balls made right in front of you in these egg-carton-shaped heated trays. The dough was poured in and toppings were put into the middle of the small egg-shaped tray, then someone would use a pick-stick to turn the balls so the dough would start cooking and so the balls could form. I have no clue how it works, but it does. Be sure to check out the pictures that show how the cook prepared them! I was surprised at how doughy they were, the texture wasn’t as crispy on the outside as I had expected. But I was pleasantly surprised to say that I liked the sausage the most, followed by the shrimp, followed by the potato (before sampling I thought I would have liked the potato the most, then the shrimp, then the sausage… clearly I’ve been surprised quite often by sausage these days).
My friend Stef and I kept wandering around the fair and we came across a Mac & Cheese stand. Of course we made our way to the line; but as we got closer to the front someone turned around to tell us that they were all sold out. Right as they were stepping out of line the guy behind the counter announced that they only had 3 bowls of the mac & cheese left. My friend Stef quickly stepped up to the stand and said, “I’LL TAKE ONE!” I couldn’t help but laugh. The mac & cheese ended up being so tasty. It was thick and creamy and made from all the right cheeses: cheddar, monterey jack, and parmesan. I’ll admit it, it was so rich we couldn’t even finish the bowl. But we enjoyed every bite we got down!
My favorite was the taco stand called Cascabel Taqueria. There’s something about a taco that has chicken cooked just right, with some amazing toppings, and that’s overall so juicy and flavorful you want to go back for many more! Bravo to this stand!
Then there was the pumpkin cannolis… I love the idea of having cannolis with a pumpkin flavor, but unfortunately the pumpkin taste wore off so quickly. If they could put some legit pumpkin into the batter instead of the pumpkin spice (I’m guessing that’s what they used) then the cannoli would be so damn good!!!
Finally, Stef wanted to try the shaved ice. Literally, it’s shaved! I was so fascinated by the machine that shaved the ice. Take a look below at how the machine presses a block of ice, it spins it while it shaves it, and there’s a blade at the very bottom of the machine that makes the shavings instead of chopping the ice up. Stef had green tea ice cream (which was my favorite), mango, caramel corn, and one other topping added to the mix.
We got to the event pretty late in the day so I was surprised that there weren’t other stands that were shut down due to running out of food. But overall I was disappointed to not see other big name trucks and stands out there. Tuck Shop was one of them (be sure to read up on my old post on the stand in the Chelsea Market) and so was the Red Hook Lobster Truck (check out another recent post on this truck). So Stef and I skipped over those since we have both sampled the food before.
Hope you enjoy the photos of the truck, they are all below this post! And I can’t wait to head to another street fair or possibly a carnival the next time I’m outside the city during nice weather!