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Smorgasburg: Mr. FIPS goes to Williamsburg

Phew! Thank god that Rapture thing didn't happen on Saturday, huh? Giant earthquakes & hellfire & shit? Not getting to see the how the first season of The Killing turns out? No thanks, Jebus.

On the upside, once word got out that God was going to pluck up all the good Christians & unleash pain on the rest of us, from that point on everything in my world took on a mocking, "this may be the last time" tone. For those like me who tend to look at everything through atheist-framed, cynic-colored glasses, the Rapture was pure comedy gold. After all, it's fun to play pretend.

Case in point: last week I told Erica that my Park Slope End of Days meal would be "as many jerk BBQ chicken littles from Atomic Wings as possible & 7-8 growlers of beer from Bierkraft." I wasn't lying when I said that. If the Rapture was actually going down, that’s what I'd go for in Park Slope.

Since I was fairly certain that it was going to be a Rapture-free Saturday, I instead met up with a friend in Williamsburg for the opening of the Brooklyn Flea's questionably-named Smorgasburg food market. Here, I'd assemble my cynical, mocktastic End of Days meal. Also, I figured that on the off chance that the Rapture actually did happen, going to Williamsburg first would help ease me into it.

For the Smorgasburg, they basically expanded the Brooklyn Flea's normal food vendor selection, added in a greenmarket & got rid of all the tables of useless junk. Instead of the usual few dozen food vendors you get at the Flea, at the Smorgasburg you get stuff from more than a hundred of them. It's a rather extensive list.

When we first arrived, we did a few laps around the place to take in everything the market had to offer. It was a bit overwhelming at first. There was the confusion of lines to booths crossing lines to other booths. There were multiple jerky vendors (Kings County Jerky & Slant Shack Jerky). There were two different pickle vendors (McClure's Pickles & Rick's Pickles), who I sort of hoped would get into a pickle fight. There was a booth (Roaming Acres) with both ostrich and emu eggs.

Eventually, I got a grip & we started off our End of Days meal at the booth for Radish, a hip Williamsburg prepared-food store that was serving up "salted zucchini salad served in a bamboo cone with feta & mixed olives." Its name was so fucking precious-sounding that we both had to get one.

Along with the aforementioned precious ingredients, the thing was topped with pistachios & some herbs. It was a rather refreshing spring snack made with fresh ingredients & while it was good for the first half of it, we were both sort of over it by the time we reached the bottom of the cone.

From there we took another lap around and ended up at the booth for The Meat Hook/The Brooklyn Kitchen, a Williamsburg chop shop/kitchenware store. They were offering up cooking wares & a few different types of hot dogs, including a "Rapture Dog," a beef dog stuffed with cheddar. If that doesn’t scream "End of Days meal," I don’t know what does.

The meat seemed to be hoof-free & the casing had a slightly-satisfying snap to it, so that was cool. Since I grew up on cheese-stuffed Oscar Mayer hot dogs, I was expecting to bite in & see a bright orange, cheese-injected center. Instead, I found that the cheese was sort of spread throughout the dog, giving it an overall salty, cheesy taste. While it wasn’t the best hot dog I've ever had, it would've been quite acceptable had the earth been consumed by earthquakes hours later.

I paired my Rapture dog with a lemon, thyme & green peppercorn soda from Brooklyn Soda Works, a relatively new Clinton Hill business that's been a regular at the Ft. Greene edition of the Flea pretty much since they got started last year. They make beverages that are usually comprised of unconventional ingredients, sodas like their cucumber, lime & sea salt soda and grapefruit, jalapeno & honey soda. While I couldn’t drink their lemon, thyme & green peppercorn soda on a daily basis, I did find the flavor to be complex without being as weird as I'd expected.

Next, we'd planned on grabbing something from Bon Chovie, a Ft. Greene seafood company that was serving up fried anchovies with aioli & lemon, but by the time we got there they had sold out of them. That's what you get for naming your company after an iconic, washed-up musician: attention & long-ass lines & an eventual lack of anchovies.

We instead finished up by splitting a saffron & potato sol rol from Body & Soul, a Manhattan business that offers up baked goods & prepared foods and can often be found at NYC's farmers markets, including the Union Square one.

It was a wrap that was mostly filled with potato with saffron in it and what I'm pretty sure was pickled cabbage. Out of all the items in my End of Days meal, it was my favorite. With each bite I got a mouthful of flavorful potato & the bittersweet taste of pickled cabbage. It was quite filling and made for a great "final course" for my "final meal."

Then, a few hours later, earthquakes totally didn't rock our world. Too bad really...I was sort of hoping that, as the earth was thrown into chaos, I'd be able to tell people "Yeah, man. I was there at the only ever Smorgasburg market. There was a lot of good food there. Then all THIS shit happened."

Here's the best part: Since the world didn't end, I still have a chance to check out the DOZENS of Smorgasburg vendors that I didn't have the time or appetite for on Saturday. There are already a bunch on my list, from the peanut butter & jelly sandwiches of Momofuku Milk Bar + Friends to the cold sesame noodles of Shorty Tang & Sons (which Sam Sifton sorta raved about) to the stupidly tiny cupcakes of Kumquat Cupcakery...& next time, I'm going to get myself some of those damn Bon Chovie anchovies if it kills me. That's right. I want them dead or alive.

Here's the worst part: To make that happen, I have to go to back to Williamsburg.

Read way more from Shawn at

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