This weekend’s GoogaMooga, the hyped-up food festival set to take over Prospect Park from Friday through Sunday, has a cast of 85 food vendors, 75 brewing companies, and 100 wines. But after last year’s debacle–Saturday was deemed “a mess” after food and drink ran out, cell service dropped out, and vegetarians left hungry–the folks at Googa Mooga are promising better logistics, shorter lines, and more vegetarian options. The food lineup features restaurants and providers that had our critics raving this year. Here’s what they had to say about some of this year’s offerings.
What it’s serving: Vegetable antipasti
What our critic thinks: “At one side of the room, a towering stairway leads to the roof, where the city’s latest restaurant fetish is to be found: a garden. Although a quick calculation demonstrates that its squashes, tomatoes, and peppers are not numerous enough to have much impact on the menu, the rows of fresh herbs do.” —Robert Sietsema’s review of Rosemary’s
What it’s serving: Surf and ground turf
What our critic thinks: “The comfort food of another time and place, gut-warming and animal-rich, with a weight that can anesthetize the aching body and lullaby the racing mind. Sure, there are pills to pop for this, but it’s more fun to settle in for a long lunch at M. Wells Dinette in Long Island City.” —Tejal Rao’s review of M. Wells
Big Gay Ice Cream
What it’s serving: Vanilla ice cream with bourbon butterscotch and cardamom with cocoa nibs
What our critic thinks: “I had a chance to try the new vanilla and chocolate and compare them with the old mixes. The experiment was conducted on a pair of identical ice cream machines. The old was certainly grainier, and the new one smoother, with a mouth feel something like Wisconsin-style frozen custard. The new vanilla tasted more like vanilla than the old one.” —Sietsema on Big Gay Ice Cream’s new soft-serve
Pok Pok Phat Thai
What it’s serving: Phat Thai Thamadaa
What our critic thinks: “Go! You’re likely to enjoy most every dish, unless you bring along a killjoy who insists on measuring food’s authenticity by his own pseudoscientific criterion.” —Rao’s review of Pok Pok NY
What it’s serving: The works
What our critic thinks: “I loved it. Less gussied up than the Shake Shack burger, but at a similar price, this is the kind of thing you’d carefully make for yourself at home–if you had ground beef this fresh. The french fries are exactly the heft and length of MacDonald’s, only about 20 percent better.” —Sietsema’s taste-test of Burger Joint’s “Normal” Burger
What it’s serving: Pinoy corn and Chiori slider with beef and longaniza
What our critic thinks: “Jeepney bills itself as a modern Filipino gastropub, but with massive portions of regional dishes, it’s a bit more traditional than it lets on.” —Rao’s review of Jeepney
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