Scouting: Broadway Bites

Broadway Bites  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Broadway Bites | Image: Laura Messersmith

I had a high expectations for my visit to Broadway Bites – my trip to its sister market Madison Square Eats last month set the bar preeetty high. Luckily BB is more than up to the challenge.

 I applied my experience from MSQ: scouting the vendors in advance (check), bringing cash (check), light breakfast & long walk (check, check). The walk is key by the way - both for building up an appetite and for balancing out all the great ‘bites’ there are to try. I tried to convince Mike to play hooky from work this afternoon, but he was too responsible, so I’m still looking for that buddy. Now accepting applications!

Broadway Bites  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Broadway Bites | Image: Laura Messersmith

Broadway Bites is a market that “brings together New York City’s most popular chefs, small culinary businesses and artisan producers, setting them up with outdoor kitchens in the heart of Midtown.” It runs through August 1st and then again this fall from October 1 – November 14th, so there are lots of opportunities to check it out for yourself! Here are some recommendations to get you started:

Brooklyn Taco makes an excellent chilorio brisket taco – the beef is tender and the pineapple salsa, cheese and crema are a great compliment, especially with final squeeze of lime.

Mason Jar NYC is rocking Southern inspired food and I loved the pulled pork egg roll - delicious pork and crisp veggies all in a freshly fried wrapper and dipped in spicy, tangy Asian BBQ sauce. Yum.

 Breads Bakery helped me understand why entire episodes of Seinfeld were based on Chocolate Babka. I was offered a sample and it's what I’m bringing for all future hostess gifts.

Onigiri by Tampopo onigiri are Japanese rice balls, think: giant piece of very loosely wrapped maki sushi – seaweed, rice and in my case the salmon and scallion filling. I always like sushi on hot days and with a splash of soy sauce this was a fresh, light dish.

La Newyorkina's frozen Pink Lime popsicle was lightly sweet and refreshing the perfect finish to a delicious lunch on a hot day.

Broadway Bites  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Broadway Bites | Image: Laura Messersmith

If these don’t tempt you, or you missed Madison Square Eats some of my favorites make an appearance at Broadway Bites - Arrancini Bros., La Sonrisa Empanadas, Melt, and Roberta's are all back for more!

Broadway Bites  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Broadway Bites | Image: Laura Messersmith

Scouting: Madison Square Eats

Madison Square Eats  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Madison Square Eats | Image: Laura Messersmith

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.

Madison Square Eats  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Madison Square Eats | Image: Laura Messersmith

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...

Madison Square Eats  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Madison Square Eats | Image: Laura Messersmith

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?

Madison Square Eats  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Madison Square Eats | Image: Laura Messersmith