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Red Hook Ballfields -- what is terrific this year?

v
vvv03 Aug 11, 2007 01:11 PM

I went to check it out today for the first time -- it was terrific! The weather was great and it wasn't too crowded (I was there from about noon - 1:30). I got a quesadilla from the stands to the right when you walk in, but I didn't get to do anything else because I was there alone with 2 young kids. For my next visit, please tell me what's really tasty.

Thanks!

  1. pitu Aug 30, 2007 05:09 AM

    There's a few good YouTube videos on the ballfields, if you want to see before you go...
    This first one shows the cooking, and talks to the vendors and patrons ETC
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUjyswamGrY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o6qJY...

    Only a few weeks left . . .

    1 Reply
    1. re: pitu
      f
      fredid Aug 31, 2007 04:36 AM

      Maybe only 2 weeks left!! For updates, go to porkchop-express.blogspot.com (Moderators - this link is for up to date info on whether a great eating spot has been shut down...Thx!)

    2. bigjeff Aug 22, 2007 07:32 AM

      is next week or labor day weekend the last weekend of the summer for the ballfields? planning to make a saturday excursion next saturday . . .

      7 Replies
      1. re: bigjeff
        a
        ardnaxela Aug 22, 2007 08:29 AM

        The vendors are there through October, unless the city shuts them down
        http://www.seriouseats.com/required_e...

        1. re: ardnaxela
          bigjeff Aug 22, 2007 09:17 AM

          great! thanks.

          1. re: bigjeff
            l
            lisalu Aug 29, 2007 07:37 AM

            I'm in manhattan and want to make a trip to the ball fields. Do I take the F train to SmithSt/9th st? Where do I go once I get out of the train? Are the vendors only there on Sat? What time are they there? Thanks!

            1. re: lisalu
              s
              scooter Aug 29, 2007 08:24 AM

              The Porkchop Express blog reveals all. Directions:

              http://porkchop-express.blogspot.com/...

              Hours are supposed to be "Saturday and Sunday, 9am till 10pm (tho some pack up early)"

              1. re: lisalu
                k
                kenito799 Aug 29, 2007 11:29 AM

                porkchop's directions are good.

                I find it easiest to walk from the Smith/9th F stop west on 9th St to Court St, turn left, pass under the BQE, and keep going until you see the park with the soccer field on the other side of Bay St. Entering at that corner (Court & Bay, past the port-a-potties), the first stand you come to is the Ecuadorean ceviche lady. Ceviche mixto or tuna soup is the perfect way to start the day!

                1. re: kenito799
                  l
                  lisalu Aug 29, 2007 07:42 PM

                  Thanks for the help-can't wait to go!

                  1. re: kenito799
                    f
                    fredid Aug 29, 2007 07:51 PM

                    Not exactly chow info but important info for enjoying your visit....Just before you go under the BQE, look for the (famous hamburger spot) to your left and use the facilities - The PortaPotties at the ballfields aren't usable! (Or try the public pool across from the food)....

          2. a
            annulla Aug 22, 2007 05:45 AM

            I haven't had anything that wasn't good, but as for my favorite, I have to recommend Carmen's amazing cerviche mixto as well as her seafood with rice platter (such a bland name for a truly wonderous, aromatic dish bursting with clams, mussels, shrimp and more). You couldn't find finer seafood, prepared with more skill and care, anywhere in the city.

            1. a
              are_you_gonna_eat_that Aug 14, 2007 01:35 PM

              I like the tamales from the Guatemalan place. They're bigger and softer than Mexican tamales, with meat and potatoes and veg mixed with the masa, not tucked inside. They're also saltier and just as delicious if not more so — they reminded me more of what the Nicaraguans call a nacatamale, if that helps.

              I had the hibiscus juice recently — tasted just like bug juice, pure red flavor. I mean that in a good way, but I'll stick to horchata or the lime drink from now on.

              1 Reply
              1. re: are_you_gonna_eat_that
                bigjeff Aug 14, 2007 02:49 PM

                ya those tamales are good; a bit watery, and great when topped with some of their salsas.

              2. pitu Aug 13, 2007 02:52 PM

                A few tables in to the left, at one of the first ceviche sellers - try chiles rellenos. The kind filled with meat, not cheese. YUM!

                1. bigjeff Aug 12, 2007 04:21 PM

                  ha ha, not next time get the quesadilla from the stands to the left when you walk in! they have some great salsas and toppings, and both their chorizo and enchilada are amazing. but yes, its a splitter (between 2 or even 3 people).

                  I like the ceviche a lot (great shrimp, fish and octopus in the mix) at the end, and I also like the goat tacos (a bit messy tho) which are found at the taco stand all the way on the end of the right side. that same taco vendor also has cecina tacos, which have a nice char and smoke, but are sorta too messy to eat since its one big chunka meat, and if you top it with a buncha salsa, it just becomes impossible to eat daintily.

                  I also like the pupusas from the second vendor on the left, as a nice alternative to the stiffer crust of the quesadilla; these are soft and oozy inside, with a nice crisp on the outside (esp. when the cheese breaks thru the masa to the grill) plus they have some nice slaws and sauces to top as well.

                  love all the drinks from the drinks vendor on the left (not sure if they are the guatemalans) but they have a great cantaloupe, a great watermelon and a great horchata. they use styrofoam cups (if that's any indicator).

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: bigjeff
                    Silverjay Aug 12, 2007 06:18 PM

                    The huaraches and quesadillas are snow shoe sized. Eating one yourself should be some sort of coming of age ritual in Brooklyn....For my money though, those goat tacos at the stand on the right end (Perez Tacos) are my #1 item at the fields. And I like washing them down with some hibiscus juice/tea. I'll have to try the cecina next time...

                    1. re: Silverjay
                      missmasala Aug 12, 2007 06:30 PM

                      yes, after a couple of years of huraches i just discovered those goat tacos this summer and they rock!!! wow, i missed them this weekend but my mouth is watering just thinking about them!

                      what is the cecina? They serve a carne asada style taco that's just one big piece of steak. Is that the cecina? if so, I've had it and it's not nearly as good as the goat, IMHO.

                      1. re: missmasala
                        bigjeff Aug 12, 2007 06:55 PM

                        ya the cecina is the only sorta "steak-y" thing at the fields since many of the other meats are all crumbled or ground or griddled, etc.; these are grilled and so, quite nice and smoky but ya, a bit tough, and since they don't slice it up, it IS just one big chunk, hence, the difficulty in eating them. but they're good.

                        1. re: bigjeff
                          k
                          kenito799 Aug 14, 2007 05:45 AM

                          YES I just discovered those cecina tacos and I am totally hooked. They are a thin cut of flank steak, marinated, grilled and fabulous. I have had them three times now and I didnt find the meat tough. No harder to eat "daintily" than a huarache, and a much more manageable portion! And just last Sat I saw someone order barbacoa from them, this is the goat, it is stewed/shredded and delicious. I also saw someone order a tostada from the same place that looked like either tongue or tripe. I am going to ask them about that next time. Definitely my new favorite spot.

                          I love the addition of nopales to the huaraches (from the stand on the left as you enter at the corner, next to the pupusa sellers), but a huarache is just too big for me. I think I will try getting tacos with nopales and that delicious spicy pork.

                          Another alternative I like is the grilled sausage and chicharron from the Colombians (next to the ceviche/tuna soup lady at the far end of the left side).

                          Has anyone ventured over to the baseball fields at the far end of the park? The vendors there are getting bigger and more organized, but I am guessing they don't have permits and aren't part of the Red Hook vendors' association. I have been meaning to go try them (buy I got hooked on cecina). I saw a huge hunk of pork stewing over there and lots of tostada shells frying.

                    2. re: bigjeff
                      f
                      fredid Aug 13, 2007 10:30 AM

                      I had a fantabulous time a week ago - brought containers for all my leftovers and extras (I was there by myself, but wanted to try lots of stuff!) and even things you'd think wouldn't hold up - like the huaraches - were just great even a day later - new flavors blossoming as the hot sauces melded into the rest....

                      1. re: fredid
                        bigjeff Aug 13, 2007 12:20 PM

                        tupperware, but of course!

                      2. re: bigjeff
                        m
                        MShapiro Aug 13, 2007 11:08 AM

                        That same vendor on the left w/ the styrofoam cups makes a great lemonade.

                        1. re: MShapiro
                          bigjeff Aug 13, 2007 12:19 PM

                          try the limeade from them also; real sharp and tangy, quite refreshing.

                      3. f
                        fat_hot Aug 12, 2007 10:50 AM

                        I live nearby and go pretty much every weekend and have tried I think everything without finding anything bad. (Although I dislike seafood and so don't care for the ceviche, although I know I should like it from other people's reactions.) The huaraches (similar to quesadillas, but with beans in the dough) are my favorites, but they're so huge that I need someone to help me eat them, and I'm quite an eater. Definitely try the horchata at the Guatemalan stand. The kebabs from the Colombians (near the ceviche stands at the end) are a little unreliable, but when they're good, they're amazing. Another must-have is mango (or whatever other fruit) with chili and lime, which you can get from the corn and fruit stand right at the corner.

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