Coming to Smorgasburg: Barbecue, Chorizo Sandwiches, and Alan Harding's Rice Balls

A chorizo sandwich, inspired by London's Borough Market and headed for Smorgasburg
A chorizo sandwich, inspired by London's Borough Market and headed for Smorgasburg

"Smorgasburg," Eric Demby says, "is in this Darwinian phase: We're trying out lots of people. It's a little bit survival of the fittest." The market's evolving list of vendors is producing some new faces this weekend and beyond, and its founder got in touch to let us know who we can expect to see. Suffice to say, there's a lot to see.

A vegan pastry army from Electric Blue
A vegan pastry army from Electric Blue

Demby estimates that 300 vendors have applied for a spot at Smorgasburg, which launched on the Williamsburg waterfront almost a month ago. While some of their ideas, Demby says, feel "like an Onion headline," plenty of applicants have made the cut thanks to innovative products and the business sense to accompany them.

This weekend, 95 of them will be at Smorgasburg to ply you with food and drink. Among them will be Alan Harding, who was most recently seen closing down Hot Bird Food Truck. At Smorgasburg, the Brooklyn restaurant impresario will debut what he's calling "locavore-driven rice balls" under the name of Four Pi R Squared.

Harding was inspired, Demby says, by the recent closure of Joe's Superette, which was known for its deep-fried prosciutto-stuffed rice balls. Harding's version will be decidedly more upscale -- expect the likes of sweet potato, split pea, and spinach basmati balls with cilantro chutney and toasted coconut, served on a watercress and cabbage slaw with Dijon vinaigrette.

There will also be a nod to London's Borough Market courtesy of Bocata, a collaboration between Alex Clark, the owner of the East Village's Ost Café, and Nicolas Carr, a Brit who once worked at the market. They'll be paying homage to the Borough's famed chorizo sandwiches, which, Demby says, are "almost like the pupusas of the Flea: street food on a pedestal." Bocata's version will feature imported Spanish chorizo on Sullivan Street bread.   This weekend will also feature the launch of Greenmarket Special, a weekly promotion encouraging vendors to prepare their dishes with at least one ingredient from Greenmarket farmers. This week, SkimKim will sell deviled eggs made with eggs from Grady's Farm in Red Hook. Grady's Farm, incidentally, also has some big plans: On June 18, it will debut a stand dedicated solely to egg sandwiches, a worthy pursuit if ever there was one.

The weekend of June 18 will also bring pralines, two kinds of ketchup, and barbecue. The latter comes courtesy of Mighty Quinn's, a new venture from Hugh Mangum, a New York restaurant vet who lives in New Jersey. He'll be using meat from pasture-fed animals and cooking it in a portable smoker. There have been "a lot of barbecue applications," Demby says, "but he's very serious about what he does and very connected to the New Jersey farming season."

The list of new vendors scheduled to appear for the next three weekends follows after the jump.

 

Mighty Quinn's portable smoker
Mighty Quinn's portable smoker

June 11

Bocata

Four Pi R Squared

Cheeky Monkey Foods: Tomato garlic dipping oil that originated in a Syracuse-based restaurant, where it gained a cult following.

Dumont Burger: The Bedford Avenue burger joint will serve slider versions of its four-ounce patties.

Danny Macaroons: Coconut macaroons in numerous varieties, including salteed caramel, German chocolate, and roasted almond.

Electric Blue: Savory and sweet vegan pastries from Anita Shephard, a former Caravan of Dreams pastry chef.

I8NY: A new venture serving sandwiches, sides, and sauces; the sandwiches include roasted chicken with salsa verde and pickled green tomatoes and ricotta with sorrel, grilled garlic scapes, and black olives.

June 18

Mighty Quinn's

Pontchartrain Pralines: Traditional and experimental New Orleans-style pralines. Among their more unusual flavors are cashew, coconut, jaggery, and curry leaf.

Farm to Table Foods: New organic oatmeal from Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Think a more local version of McCann's steel-cut oats.

Sir Kensington's: Gourmet ketchup.

First Field Ketchup: More gourmet ketchup. Demby emphasizes that the ketchup companies will subsequently appear on different weeks.

Grady Egg Stand

Big Tree Farms: Importers of Southeast Asian products like salt and palm sugar.

At the Etsy booth: Honey and Apron, a purveyor of sweets, aprons, and candles.

There will also be a Greenmarket strawberry-shortcake eating contest; expect SCRATCHbread to also contribute a strawberry concoction.

June 25

Chozen: Kosher ice creams will make a one-time-only appearance at the market.

The Brooklyn Bean Co.: A wide variety of dried beans, sold by a couple from Fort Greene.

Greenmarket Special: The Stand NY will make rhubarb lemonade with rhubarb from Red Jacket Orchards and lavender lemonade with lavender from Lavender by the Bay.

Have a tip or restaurant-related news? Send it to fork@villagevoice.com.

And follow us on Twitter: @ForkintheRoadVV.


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