The organizers of the Hester Street Fair could not have asked, pleaded, or groveled for better weather for their kick-off on Saturday: The outdoor market, in a long-disused lot bordering Essex Street, was clogged to maximum capacity with locals, strollers, marauding gastronauts, and wandering flea market fetishists. The market’s narrow aisles made it difficult to really stop and savor the food — linger too long, and you’d risk the wrath of a sharp-elbowed consumer angling for a better view of overpriced vintage furniture or twee little sailor sweaters.
The lines for Mile End’s (Montreal) bagels and lox, Luke’s lobster rolls, and An Choi’s banh mi were impressive, while the folks at Too Good Traders (which seems to be an extension of Silkstone, the British catering company down on Orchard Street) did brisk business turning over $8 omelettes that, according to a friend, used creative ingredients like fiddlehead ferns but were underseasoned. Judging by the food lines alone, it was easy to believe that the fair drew 500 people within its first half hour.
We didn’t get to eat very much, but thoroughly enjoyed consuming a steroidal pretzel with honey mustard from the women of Sigmund Pretzel Shop. But what was by far the best thing we tried?
That would be the jolly green giant pictured above. It’s an avocado popsicle from La Newyorkina, a brand-new frozen treats purveyor. Last summer, People’s Pops made the world safe for the $3.50, creatively-flavored popsicle, and now La Newyorkina has followed suit with similarly-priced treats that last Saturday came in avocado, coconut, mango, and hibiscus varieties. We tried the avocado pop, and holy hell, it was good.
Yes, it was a $4 popsicle, but the sticker shock was somewhat mitigated by the fact that the pop packed enough of a gastrointestinal wallop to qualify as, if not an entire meal, then at least a fairly generous entree. It was more or less a mass of frozen avocado, adulterated with a small, perfectly balanced amount of sugar. It was incredibly, mind-bogglingly rich, and definitely the first popsicle we’ve ever been able to categorize as a g-u-t-b-o-m-b. Right now, La Newyorkina’s only selling the pops out of an unmarked cooler at the Hester Street Fair; with any luck, warming temperatures will bring greater availability.