Eat: The Manhattan Smorgasburg

Going to Smorgasburg is one of my favourite food-related activities. It's a treat, because to truly make the most of Smorgasburg, you have to dedicate yourself to eating an awful lot of food. It's a day out, because you're leaving Manhattan*. And it's supporting small vendors and wildly creative people, and that's always a great way to behave (especially when filtered through the medium of food). Sometimes we don't have an entire day to play with, though, so my recent discovery that Smorgasburg has decided to spread the love to Manhattan, with a street lined with Smorgasburg vendors down at the South St. Seaport, made my day. My Sunday, to be exact.

Just a little taste of the South St. Seaport Smorgasburg.

Just a little taste of the South St. Seaport Smorgasburg.

Due to Hurricane Sandy last year, the South St. Seaport is still a bit quieter than it would usually be at this time of year. Smorgasburg has branched out to Lower Manhattan to help support this area***, with lots of favourites lined up along Front Street, between Beekman and Fulton. H1 and I headed there for lunch after a quick wander along Piers 15 and 17, and found ourselves spoilt for choice. Obviously, it's far smaller than the actual Smorgasburg, but there's still more than enough amazing-sounding food to keep you indecisively wandering up and down for a good half hour.

We liked the sound of the grilled-cheese variations from Milk Bar, and the pizza from Pizza Moto looked incredible, but what really stymied us was trying to choose between lobster BLTs from Red Hook Lobster Pound, or Asian hot dogs from Asia Dog. We ended up going with Asia Dog, because we haven't yet had our first lobster rolls of the season, and it seemed that we should wait until we've had those before we try any variations. Plus, the Asian hot dogs were small enough that we felt confident we'd have room for dessert – a very important consideration.

Mel and Steve in the front, Sidney in the back.

Mel and Steve in the front, Sidney in the back.

H1 waiting patiently for me to snap a photo before he eats.

H1 waiting patiently for me to snap a photo before he eats.

H1 got the Sidney, with Thai style relish, mango, cucumber, and crushed peanuts, and I eventually decided on the Mel and Steve, which has Asian sesame slaw and spring onions. Despite that fact that there is a bar right there (well played, Smorgasburg) we stuck to water, then chilled in the sunlight and listened to the merry summer sounds of small children fighting. After a rest**** we checked out both gelato carts, then got gelato from the one that offered a sea salt caramel flavour. I combined mine with dark chocolate, and H1 mixed his with hazelnut chocolate. We're different, but we're not that different.

A little more...

A little more...

This is a 'small' (thanks, America). And yes, it's already melting all over my hand.

This is a 'small' (thanks, America). And yes, it's already melting all over my hand.

And that was that for the day. No need to go all out, because we weren't at Smorgasburg proper. It was Smorgasburg mini, if you like, so we kept our lunch mini also*****. While the actual Smorgasburg is obviously the bigger and better version, Smorgasburg mini is a more-than-acceptable Manhattan showing. Let's hope they find a way to keep this going, even when South St. Seaport's back to its normal working self.

*Scarier than it sounds, particularly with the 'free and easy' attitude** of the subways recently.

**Not free, not easy. Sporadic and annoying, actually.

***So they say – although it could well be in reaction to the ever-more-unreliable subway system keeping people stranded in their own borough at the weekends.

****Good meals should always involve a bit of a rest, don't you think?

*****Mini for Smorgasburg, that is – although I'd love nothing more than to eat a huge cup of gelato after every lunch, I don't.