As I write this I'm still crazy full from my field trip to Madison Square Eats this afternoon. To paraphrase the MSQ Eats website - it's a pop-up market that brings together a "group of New York City’s most popular restaurants and well-respected chefs." The market takes place over the course of four weeks in May (I just barely squeaked in before it ended today) and then returns for four more weeks beginning in early September.
I scouted vendors in advance and had a sketch of a plan in mind, but I was still overwhelmed by the number of great options singing their siren street food song. Despite my best-laid plans - light breakfast, long pre-lunch walk from the UWS to Flatiron - I still only managed to sample a few different dishes before I was in danger of a food coma. That said, I can whole-heartedly endorse the following:
Arrancini Bros's blanco verde arrancini filled with mozz and spinach – delightfully crunchy outside, creamy and rich inside.
La Sonrisa Empanadas's pulled pork empanada flavorful, tangy pork inside a super crisp shell. Yum.
Melt's Morticia ice cream sandwich a chewy chocolate crisp cookie with chocolate rum ice cream – I love chocolate and these folks are not messing around. I see that they also have one called the Thick Mint which sounds like heaven.
Lastly, Roberta's has such a great reputation that I couldn't resist taking home one of their margarita pizzas with fresh basil and mozz. I had one bite while it was still piping hot from the charcoal oven (you know, for journalistic purposes) and I'm here to tell you the rumors are true. I can feel a pilgrimage to Brooklyn coming on...
There were so many awesome options I wanted to try – 100 Sardines, L&W Oyster Co., Doughnuttery – that I'd highly recommend bringing a partner in crime (and cash too, not all vendors take plastic.) It will make it easier to taste more dishes and stake out a spot at one of the cafe tables scattered through the square. We’ll call it Operation: Divide & Conquer. Who wants to be my buddy?