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Oct 28, 2013 07:40 AM

Sunday Doubleheader: New Amsterdam Market and Pickle Day

Yesterday's banner day of serious NYC food events was one for the ages.

A walk-through of "Pickle Day" on ancient Orchard Street was a sunny stroll of salty specialty sampling, including Pickle purveyors old-school and new with their generous hand-outs and wares for sale. Kudos to the organizers for bringing this event back from hiatus! More than a handful of new-age food vendors were sprinkled into the mix. Best buy of the day was an exquisitely-made "blackened goat" taco from the Brooklyn Taco folks. As in previous years, early arrival is recommended...learned that lesson from the parking lot venue a couple of years ago.

After the pickle-fest, made my way down the Lower East Side and under the FDR to less intense, crowded nonetheless, New Amsterdam Market - in front of the ultra-historic Fulton Fish Market building on South Street. Hey, sure it's the hip(ster)est of places on the scale of Smorgy and Flea, but quality prevails here in every regard. Can't believe I got there too late for the tuna-butchering demo and boozy oysters from Maiden Lane, but DID snag the last almond croissant from Runner & Stone and some uniquely luscious dried Golden Raisins from the couple at Little Wrinkles. OMG, they also had a home-made "black cake" special...moist and rich, it rocked!

Hard to believe this market and enclosure could be doomed by development. There was also "Taste of The Seaport" right around the corner. Too full, but the wursts and bretzels looked good. Noticed a group of Green Bay Packers-clad customers adding a touch of authenticity.

Just curious, anyone else make any great discoveries and have recs for future reference?

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  1. I also wanted to try something at "Taste of The Seaport", but they were selling tickets from minimum five tastings for $35. It was too much for me because I already ate a lot at the nearby "New Amsterdam Market", so I just skipped it.

    1. I went to the same two events in reverse order. I got to the New Amsterdam Market right when it opened, and came away with some excellent scallops, a monkfish tail, and Jasper Hills Willoughby cheese, which is fantastic.

      I love the Pickle Fest, but not one of the vendors was unfamiliar to me, so I was a little disappointed. A few years back it was held in a parking lot rather than on Orchard Street, and it felt a lot less claustrophobic that way. In contrast, the recent Grub Street/Hester Street Food Fair was all spread out on the courts, making it a pleasant place to stroll (at least until the cronut line started to form).

      1. Mike,

        Thanks for mentioning the probable demise of the New Amsterdam market, which is my favorite of the regular markets. It's never crazily busy, and the set-up encourages interaction not only between the patrons and vendors, but between the vendors, themselves. Liz Guttman, the co-owner of the great Liddabit Sweets, says that this community feel is why they continue to come, even though they are so busy with the launch of their store in the Chelsea Market.