Food

Hester Street Fair: The Fare Ain’t All That Interesting

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A couple enjoy some very small donut holes with caramel sauce ($2) from Wonder City.

As Rebecca Marx promised, the Hester Street Fair has returned this year with a much greater emphasis on food. When Fork in the Road dropped by this past Saturday (the fair’s second week), there were indeed about 20 stalls that concentrated on edibles.

Entering the pearly gates

And, as the article warned, the food selection had been micromanaged to fit somebody’s conception of a hip and salable mix of gastronomic attractions. There were, somewhat predictably, donut holes, French macarons, pickles from the barrel, empanadas, shaved ices, meatball sliders, lobster rolls, pulled pork sandwiches (at two booths), whole pies (but no slices), Rescue Chocolates to benefit animal shelters, ice cream, and tacos with nontraditional fillings, among others.

The food was expensive. More expensive than if you’d bought it in restaurants, in many cases. Why, with a lower overhead, should stuff be priced higher, one wonders.

Some suggestions for street-fair food that hasn’t been overexposed.

Kings County Jerky offered several flavors …

… including this kimchi jerky, studded wtih sesame seeds.

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Neighborhood fave An Choi had a table.

It was hard to know how to put a meal together. The longest line was in front of Brooklyn Taco Company, which offered brisket, guacamole, or “lightly chipotled chicken,” for $3 to $4 per taco. We went for the pulled pork sandwich ($6) — which was barely more than slider-size — from Daisy Duke’s BBQ, Staten Island. The sandwich was pretty good, the pork nicely charred and mildly smoky but a bit dry, the bun fresh. The barbecue sauce was not overly sweet, probably because of the coffee grounds in it, which also created an annoying gritty texture.

Somehow, the mix of foods offered don’t seem quite right. There were too many sweet things and too few vegetables, to name just two things, and the crowd didn’t seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of the selection, either.

Empanada ($3.50) and pulled pork slider ($3) from La Sonrisa

Brooklyn Taco Company had the longest line.

Next: More pictures …

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Daisy Duke’s pulled pork sandwich, from Staten Island

A fairly solid bit of barbecuing, though the coffee grounds in the barbecue sauce proved annoying.

The hipster foodies were out in force on Saturday.

In case you wondered: Yes, there were macarons (but no macaroons).

This s’mores pie ($30) was not making itself seem very accessible.

The sentiment seems rather trite at this point.

The fair had its share of cute babies in strollers.

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