The Atlantic Antic Recap - hits and misses
I was disappointed to not see the bulgogi from the bodega owners on Hoyt (?) and the shwarma in front of Oriental Pastry? Did I mistakenly overlook?
I did enjoy the Six Points beer, Pete's pulled pork sandwich, the grilled trout and homemade sausage which was in front of what I think was the Long Island Diner on Henry and, as always , the pistachio knaffi from Damascus. The trout was excellent and IMHO better than the sardines that is a fave.
Also tried the chocolate ice cream from Blue Marble which I found too sweet and not chocolatey enough.
I know I missed out on a lot. There is only so much one can eat in day! What should I look out for for next year?
agree that the ice cream from Blue Marble was tres meh. I had the ginger -ultra-sweet and very little ginger flavor. And I hope they're not selling it for 4 dollars a scoop, which was the price at the Antic.
what did I like? HUGE oysters at Downtown Atlantic, veal and chicken cutlet at the Belorussian church, jambalaya at Stan's Place.
We never use the occasion of a street festival to stuff ourselves and overeat, or eat more than we normally would. But so many things were sooo tempting. We try and find things that are unusual, and found only at the Antic.
One of those is the wonderful Shawerma made just once a year by the Malko family, sold in front of their shop, along with many other Syrian delicacies. It was outstanding as always. The Malko family was there in full complement, from the little grandchildren to the elder statesmen. The Shawerma is made from Kosher, Organic Turkey, which makes it deliciously tender and light. There will be an article coming out soon naming it among the top Shawerma in the city.
Sahadi's was open for its one Sunday a year. The whole family was outside selling their wonderful dishes to eat on the spot or take home. The Soul Food folks next to Malko were frying up Fish and Chicken, along with Collard Greens and other specialties.
The little church group on Hoyt Street never fails to please...rich, satisfying pasteles on a bed of arroz con gandules and those greasy bacalaitos...can't beat 'em.
Sardines ($2 each) at La Mancha were properly grilled and less expensive than at typical up-scale 2-fer-$10 appetizer places, but every year gets a touch steeper. On Portugal Day in Newark (second weekend in June) you can score for a buck apiece.
Downtown Atlantic had quite the display of various grilled sausages...shoulda had a bratwurst in honor of Brett Favre. And a cupcake. Agree with other posters on SixPoint ales (had an Amber)...solid. Looks like Brooklyn Brewery has abandoned the festival altogether.
One bonus item freebie came courtesy of Sovereign Bank, namely mini-scoops of Five Boroughs Ice Cream - cappuccino was encouraging...will probably be available on the catty-corner once Trader Joe's opens up.
Crowd was beautiful, diverse and towards four o'clock, got quite oppressive.
re: Mike R.
I had one of the grilled sausages from Downtown Atlantic/Los Paisanos butchers. It was great.
My only disappointment was the bakery that sells the pies - I can't remember the name but it had the word "Southern" in it and was near Smith St if I recall correctly. They had regular pies and mini sweet potato and pecan pies. I bought a small key lime and a mini sweet potato to bring home for later. They were absolutely inedible. The sweet potato had no flavor and soggy crust, but the key lime was just gross. It had an overpowering baking powder or soda taste. It is a rare occassion that I throw uneaten sweets away - and I threw both pies away after a couple of bites.
Other than that - what a great street fair! I've lived in the area for 5 years but am usually out of town for it. From now on I will make an effort to attend - it was a blast. So different from all of the cookie cutter festivals around the city. I went on the early side (11:30) and it was not too crowded - much easier to navigate than in the afternoon.
re: hercules q. einstein
I did not like the looks of the "Southern" table either and haven't read anything on them. So I went to the Treats Truck stand which had delicious Creme Caramel sandwich cookies and a million other things that were selling madly. Excellent. I am on their push email to see where their Truck will be in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The peanut butter and creme caramel sandwiches were a find.
re: hercules q. einstein
Funny, we got the same mini sweet potato pie, ate it on the spot and thought it was terrific: the crust was crisp and flaky. The filling was clean-tasting, not too sweet, not too heavily spiced, and had this great whipped texture. Maybe it wilted in the plastic wrap in the heat, maybe we just have different taste in sweet potato pie.
We had some oily but tasty curry goat from Soul Spot(?); the mac and cheese was just okay, but the collards had a nice vinegary tang.
Since we're living in Queens these days, we took advantage of the opportunity to hit Sahadi's. Top finds were the cardamom-scented nougat from Montreal and a 5-pound bag of "Persian variety" pistachios for $25. They're apparently US grown, but whoever's cultivating these knows what they're doing. They're dead ringers for the real thing, crisp and buttery. Mmmm.
shoot, they're better priced than pistachios in iran, given that the economic situation is so horrible--i paid around $8/lb for pistachios when i was in iran last year. but they are the best pistachios ever--creamy, rich, crisp, with a super sour lemony salty coating.
hatless, do the sahadi's pistachios really compare to the real thing? maybe instead of hitting up every traveller i know up for pistachios, i should just get my ass out to brooklyn!
re: rose water
These are salted, not coated. They're definitely up there in quality. Creamy, rich, crisp: yes on all counts, and like the real deal, they're all that without being small like Turkish ones. I can't say for sure they're a 100% match without having them side by side; for that I'll have to get some of the real thing at Kalyustan's for $14/lb. and do a taste test, but they definitely work for me and are all the things standard California pistachios are not.
If you don't want to go to downtown Brooklyn, Sahadi's sells them on their website for $27 per 5 lb. bag and shipping's something like $9, which is still a great deal.
Should have had their ginger ice cream. That's the one we tried and it was delicious. Very creamy, not overly sweet or overpoweringly ginger, really good.
Our favorites other than that were the pulled pork sandwich at Pete's too, the hummus at Waterfalls Cafe, the beer from Six Points. Sardines were tasty..not really our thing but we tried and liked, just nothing I'd see myself craving having again.
I was put off my the commercial vendors -- both the banks/realtors/etc and also the food vendors like Mozzarepa that arent at all local (I saw them pulling the arepas from plastic packaging and throwing them on a grill...how appetizing).
We enjoyed it, the first time we've been in town to wander it, but it wasn't quite what I had hyped myself to believe it was going to be.