Update June 2010: in June 2009 I switched to eating gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free refined-sugar-free and nearly vegan, so this review predates the switch (by almost a year). I have not been to the Brooklyn Flea recently since I no longer live in Brooklyn, so I do not know how allergy-friendly the food options are at this point.
So if you are a tweep on twitter (where you can find me under
@citygirllife @citylifeeats) you may have seen I have gone to the Brooklyn Flea almost every weekend for the last month. It’s just under a mile’s walk from where I live, but really, it’s because I had to keep going back for the yummy food there (and so did my husband, fortunately). Yes, I have forsaken brunch for flea market food. Besides, it’s too hot for omelettes and pancakes.
And then there’s Red Hook Food Vendors. This is some of the most authentic Latin American food I have found in New York. The pork huarache (see picture on left) is a burst of flavors — the meat is clearly marinated for a long time before being cooked, and covered with yet another layer of sauce, before being put into a large tortilla with beans, cilantro salsa, spicy hot salsa, cheese and lettuce. And it’s delicious and addictive. You will want one of their limeades to go with it.
I also tried their tacos, which is a miniature version of a huarache without the beans. A taco is probably a better bet if you are not splitting the huarache with someone, as those are very filling. There are also vegetarian huarache and taco and quesadilla options.
If you are a vegetarian, though, I highly recommend trying the zucchini pupusa (see picture on right). A pupusa is a thick stuffed tortilla — I tried both the pork and the zucchini, and the zucchini was by far the winner. My picture of it is only ok, but check out this post from Serious Eats. There are some great pictures of several other Brooklyn Flea market foods, including a blondie, which I keep forgetting to get a picture of when I go to the Flea.
The Flea is worth a quick trip on Sundays, even if you are visiting New York from out of town. In fact, there used to be a Chelsea Flea Market, which closed a couple of years ago, and this is its newest version. It’s a quick trip to Brooklyn on several subway lines because it is so close to one of the main hubs, Atlantic Avenue.
Also, since some of the foods are served in styrofoam containers, I try to bring along a couple of paper plates instead, but I only remember to about half the time.
General Disclosures & Disclaimers