Saturday, May 17, 2008

9th Avenue Food Festival!

I spent this lovely afternoon wandering up and down 9th Avenue, taking in the food festival that's going on today and tomorrow. While there were the "usual suspects" at this street fair, the cool part is that a lot of the little restaurants on 9th set up booths or outdoor seating areas, so it feels more neighborhoody than the normal street fair fare. I didn't eat much this afternoon (most street fair food is a no-go for my digestive system), but I did get a bunch of good pictures, so consider this photo essay your encouragement to make your way over there tomorrow.

The first thing I saw was the Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies truck; they were selling mini pies topped with whipped cream.

Don't be shy, eat the pie!

Next up was the Mitchell London Foods booth. They had a bunch of delicious-looking baked goods, including mini cupcakes that have been on my to-eat list for a while:

Mitchell London Cupcakes with mini-brioche sandwiches

Mini creme brulees

Interesting-looking carrot cake...mmmmm

Amy's bread had a booth! I love Amy's bread... now THEY have some good cupcakes.

Amy's Bread, with happy employees and enticing treats

This booth puzzled me... do they actually sell people like me on pita? A non-meat-eater sandwich?

I wonder how much I cost?

Next: one of my favorite booths of the fair. I don't know if the Sweet Chef Southern Styles Bakery has an actual storefront anywhere-- I've never seen one-- but they had a comprehensive array of pies for sale, including key lime (my favorite), apple, and a bunch of others.

Southern cookin'

They also sold the cutest thing at the entire fair: mini pecan pies.

I bought two of these, for my brother and his friend.

The Poseidon Bakery had a large and loud booth there. I haven't eaten at Poseidon, but I've heard their Greek pastries are worth the trip. They have really weird hours so often when I pass them on the way back from work they're closed. One day, though, I'll make it over there for some baklava.

Poseidon's enthusiastic workers

Greek offerings

Another local favorite: The Little Pie Company.

A local institution on 43rd Street

They were selling slices of their pies and cakes. I've heard TLPC also makes a really good carrot cake, which was among their by-the-slice offerings today. Damn my stomach-- there were so many enticing things to eat...

Squares of carrot cake among chocolate and fruit pies

As you can imagine, there were several non-vegetarian-friendly booths scattered among the smoothies, crepes, and baked goods. I include a few photos herein for the meat-eating-readers.

Greek-ish street food...

...including a big 'ol pile of turkey legs

Of course, there were the obligatory knockoff lingerie booths. Um, right?

What's up with this?

All this food ogling was making me hungry. I was right around 44th street, which meant I was near Lenny's sandwich shop. Normally this wouldn't be significant, but as of a few weeks ago, Lenny's became home of something I've wanted to try for a while: Yolato!!

The Yolato machine inside Lenny's

I ordered a small cup of Yolato. It was pretty expensive (more than $4), but they gave me a decent amount.

Yolato with unnecessarily wasteful lid

The fro-yo had the distinctive pinkberry-esque tang, but it was much more creamy. It had a thick texture and was less melty than 40 Carrots was-- it held the dispenser ridges quite admirably.

You can sort of see the texture...

More textural fro-yo porn

Of course, once I dug down into it, there was the telltale fro-yo hole in the middle. But that's okay, from a stomach-space standpoint, at least. This was quite a lot of Yolato for one girl to handle.

Merely a shell of itself...

I polished that baby off while sitting at the window watching the crazy people of New York take in the street fair. That was some gooooood Yolato. I'd definitely get it again.

And... done.

Needless to say, I was now freezing cold, so I stopped at the Starbucks across the street for a fortifying hot tea. Then I was back into the fray.

Question: What do you get when walking around Barbados in uncomfortable shoes?


Sorry. I had to.

Oooookay. Back to the action: Right after finishing my snack, I passed this booth: Fruitberry frozen yogurt. Part of me wished I hadn't had the Yolato so I could have some, but the rest of me thought the name was so ridiculous I shouldn't encourage such a product by purchasing it. I mean, come on, Fruitberry?

Aren't berries a sub-genre of fruit?

The Hallo Berlin cart was there, right in front of the new location on 9th.

Want some wurst?

Right across the street was Uncle Nick's Greek restaurant. This was a pretty raucous booth as well.

Greek food and millers-about

Public Service announcement: Uncle Nick's was roasting an entire pig on a spit. This is gross to me, but some people like that sort of stuff, so here's a pic:


There was also a stand selling knockoff bloomin' onions. Seriously, about one out of every two or three people at this fair was walking around with one of these enormous things. If fried onions are your thing, check it out.

What, no "flowering onion"?

And of course, there was a dude with an enormous snake, letting people take pictures with it. Um, obvi.

Eating street food always makes me crave... snake?

So that's my roundup. There were innumerable other booths, of course, but I'm only one person with limited camera space. For the rest, go check it out tomorrow. Go with an empty stomach and a full wallet and you won't be disappointed!

Join this sea of people! See how happy they are?

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