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Smorgasburg: What a Pretentious Rip Off.....

y
yussdov Sep 12, 2011 06:32 AM

went today and checked it out. some of the words that come to mind are: hype, fluff, rip-off, bullxxxx. mostly it's tiny little portions of extremely overpriced, not that well prepared gourmet wannabe food for the upper middle class, trust funders and self indulgent hipsters. where else in the world is there a place where, as street food, small little pretentious sandwiches cost $10 ? given the size of the portions, it can easily take 3 little of these smaller bites, which oftten go for $6 a piece, to fill you up for lunch. then a drink and a desert and you've spent $25 for lunch. for street food? the whole thing just feels like an excercise in a self conscious, class conscious, self indulgent theatre of elitism. sure, i guess i'm glad that brooklyn is becoming a place where a new, young generation of food geeks are producing high end products, but to me it feels like it's all about profit and being cool and not about nourishing or really feeding people. yeah, someone will say that they got a cemita for $9 and were full afterwards. but a better cemita is to be had on the streets of jackson heights for $5.

sure, there are a few good things there that aren't a rip-off, like dough donuts and blue marble ice cream, but there's just no way that street food should be so expensive and precious and pretentious. take for example porchetta, where they give you two small slices of roast pork on a slider sized bun and call it a day for $5. when i asked for a bit more meat, they grimaced, made a rude comment and acted like i'd offered to abduct their children, as if i was trying to rip them off. ok, i get it, gourmet food isn't supposed to be for everyone or for everyone's wallet. but the last time i was in my kitchen i found it pretty easy to make pickles, roast pork or even make mayonnaise. these are all low cost things to do. charging out the wazoo for them is just obnoxious. yeah, i understand that these vendors feel they deserve to be able to live uppermiddleclass lives by preparing fancy food. but come on, a day in the sun shouldn't cost a couple $50 for lunch. and that's why smorgasburg attracts such a homogenous crowd, and i'm not talking racially, i'm talking class-wise. if this is the future of new york city, i don't want to be a part of it. the whole thing made me lament the loss of the old red hook ballfields, where honest, unpretentious people sold filling portions of hearty food to folks from all walks of life. instead, smorgasburg is an excercise in self congratulatory attitude, where the usual hipster menu items are beat to death once more.

-----
Smorgasburg
27 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

  1. b
    breezymom Sep 27, 2013 04:55 PM

    don't agree-went last year, had some delightful treats and portions were pretty big! went to other location last Sunday--prefer Saturday's, more vendors, more choices.

    1. Sluggo1407 Sep 27, 2013 05:34 AM

      But don't you know it's hip to be seen in an obnoxious overpriced restaurant? It's all about the scene. What's wrong with you?

      1. j
        joonjoon Sep 23, 2013 10:12 PM

        Finally made it to Smorg (DUMBO) and I had the exact same experience. Not worth the money.

        Between food and drink, I spent 40 bucks for lunch. Granted I was stuffed but 40 bucks for street food?

        The only highlight for me was the Bolivian sandwich joint. Their pulled brisket sammy is a work of art. Beautifully put together with wonderful flavors. It's like BBQ meets Banh Mi with latin flavor. I would return for this one, even though it was 10$ for a smallish sandwich. To be fair it was the first time I've had anything of its kind so I can't compare to other cholas. Their saltenas were also tasty, but way overpriced at 8$.

        Everything else pretty much sucked. Nothing special happening at Mighty Quinn. 9$ for a large sandwich didn't seem completely unreasonable considering the effort that goes into that kind of BBQ, and the meat was on the generous side. But I would never, ever wait in that kind of line for what they're putting out. Are people out of their minds? I thought the pulled pork was tasty enough, but again not worth the wait.

        Tried the head-on fried anchovies (7$) at Bon Chovi. This was absolutely the lowlight for me. They're freaking fried anchovies. 7$ for something like 6 of them. Are you freaking kidding me? It's probably the most monumental ripoff in the history of food.

        Porchetta is tasty, and I'm always a sucker for crispy pork skin, but 7$ for a dinner roll sized sandwich? I couldn't tell if I had even eaten anything afterwards.

        Tried a few bites of my friend's sandwich from Schnitz. I have no idea what it cost but I'm sure it was a ripoff, and it had absolutely no flavor. I'd take a 5$ chicken parm sandwich from any neighborhood italian joint over this turd any day.

        Noodle lane. 8 freaking dollars for a tiny serving of dan dan noodles. Mediocre at best. Why anyone would pay 8 bucks for this when you have options like Golden Mall is beyond me.

        3$ for a watermelon-basil seed drink from the lumpia joint was absolutely delicious and seemed to be priced reasonably. I actually like this one quite a bit.

        But 5$ for a freaking lemon slushy? Really? That's just insane. The citrus slushy tasted like cat piss, but the Arnold Palmer was tasty until it got ruined with their stupid mix in. I think I'd honestly rather have a Slurpee.

        If the same food was being served at a high end gastropub I'd think it was acceptable. But to be putting out food at these price points on paper plates and plastic utensils with no place to sit is just retarded. A vendor was selling maple lemonade for FOUR DOLLARS. It sounded interesting so I asked for a sample. Nope! They don't offer any. Well your four dollar lemonade can suck my nuts. And so can you, Smorgasburg.

        I won't be going back unless I find no other comparable chola anywhere else.

        5 Replies
        1. re: joonjoon
          Bob Martinez Sep 27, 2013 11:23 AM

          For your video viewing pleasure - 40 people wait on line for a slushie.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=...

          1. re: Bob Martinez
            j
            joonjoon Sep 27, 2013 01:21 PM

            You misspelled lemmings.

          2. re: joonjoon
            squid kun Sep 30, 2013 04:20 PM

            The Bolivian triple pork chola is pretty nice, too. The pickled vegetables and tangy cheese work well with the richness of the meat. I suppose it's smallish in square inches, but it's stacked high and quite filling.

             
            1. re: squid kun
              j
              joonjoon Sep 30, 2013 06:25 PM

              Yeah they're quite generous with the meat on their cholas and pile the toppings impossibly high. Definitely the highlight of Smorg for me.

            2. re: joonjoon
              r
              Remag Oct 15, 2013 02:57 PM

              One of the best and down to Earth critique's. No doubt the vendors are overpriced but let's face it people are dumb & stupid with too much money. Which is why they get away with it.

            3. k
              K2000 May 13, 2012 11:40 PM

              I've only been to Smorgasburg once, it was later in the afternoon and so there weren't long lines. Some of the vendors were winding down. The view was nice. But my biggest reaction was the actual setting... a gravel-filled lot where dust was blowing around everywhere. Why would anybody think that was an appealing setting to prepare (or consume) food?

              1. b
                bklynsausage May 7, 2012 12:59 PM

                Maybe we are taking a nice day in the sun and a great!! view with a snack a bit too serious!!! Just enjoy the view and papusa!!

                Ciao..

                1. j
                  jester99 May 4, 2012 08:31 AM

                  Smorgasburg is okay and sure you can go to other places and get bbq somewhere else that may be significantly better or cemitas in queens, but its a trade off of Convinence of everything you maybe craving, all in one spot. As other suggested, get there around 11-11:30, lines are short becuase hipsters arent awake yet.

                  Also where else can you see how Brooklyn has basically capitalized on the entire condiment market. If Brooklyn was a country, pickles would be its main commodity. (i kid...well mostly)

                  1. chompchomp Apr 23, 2012 01:53 PM

                    Wow, S'burg is really getting a flogging here! It's really not quite so bad. Like anything, there is good stuff and bad stuff. AsiaDog, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Porchetta, Milk Truck and Blue Marble are consistently good. It's nice to be able to see new chefs experiment; and if it's not tasty, I think it rightly fails; saving everyone's money and tastebuds.

                    My personal grouse is that too many of the stands offer primarily meat, cheese, or fried foods. Would love some other alternatives.

                    It's nice to be on the grassy part of the lawn near the sun and see people enjoying themselves. If only there was beer.

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: chompchomp
                      Bob Martinez Apr 23, 2012 02:19 PM

                      I've never heard similar complaints leveled against the vendors at the Red Hook ballfields. I think that speaks volumes.

                      1. re: chompchomp
                        m
                        MarcInSunnysideGardens Apr 23, 2012 02:48 PM

                        Smorgasburg has been nothing but a pleasure, IMO.
                        Some of the food isn't incredible, but plenty of it is excellent.
                        Red Hook Lobster Pound, the doughnuts from Dough, the Blue Markble coffee, etc. Show up at 1pm and stand in line--it's prime time. Instead, show up at 11:30 and Williamsburg hasn't woken up yet. It's a positive scene, I wish it was cheaper, but something tells me the vendors aren't getting rich out there. The idea that it's somehow a net negative in NYC to have something like this, I think that's offbase. I grew up disliking Taste of Chicago because it was endless lines for only OK food. Smorgasburg's food can be very, very good and as long as you show up reasonably early, it's not that crowded and it's a very pleasant scene. Disappointed to see the grumbling here.

                        1. re: MarcInSunnysideGardens
                          jen kalb Apr 23, 2012 07:52 PM

                          I guess I am wondering why the food is so tiny. Just a little bigger wouldnt cost that much more and the amount of grumbling would drop

                          1. re: jen kalb
                            Peter Cuce Apr 23, 2012 09:09 PM

                            I'm not grumbling. Portions seem fine to me.

                            1. re: jen kalb
                              t
                              tex.s.toast Apr 24, 2012 07:15 AM

                              I think there are some unreasonable expectations/views about costs the vendors face. As Bob M notes - the similarities between the cemitas on offer at S'burg vs those in Sunset Park end mostly at the name, and as such i dont know why you would expect the same portion for the price. I, for one, live close enough to SP that i wouldnt dream of ordering a cemita at smorgasburg, but if i lived in the burg and didnt have access to matamoros/pueblo mini mart/el tenampa id think about it.

                              to the expectations about price/portion size, its unfair to assume that because these vendors are outside that they face similar overhead to restaurants located in far-flun ethnic enclaves. food prices in this town are high - thats true everywhere. im pretty shocked by how often locals act surprised by this fact. i ordered a hen of the woods and lamb sweetbread wrapped in proscuitto app at maialino recently and it was like 3 or 4 bucks for maybe two or three bites of food. it was delicious. did i think "hey! some greek guy with a street cart coulda sold this to me for a dollar and doubled the portion size?" no. i thought - if this was sushi id have gotten half as much and paid twice the price, probably without batting an eye. its all about reasonable expectations.

                              I dont make a lot of money, i eat at home a lot and patronize cheaper ethnic options frequently, but when i go out its not surprising that food is expensive. you know those high gas prices you keep hearing about on the national news? even your locavore food probably makes its way from the farm to kitchen to food stall in a gas-powered vehicle, the tractors need fuel and all of that makes producing food expensive. the flip side of "why is it so tiny?" is "why does my sandwich cost 15 bucks. perhaps some scientifically minded entrepreneur should offer their options in two sizes - tiny but "affordable" or regular sized but "expensive" and see what customers prefer.

                              Waiting in lines is lame, as is bad weather conditions. but the price/value proposition at smorgasburg is explicitly designed to encourage tasting, which is why you see small portion sizes (im not defending micro-food, or "false advertising" based on web pics with more lamb than you actually saw going on sandwiches). food in nyc is expensive, expecially when lots of people want it. how this can come as a continual surprise is beyond me.

                              1. re: jen kalb
                                m
                                MK11201 Apr 24, 2012 07:38 AM

                                It wouldn't cost much more for each portion, but would probably cost significantly more for each day.
                                I just don't understand the arguments that the price is too high and the portions are too small and the lines are too long.
                                If the prices were too high, the lines wouldn't be long for what is being called portions that are too small.
                                To the contrary, it seems like most things at Smorgasburg are priced to market, or even below market as vendors run out of many things fairly early in the afternoon.

                              2. re: MarcInSunnysideGardens
                                Miss Needle Apr 24, 2012 07:14 AM

                                Yes, Smorgasburg is a lot better than Taste of Chicago. I've only been there once as it conflicts with my work schedule but thought it was a nice way to spend a couple of hours. Is it expensive for street food? On the whole, yes. One of my pet peeves is that I don't think a lot of these hipster food trucks/stands offer much value. I'm sure the overhead for a truck is less than a storefront. For these stands/trucks that have storefronts, I find that prices are similar. In one case I've actually found the price less at the store than at the truck. But if you choose wisely you can make a pleasant afternoon out of it enjoying the food by the water.

                              3. re: chompchomp
                                j
                                Jack Barber May 3, 2012 07:32 AM

                                Bob, I have always enjoyed and trusted your posts, but I don't get your anger here.

                                Understood that you're not into the artisanal twee vibe -- I personally don't find it prohibitive, but if you don't like it you don't have to partake. (If you do go, I would recommend going early. Right at open. Some vendors are still setting up but for a brief moment there are no lines.)

                                I completely agree with you on the Mighty Quinns -- as I said during this debate last year! -- it's not worthy. (My problem more with the saucing than the actual meat.) But if other people who don't know bbq from a slider want to wait in line 45 min who cares?!?

                                (The cemitas are fine. My mom got one once. She had never had one, and she enjoyed it. But I personally would never get one there when I can get a better and cheaper one any afternoon or evening at the truck on N7 and Bedford. But really there's nothing criminal going there.)

                                There is plenty of other good stuff though. And overall it's a nice scene, in my opinion, which you are tarring with pretty broad strokes. (Did you even eat anything?)

                                Also -- keep in mind that it's happening in a vacant lot that will someday house another unattractive EDGE condo bldg -- no disrespect to the humans who live therein, I just hate the way they look -- so I would say the Smorg is superior land use to the alternative and enjoy it while you can. Or at least live and let live.

                                1. re: Jack Barber
                                  Bob Martinez May 3, 2012 08:04 AM

                                  I don't have "anger" for Smorgasburg, I have *scorn* for the specific places I mentioned. I didn't have to go hunting to find them either. The places I mocked had the biggest lines. They were the most popular.

                                  My post on Smorgasburg wasn't a scientific evaluation. I didn't go up and down the aisles and assign quality/price-value scores to each and every stand. It was based on overall impressions.

                                  I don't doubt that you can get some good things at Smorgasburg (although you'll probably pay through the nose for them.) What comes along with it are plenty of twee vendors and equally twee customers who think they're saving the planet by growing beans in their backyard.

                                  http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7225/6992931710_0c6a9fc0b7_o.jpg

                                  Aside from some well directed scorn I think a lot of this stuff is pretty funny. I am not alone.

                                  http://video.ca.msn.com/watch/video/b...

                                  1. re: Bob Martinez
                                    ChiefHDB May 3, 2012 12:05 PM

                                    Still can't understand the huge line for Mighty Quinn's this past Saturday. Go get a brisket sandwich at tiny little Lonestar Empire on the opposite end of Smorgasburg. Significantly better and far juicier.

                                    1. re: ChiefHDB
                                      Peter Cuce May 3, 2012 10:24 PM

                                      I really like MQ actually. I had their stuff at the Stockton Farmers Market in NJ. Not saying I'd wait in that line, but it is real good.

                              4. Bob Martinez Apr 23, 2012 11:47 AM

                                We went last Saturday on a perfect sunny afternoon. The vendors, and there are a lot of them, are located on a giant white gravel field. The sun glares off the ground. When the wind blows off the river a fine white dust blows over your clothes and into your lungs. You cough. Later on you have to brush off all of your clothes - it takes awhile. Unpleasant all around.

                                Some stuff looked reasonable. In particular a brat vendor had a variety of appealing choices for about $7 or $8 a pop.

                                http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8162/7102725447_c88627f47b_o.jpg

                                OK. I've run out of reasonable things to say. Think about those people who wait on the Shack Shack line in Madison Square Park. Then transport them to Williamsburg and add a dose of self righteous locavorism. Presto. Smorgasburg.

                                There are 20 minute lines to buy a cemita. Little ones for $9. You can get them with southern fried chicken carnitas or angus barbacoa. Obviously they are not going for authenticity here. Maybe the cemitas are good. At least they have some actual Mexicans making them although what passes for the FOH are all Anglos. (FWIW my cemita gold standard is sold at Tacos Matamoros in Sunset Park. It's twice as big and costs $7.

                                )

                                http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8003/6956659848_e62242997e.jpg

                                http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8149/6956660012_469bdc988c.jpg

                                But at least the cemitas looked plausible. The self styled mini-burgers from the Dumont stand did not. They sure had the mini part right.

                                http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7126/6956658174_bdd2a6173c_o.jpg

                                Teensy weensy ones for $6.

                                http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7277/7103498161_9887764481.jpg

                                There was a line with about 30 people on it. Make me wait on it. I dare you.

                                I'm saving the best for last. Mighty Quinn's hand pulled lamb brisket. This picture doesn't begin to do justice to how long the line was. There must have been 50 people standing there patiently in the sun.

                                http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8145/6956656878_e5043172ff_o.jpg

                                The sandwiches could be consumed in 3 bites. At least they were $5 instead of $8.

                                http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7050/6956657186_ca1e9fba2b_o.jpg

                                I walked up to the head of the line because it appeared to be moving especially slowly. Sure enough, I watched someone order a sandwich and then wait 3 1/2 minutes for it. Now it's not like preparing these sandwiches is complicated. They cut two little slices of lamb, put it on a small roll, and pour some gravy on it. The only other thing they sell is bottled water. (On the Smorgasburg website there's a picture of their sandwich which shows a generous thing with four thick slices of lamb. It's a lie.

                                )

                                I walked around the side to watch the meat slicers.

                                http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8012/69...

                                To say they work at a leisurely pace would be giving them way too much credit. They seem to be moving in slow motion. One guy does the actual slicing. As far as I can tell the other guy's job is to provide moral support and to hold up his end of a really funny conversation. They laughed and laughed. Sandwiches got made at a snail's pace.

                                If you want to while away 45 minutes on a sunny April afternoon then the Mighty Quinn line is for you. The sandwich itself will take 90 seconds to eat.

                                We didn't eat anything on Saturday because we had dinner plans. I suspect some of the stuff is decent if you abandon any connection between portion size vs the prices you pay.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Bob Martinez
                                  el jefe Apr 23, 2012 12:09 PM

                                  The OP, "yussdov", wrote similarly. i wrote a three word reply.
                                  Bob, your post is longer so I'll make my reply shorter:
                                  +1

                                  1. re: Bob Martinez
                                    Peter Cuce Apr 23, 2012 03:55 PM

                                    I like Smorgasburg a lot. Best thing I found last weekend was a stall called Noshi selling gorgeously composed Japanese inflected open-faced sandwiches on hard rye bread. They also offer a delicious unsweetened elderflower drink as an accompaniment.
                                    I also like the RH Ballfields, but it's a completely different thing, not really comparable at all. One great thing about S'burg is that it's close to transit and you can walk a couple blocks for some of Williamsburg's other delights, whether they happen to be great cocktails, coffee or just shopping and people watching.

                                    1. re: Peter Cuce
                                      Bob Martinez Apr 24, 2012 08:42 AM

                                      I don't doubt that your sandwich was terrific but you must have noticed that the vast majority of the crowd was far more interested in mini burgers and getting on line for 45 minutes to buy tiny brisket sandwiches.

                                      I'm not saying that all the vendors are bad. I'm sure you can find worthwhile things to buy. But I do think the twee quotient is pretty high.

                                      I think this video speaks for itself. It had me rolling on the floor.

                                      http://vimeo.com/13664547

                                      There's also an entertaining article from last week's NY Magazine entitled "The Twee Party."

                                      http://nymag.com/news/features/artisa...

                                      It includes something I like to call the Cucumber King's Lament -

                                      ----------------------------------
                                      And every remotely ambitious artisan sooner or later finds himself making trade-offs of one sort or another. Early on, Jones had to accept that as a New York pickle-maker he would need to compromise his locavore mission when he discovered that in this region cucumbers grow only three months of the year. “Friends said, ‘Dude, you make pickles. You can’t not produce for three-quarters of the year.’ It was a hard thing to wrestle with in my mind.”

                                      1. re: Bob Martinez
                                        jen kalb Apr 24, 2012 09:49 AM

                                        hilarious! Artisan status aside, lots of folks have stood in line for hears to eat Magnolia Bakery doughnuts. Its not always about the quality or value for money of the food, for sure.

                                        1. re: Bob Martinez
                                          Peter Cuce Apr 24, 2012 10:15 AM

                                          I enjoy the overall experience. I use my Chowdar to pick out the good stuff and ignore the rest. I personally wouldn't wait in a 100 person line for Mighty Quinn, but if others want to, who am I to criticize? I don't understand the hate.

                                    2. j
                                      Jack Barber Nov 10, 2011 08:38 PM

                                      Happened to notice this thread, and find much of the commentary out of useful bounds.

                                      In the event any even-keeled open-minded people are reading it, here's the deal on Smorgasburg:

                                      -- I think Smorgasburg is great. (Btwn it and flea I've probably been 30x past two years. Of course I live nearby.)
                                      -- But not everything at Smorgasburg is great. Or a great value.
                                      -- If you walk around; look at the food; figure out what you feel like eating; what's seems like a decent deal; and use some discretion.
                                      -- You'll have fun and eat some good food.
                                      -- re. the attitude talk, sounds to me like it was BYO. If you don't walk in there with an attitude and you treat people how you like to be treated it's pretty unlikely you'll have a problem.

                                      Definitely worth trying, combine it with a ferry ride if you're a city person, and beers at Radegast or wherever. If you don't like it you don't have to go back.

                                      Specific recs: echo the Bonchovie; Dough Donuts; and both Red Hook vendors. Mile End sandwich is good. Moto pizza is good, and a decent deal (relative to a Motorino type pizzeria). The cemitas and fish tacos are decent (although well short of exemplary). $5 liters of Q tonic. Etc.

                                      For the community members who require / thrive on negativity: I don't think the pulled pork is worthy; and the (famous) sesame noodles have nothing going on. (But both vendors seem like nice people trying their best to put a good product out there, and they're certainly making no killing financially, so it seems unnecessary to denigrate them.)

                                      -----
                                      Smorgasburg
                                      27 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Jack Barber
                                        v
                                        vegivore Nov 11, 2011 12:04 PM

                                        I agree. Smorgasbord (like so many things in life) is what you make of it. If you're expecting something like the red hook ball field markets, you're going to be disappointed. If you want higher end ingredients prepared by a variety of different people in a variety of ways for what I think is a reasonable price, you'll enjoy it.

                                      2. The Chowhound Team Sep 22, 2011 09:43 AM

                                        Folks, there are a lot of personal comments about other hounds being made on this thread. We've tried to remove them where we can to keep things on track, but we'd like to remind everyone that one of the goals around here is to rate chow, not chowhounds. We understand that the original post raised hackles with some generalizations about the crowd at Smorgasburg, but following those up with specific attacks on your fellow hounds for their comments here on the site is not appropriate.

                                        1. MVNYC Sep 20, 2011 04:33 PM

                                          I had been debating whether or not to post about this but I definitely agree with you. i hit up 6 vendors with a friend and found most of what we got to be overpriced and generally pretty bad. It was lots of small or tiny portions of food for way too much money. I could have eaten at a decent restaurant for what I got here and been much more satisfied.

                                          There was definitely that proto typical passive aggressive hipster vibe here too at a lot of the stands.

                                          Too me street food should be cheap and delicious. You don't need expensive hard to source ingredients to make good food. This place and a lot of the newer food trucks sort of defeats the purpose .

                                          I will stick to Red Hook.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: MVNYC
                                            famdoc Sep 22, 2011 08:18 AM

                                            Yussdov and others have done Chowhounders a real service by posting their impressions of Smorgasburg. I haven't been there, but, based upon the sentiments expressed, won't. There are plenty of good places to get an affordable lunch in Brooklyn. And, I, too, find that attitude, which some term a "hipster vibe" to be a turn-off.

                                            Not every review on Chowhound need be a glowing positive. By opening our eyes to the reality of Smorgasburg, you're saving people money and aggravation...and lobbying for better quality and value. Thanks.

                                            -----
                                            Smorgasburg
                                            27 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                                            1. re: famdoc
                                              d
                                              donovt Sep 22, 2011 09:11 AM

                                              I hope more people listen so I don't have to wait on lines when I'm there.

                                              1. re: famdoc
                                                MVNYC Sep 22, 2011 11:34 AM

                                                I normally don't like posting negative reviews about places because I know that there are people who either own them or work for them whose livelihood depends on these jobs. If a place crashes and burns because they have a poor product then so be it but I do not want to contribute to people's problems. There are plenty of people on the internet who seem to take a perverse pleasure in knocking people down a notch for their own ego. Again, schadenfreude is not something I like to have in my life (well except for the Mets).

                                                That said some of what I had there was truly bad. There was a mango salad that was composed mainly of rice paper squares, over ripe mango and a few herbs for $8. I was trying to get something healthy after eating some poorly fried food and small bites of roasted meat. Instead I got an overload of sweet carbs with a minimal amount of fruits or vegetables. Normally a mango salad is done with unripe mango so there is a nice tartness to the dish which is refreshing on a hot day. This was sweet mango and fish sauce without a proper amount of citrus to balance it out. Very poorly executed and very over priced.

                                                There were other poor items as well but that really stood out.

                                                I did like the macaroon guy's stuff and the jerky but that's about it. Plus that disaffected yet holier than thou attitude I can do without.

                                                1. re: MVNYC
                                                  t
                                                  tex.s.toast Sep 23, 2011 04:33 AM

                                                  Thanks MVNYC for posting a constructive negative review. My positive Smorgasburg experience didnt include an order of that mango salad (and if it had i doubt it would have been as positive).

                                                  -----
                                                  Smorgasburg
                                                  27 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                                            2. b
                                              bklynsausage Sep 19, 2011 05:30 AM

                                              I love the concept of good food vendors getting together in a common place. I did not get a really pretentious feeling at least not more than the new Brooklynites in the rest of the area. The food I had was very good of course it cost a little meore that fast food. I had a Dumont Burger for 5 bucks at Mc Dees. a big mac cost 4.50. Need I say more.. The major problem I had is that the ad's say over 100 vendors...not so much. I hope that this is the beginning of a great thing and I hope it keeps improving and demand will drive the price and selection.

                                              Ciao-

                                              1. a
                                                Anicca Sep 18, 2011 06:49 PM

                                                yussdov-

                                                couldn't agree more! it had been on my mind all summer to drop by this place and I did so about a month ago and fled after 10 minutes. High prices, lines, the two things I sampled stunk. The crowd was annoying as heck but did honestly reflect the poseur vibe of that now insufferable neighborhood. Yeccckkkk. NOT goin' back!!!!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Anicca
                                                  t
                                                  tex.s.toast Sep 19, 2011 05:54 AM

                                                  what did you eat and what was so bad about it?

                                                  the lines must not have been too terrible for you to get, and eat, two items in ten minutes before flee-ing (flea-ing?).

                                                2. el jefe Sep 12, 2011 02:21 PM

                                                  Thank you, yussdov.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: el jefe
                                                    a
                                                    apossibleworld Sep 13, 2011 11:29 AM

                                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9z9wUf...

                                                  2. t
                                                    tex.s.toast Sep 12, 2011 10:44 AM

                                                    i guess this means the lines will be one person (two with jeeg) shorter for everyone else.

                                                    You dont like the selection of vendors - thats a fair criticism. You dont think its a good value (thats pretty subjective). You could make everything they sell at home, so why go pay someone to do it (a logic that would effectively end the restaurant business as we know it).

                                                    I found the values to be fair, the portions right for sampling, and the prices, given some judicious choices and sharing - to be about par for that type of experience. you didnt care for your porchetta - cant blame you there, im not a big fan, the bread doesnt suit me and i agree they go light on the meat - but i think its pretty easy (and fun) to put together a sampling from the various vendors.

                                                    As for asking for more meat and getting attitude - everyone was wrong on that one. Would you tell a server in a restaurant who had just brought your entree that you would like a larger steak/more protein, more anything? this kind of attitude (combined with your "i can make it at home" comments makes me think that eating out might just not be for you). obviously they were wrong to handle it without more tact, but aside from offering your money back for the whole sandwich, there is nothing i'd expect from a business owner who has decided what the price should be for a set serving of their product. its not an auction, you pay what they ask and get what they serve, or DONT because its ultimately your choice to patronize, or not, a given establishment. restaurants, generally, don't exist to nourish people - they exist to make money, and while many make efforts to disguise this fact (for the benefit of patrons) to deny it is illogical.

                                                    I like smorgasburg - i can get a greater selection there than at any one place (something i am willing to pay marginally more for, if this is a question of added value). In addition to the dough donuts, the fried anchiovies were great (and priced right for the portion/quality).

                                                    -----
                                                    Smorgasburg
                                                    27 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: tex.s.toast
                                                      s
                                                      SmallGoodThings Sep 16, 2011 03:19 PM

                                                      Hear, hear.

                                                      Smorgasburg is a destination because of the variety and quality of food, and the location (a truly amazing view of the Manhattan skyline). I had a very pleasant afternoon there, and I spent about $15.00, I'd guess. That's about three times as much as I spend on an average lunch, but it was much better than an average lunch.

                                                      I loved the fried anchovies, as well as the pupusa vendor, the biscuits with jam and clotted cream, and the chocolate dipped bananas. I found that there was good value to be had at Smorgasburg, if you're willing to hunt a bit. But value is a function of both price and quality. As much as I love a soggy street hot dog and yellow mustard for $3.50 (And I do. A lot.), a well-seasoned, snappy hot dog made out of sustainably-raised meat with thoughtful condiments for $4.50 is a better value.

                                                      (That said, everyone has her limits: I'd choose a $1.00 char siu bao from a generic bakery in Chinatown over a $9.00 version by David Chang any day of the week...but don't get me started on Momofuku...)

                                                      I hear what you're saying, Yussdov, but I didn't find it pretentious at all -- good food is good food, highbrow or low, and Smorgasburg has both (the Red Hook food vendors aren't pretentious, even if they are serving in W-burg). But it could just be that I chose good vendors with generous servers.

                                                      -----
                                                      Smorgasburg
                                                      27 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                                                      1. re: SmallGoodThings
                                                        s
                                                        starvomarvo Nov 9, 2011 07:57 AM

                                                        Just wanted to chime in with a third on this sentiment - went to Smorgasburg for the first time last weekend and while I didn't think everything I tried was excellent, it was an enjoyable way to spend a an hour or two. More importantly, I didn't observe any pretentiousness either and would hate for people to avoid this experience because of a perceived attitude problem! I am far from a hipster and thought all the vendors I talked to were friendly and enthustiasic about their wares (especially the new lard folks). Foodwise, I loved the fried anchovies and a Dough donut, had an ok empanada, and while I didn't love the cemita, for $9 it would easily have been enough for 3 people...and the folks at that stand were especially friendly! Plus the backdrop is beautiful on a clear day. To my knowledge, the organizers aren't attempting to offer a cheap/"authentic" street food experience, just getting together some like-minded vendors, so why not assess them on that basis? also: aren't the red hook ballfields still around?

                                                        -----
                                                        Smorgasburg
                                                        27 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                                                    2. j
                                                      jeeg Sep 12, 2011 07:30 AM

                                                      I agree that most of the vendors sell overpriced, small portion food. I think the real problem, though, is not with the vendors they have but with the vendors they don't. The existing vendors feel like restaurant folks at a street fair. As you say, theres a total lack of representation of real street food at real street food prices. I suspect if they was such diversity, the exisiting vendors would be pressured to offer a better priced offering. Absent that you have an event that caters to affluent, generally white customers. That may be representational of hipster williamsburg and brownstone brooklyn but not the borough as a whole.

                                                      Of course you dont have to buy anything there or even go. I went a couple of times but havent returned for the reasons you note.

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