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Apr 23, 2007 09:24 AM

"alternate universe" ballfields yesterday

About 3 or 4 years ago I was in Red Hook in the spring and came across a "different"
ballfields near Columbia where it intersects with Halleck street (I only know this now). They were playing baseball or softball. They had all sorts of vendors who were selling unique Tacos, Fried corn thingys and lots more, goat soup..
I then told people about it and as I had forgotten the exact location, kept looking for it and couldn't find it for years. I thought I was going crazy and had imagined it.My friends thought I had gone off the deep end, perhaps too many bizarre cacti ingested,,(kidding)

Well, yesterday I was down in Red Hook shopping for food, and low and behold there it was. My sister and I tasted some seriously good pork tacos with deep fried scallions, empanadas, and theese little deep fried pupusa like things with black beans that are then split in half and stuff is put inside..(gorditas?). Anyways I dont know if this is a once a year phenomenon It looks like a baseball or softball tournement.. but the cool thing was that there were all sorts of bizzarro universe treats, kind of like the ballfields vendors, but mostly fried. Does anybody know if this is only once a year? Also be warned . Most of the vendors did not seem to be professionals, so the servce was quite chaotic and it took a really long time to get the items (20 minutes to get a taco so be forewarned).
Anyways it was a delight and suprise to find this again after 3 or 4 years..
Any thoughts on what this is?

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  1. The Red Hook Ball Fields operate EVERY weekend from spring through the end of fall. Definitely not an alternate universe, but one of the most amazing food destinations in New York, if not the country. Technically, next weekend is the official first weekend of the season. Finally, all of the vendors have legit licenses to serve food.

    THOUSANDS of discussions on this board. Do a search for Red Hook Ballfields, and you will find all of the info you could ever need. Plus see the link below:

    5 Replies
    1. re: fudluvr

      Did you even read my post? It was not talking about the regular ballfields, which I have been going to for every weekend for 6 years.
      Re-read the post I wrote. It has nothing to do with what you are talking about.

      1. re: fudluvr

        I'm sure j.c. knows about the soccer field vendors! It sounds as if he is talking about a separate thing -- not the soccer fields, but some kind of baseball thing a few blocks west. (He said it was a "different" ballfield, near Columbia Street.) Am I right, Jason?

        1. re: parkslopemama

          Thanks, PSM. I re-read the post before I replied but mis-understood. JC--I was just trying to be helpful. Red Hook can get pretty confusing for those who don't spend lots of time there--I thought you were referring to the ballfieds as an alterate universe, not an alternate ballfields. And the normal stands are close to the softball feilds as well.

          Just an idea, maybe these are "unofficial" vendors who serve food before the official stands are up and running???

          1. re: fudluvr

            This is a whole different thing, I guess, I think it might be a once a year thing.
            I will go back next weekend and see if they are there again, but somehow I don't think so.

            1. re: jason carey

              Tried to post a mapquest link in case anyone is not sure where jason is referring to but didnt succeed. Try putting in 52-56 Halleck St on a Brooklyn mapquest map and you'll get it. It's only a couple of blocks from the soccer fields &, if you keep walking past these ballfields, you'll find benches with great water views to eat at.

              At any rate, these are much less "professional" vendors, much like the way the soccer fields used to be 10 or more years ago. Family members and those that know about the softball games bring stuff to cook and make some money doing it. It's not an every weekend thing but its not as unusual as you think. I've only stopped by once or twice and wasnt very impressed with what I had but, as these are not necessarily the same people each time (the way the soccer fields vendors are), I'm thinking that it's silly for me not to check back regularly. Thanks for the reminder jason.

      2. EXACTLY! I was also down there yesterday. I knew the soccer fields were opening this coming weekend but was delightfully surprised at what was happening there on Sunday. This was NOT at the soccer fields... these were spread out over many different baseball diamonds with teams in uniforms and a band playing and various food stalls set up here and there. I also had the papusa-like things that were split open and doused with crema, lettuce, and hot sauce (the black bean were the best IMO).

        I was wondering too if this was something that had been going on for all of these weekends and I never knew about it? Someone out there must know...maybe the Porkchop Express guy? I would have asked someone there but I don't speak Spanish well enough to understand the answer. And yeah...that service was lousy--especially the place with the fried empanadas...I waited like ten minutes while they helped one other person. I ended up walking over to the papusa stall- had a seat- and was treated great by the owners.

        All in all a nice way to spend a sunny Sunday before the real show starts next weekend. BUT WHAT WAS IT?

        1. These baseball field venders have been around at least the past several years, but more erratic in schedule -- i.e. not every weekend from May to Sept, or whatever the regular ballfields guys put in. And there were more stands on Sun than I'd ever seen before. (I went as well, pretty much same trajectory as Jason, looking for ballfield action and making my way down there when the regular corner was bare.)

          Agree that there were (at least) a couple excellent items: the stewed pork tacos at the first stand you hit if you're coming down the left-field line; a good taquitos/flautas at the far stand down the right-field line, where I also ate one of those (very tasty) fried tortilla-bean things. Same stand was also making some mean-looking tortas, but I was full at that point.

          Menus at each stand were very random. Only way to tell what they served was to watch what everyone else was eating. (Never would have guessed torta at the right-field stand until I saw the woman pull out some milanesa and make a pair.) Brown-bag Coronas, the whole deal.

          Bottom-line -- I probably wouldn't ever hit these when the regular ballfields are running. But it was sure great to get lunch there Sun.

          1. don't have all that much to add... these 'bizarro fields' descriptions sound right-on.

            i should add that the baseball fields are in no way affiliated with the famed soccer scene (tho that may change) -- b/c they're not part of the Food Vendors Committee of Red Hook Park... they've always felt way more informal, & a tad insular or self-contained.

            i cruised by there several times last summer en route to the water, and there were always at least 1 or 2 folks selling something.... tho i never tried the pork taco. sounds great, gotta get me some. being a fan of tacos. and pork.

            –The Porkchop Express

            1. Has anyone successfully hit the alternative universe ballfields this year?

              (Apologies if someone has already posted about it. I did search but found nothing.)

              I went by on sat and nada. Now I'm remembering that maybe it's Sunday only?

              Any case much obliged for any updated reports.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Jack Barber

                memorial day weekend, according to posters here:
                red hook ball fields thread:

                1. re: Jack Barber

                  There was a post on the thread at yesterday reporting on a visit to the baseball fields last weekend but not specific as to which day (look for the post by chowzdown).