What is it about food festivals that makes people go crazy? For some reason, food from a stand sometimes seems so much more appetizing than a sit down meal, and when you put a ton of those stands together, there will always be a crowd. On October 21, the Grub Street Food Festival took over the Hester Street Fair area to basically create the Hester Street Fair multiplied by ten. Ironically, the food festival was set on a track, with the vendors arranged around it, so you could kind of pretend you were working out…while you were stuffing your face (hey, it cancels out, right)?
The extensive list of vendors was conveniently shown on a vendor map at the entrance, so you could attempt go straight to your favorite food stand without getting distracted by all the other goodies (not something that happened to me). Many of our Couch Sessions favorites were there: Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls made a post-shop closing appearance, Baohaus, Kelvin Natural Slush Co., and much more.
We sampled what our stomachs could hold – a chipotle chicken taco from Brooklyn Taco Company (their Essex Street Market shop has the friendliest workers) , a couple lovely French macarons from Macaron Parlour, a Chairman Bao from the Baohaus stand (sans Eddie Huang, *tear*), and my favorite dessert of any of the dessert stands: a s’mores macaroon from Danny Macaroons.
As a gluten-free girl, I have to say that the selection was amazing, and major props to all the vendors there aware of the various food allergies running around out there in the city. There were gluten-free cookies, popcorn, bread, and even a super-long line for gluten-free mac and cheese that might have given S’Mac a run for its money.
I love a food festival just as much as the next person – just say the words “food festival” and I’m already on my way there. Regarding the Grub Street Food Festival, I have nothing bad to say about it. However, with the whole NYC food festival/vendor/street food craze that’s been going on, I’m left wanting something more. Everything seems to be like a mini-Smorgasburg now, and while I see nothing wrong with that, can’t we find a different spin on the everyday food festival?
Until that happens, there was one thing that made Grub Street Food Festival stand out from the rest – a mini hoe-down was situated in the corner of the fair complete with fiddlers and dancing children. I think we’re onto something here…
To see the full list of vendors at this season’s Grub Street Food Festival, check our their website.