Did you miss last year’s GoogaMooga Festival? Now’s your chance to redeem yourself and believe me, you’ll want to get it on this year’s festivities. Nearly 200 of New York’s best restaurants, breweries and wine purveyors will assemble in the bucolic, Nethermead Meadow in Prospect Park for ticketed, pop-up dinners, like Roberta’s Urban Renaissance Faire, April Bloomfield’s The Spotted Pig Haus (a play on the German beer garden), and Gabe Stulman’s Little Wisco Seafood Boil and BBQ. And oh yeah, there’s major music, too!
Of course, it’s hard to pull off an event of this magnitude without a few starts and stops. Last year, attendees lamented the overly long lines, which resulted in vendors prematurely running out of food. But the Great GoogaMooga’s back for round two this weekend, and more than prepared to feed a capacity crowd. The only real problem is, with over 60 fantastic eateries to choose from, it’s dangerously easy to blow through an excessive amount of cash. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy list to help you eat your way through the fair effectively and economically. We’re especially excited to try inventive Snail Paella from Ken Oringer’s upcoming outpost of Toro in Chelsea, and the gussied-up corn dogs at James in Prospect Heights!
Pok Pok Phat Thai
Address: 137 Rivington Street, btwn Norfolk & Suffolk Sts.
Phone: (212) 477-1299
Andy Ricker is bringing his sought-after Manhattan specialty to the fields of Brooklyn — the Thamadaa noodles from Pok Pok Phat Thai on the Lower East Side. Cooked in rendered pork fat, the thin rice noodles are flavored with tamarind, fish sauce, and palm sugar, then topped with dried shrimp, tofu, egg, preserved radish, garlic chives and bean sprouts.
Address: 85 Tenth Avenue at 15th St.
Phone: No Phone
Chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette are opening a Chelsea outpost of Toro, their popular Boston tapas spot by the end of the summer. But if you can’t wait, you can get your fix this weekend. And if the dish they’re offering at GoogaMooga is any indication (Braised Rabbit with Burgundy Snail Paella, Romesco, and Spring Vegetables), we can look forward to a menu of Barcelona favorites enlivened with seasonal, market-fresh ingredients.
Address: 238 E 14th Street, btwn 2nd & 3rd Aves.
Phone: (646) 669-8889
We adore Chinese steam buns, and Eddie Huang, the bad boy of bao, makes some of the most original. He’ll be offering his new Fried Coffin Bao at the Great GoogaMooga; an oversized fried bao stuffed with double fried all-natural chicken, cilantro, crushed peanuts, Taiwanese red sugar, and chili condensed milk.
Address: 605 Carlton Avenue, btwn Prospect Pl. & St. Marks Ave.
Phone: (718) 942-4255
Serving corn dogs seems an unlikely move for this farm-to-table eatery in Prospect Heights. But don’t think you’ll be getting a Jiffy-coated tube steak on a stick. Chef Bryan Calvert updates the street fair favorite with rich, homemade duck sausage, swathed in buttery, deep-fried cornbread. Enough said.
Address: 201 First Ave, btwn 12th & 13th Sts.
Phone: (212) 533-4121
Although traditional Filipino fare is getting a lot more traction in the city, there still aren’t tons of places to indulge in the tropical cuisine. So be sure to check out the goods at Jeepney, a new East Village gastropub from the Maharlika team. They’ll be serving Pinoy Corn Sliders with bagoong, mayo, queso puti and toasted garlic, as well as Chori Sliders with beef and longganisa sausage, spicy Jufran, and magi aioli. Don’t know what half those ingredients are? Perfect reason to come discover them for yourself.
Address: 432 Sixth Avenue at 10th St.
Phone: No Phone
This standout, high-end burger joint has a cultish following throughout Southern California. But before they debut their first Midtown location (with many more planned throughout the city), we get to preview the goods at the Great GoogaMooga. The restaurant is representing this weekend with a Truffle Burger, an all-beef patty topped with roasted garlic aoli, housemade truffle cheese and a truffle glaze.
This husband-and-wife baking team is upping the ante for the Great GoogaMooga 2013, reimagining their infamous Car Bomb cupcake (a chocolate Guinness stout cake with Jameson whiskey ganache and Bailey’s buttercream), as a sinfully rich parfait. Think Guinness stout brownies layered with Bailey’s ricotta crème, Jameson whiskey chocolate sauce, and a beer nut praline. Yum!
The Meat Hook
Address: 100 Frost Street, btwn Meeker & Manhattan Aves.
Phone: (718) 349-5033
Do you consider lettuce and tomato to be expendable ingredients on a BLT? Then make a beeline for The Meat Hook’s GoogaMooga stand. The Williamsburg butcher shop will be offering house-cured and smoked bacon on a bun, accented with little more than a smear of barbecue sauce and a heap of spicy slaw. The bacon is that good.