There is allot of variety. You would have to go to many different places to get the same variety. The food quality is not the best, it is basically good, and occasionally very good. It is very cheap. The vendors do not pay the market rate for their stalls so you get a better deal than elsewhere.
If you are going to Red Hook anyway it might be interesting. There are some points of interest like the free kayaking (available elsewhere in the city too), the fairway and nearby pier with an attempt to get a trolley going.
If anyone cares RH ballfields are being discussed at wnyc.org where it will probably be archived.
I was there this Saturday at around 1:00PM. I noticed a couple of TV news vans and there were camera crews making the rounds. Senator Schumer was making an appearance, speaking up for the vendors. He said all the right things and his support was welcome. It would be nice if some of the other politicians would led their support as well.
I had my usual chorizo huarache at the cornerstand. There were 3 people ahead of me on line and I waited about 4 minutes, start to finish. The price was the same, $5, and the quality was top notch.
I was there about 20 minutes and when I left Schumer was still talking the the press.
Not knowing where you are and what form of transport you have etc, I can't judge what is worth the trip.
However I was there last weekend and I decided it was one of my favorite things about New York. The food is great, the lawn hang out is fun and relaxing, and the whole thing has a very home grown feel to it. I love it. Highly rec the huaraches at the place on the corner behind the toy salesman.
I don't know what you consider crowded, but it's not a hectic zoo or anything. Frequently it's not crowded at all.
It was somewhat crowded when I went there on a Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, but the gigantic overstuffed quesadilla was well worth the crowds and my $4 (or maybe it was $5). First place on the right when you enter from Clinton St & Bay St.
I didn't like the pupusas over to the left (paralleling Bay St) too much, though. But then, maybe I'm just not a pupusa kinda guy. I can't remember ever having a pupusa that I liked all that much. I should've tried the flautas instead.
Then you can go get an overpriced but delicious dark-chocolate-covered frozen slice of key lime pie several blocks away at... what's it called? Steve's? At one of the piers over near Fairway.
Just don't try to drive to Red Hook with a lousy map unless you have a good working knowledge of Brooklyn geography. I made that mistake. I should've taken the subway.
Hey, how'd I miss the ceviche? Bummer. Never saw any ceviche.
Whether it's worth the trip depends more on you, and what you like.
My wife and I - with our 8 month old son in tow - drove over from Queens, and definitely found it to be worth it, and then some. Even had it not been for the friendly, festive, laid back atmosphere, the ceviche and huaraches were alone worth the price of admission. Regarding crowds, I didn't find it to be all that daunting on the first Saturday, although others might differ; the longest we had to wait on any line is 10 minutes. Of course, as the season progresses, so could the crowds. If you are interested in sampling various staples of South and Central American cuisines from different vendors - some of whom actually run restaurants during the week - then you might very well find it to be worth the trip. As for us, we're already planning a return trip. Enough of my babbling, though. Check out J. Slab's excellent, extensive writeup on Porkchop Express:
Not really. The food is pretty good. And the food is extremely cheap. But the ball fields are a long way away from anything else. It wouldn't be worth a monumental trek, I don't think. It's all mexican and/or central/south american.
It's crowded. And there's not even that much room to sit down and hang out.
I would imagine that, being a frequent theater goer, the OP doesn't mind crowds. At any rate, while I agree the food is pretty good (actually, in some cases it's sublime, but I accept "pretty good" overall), it is kind of a trek, though hardly monumental -- six blocks or so from the Smith/West 9th St. station on the F/G lines.