Smorgasburg Saturdays

Liza Queen's Danh Tu StandI went this past Saturday to visit the new food-only market from the Brooklyn Flea that opened about five blocks from my apartment. I went by to take it all in, survey the options, and try Liza Queen's offerings. I had read all about her years ago when she was running the Queen's Hideaway in Greenpoint, but unfortunately it closed before I had a chance to eat there. Now, that she was back in Brooklyn cooking Vietnamese, I amazed myself by resisting the mac-and-cheese stand right next to hers, and stuck to my plan. Radish stand The market is one part prepared food stands, one part Greenmarket, so after you eat lunch you can grab a pint of strawberries or a bunch of rhubarb on your way home. I love the idea of combining these two things in one place. It's also in a giant lot on the Williamsburg waterfront, where you can take your food to the park next to it and sit and stare at the skyline along the East River while you polish off your meal. Mimi&Coco


Gazpacho stand!

PeanutButterJellified and ScratchBread stands

There were way too many things to sample in one trip. I plan on heading over to Smorgasburg every Saturday I am in the city this summer, where I will try to find a new dish or product to highlight for you. This is a really exciting market. Go hungry.

Switzel Stand

Reasons to drink Switzel

Highlights this trip:

I ate a refreshing Vietnamese cold noodle dish: Bun Thit Nuong at Danh Tu

I sampled some delicious local oatmeal: Ultimate Organic from Farm to Table

I purchased my favorite artisan jerky: Korean Beef - Kings County Jerky Co.

I learned about the health benefits of a Switzel: Black Tea Switzel at City'Lasses

Let me know your favorites as I can't wait to go back and try many more. Word of caution, mid-day this place is packed. Do not try to take photos, stand in line for ice cream and eat your last purchase all at the same time.

I'm no good without my morning coffee

I am a lucky girl. I had the really hard assignment of going to review my local coffee shop, Oslo, this past Sunday with Hagan of 93 Plates.  So basically that meant walk around my corner for a cup of coffee (earlier than I'm used to, which made the coffee more enticing) and sample a few of their pastries. I was pretty psyched to learn a bit more about a place that's part of my daily routine and that I already loved. Yes, read on for more of this unbiased review.

This coffee shop is one of the reasons I love my neighborhood. Williamsburg, Brooklyn is one of the only "gentrified" neighborhoods in all of the five boroughs without a Starbucks or other chain coffee shop. We've got several seriously better options anyways, so it's definitely not something that people around here are missing. Unless you like ordering venti-double-shot-half-caff-soy-sugar-free-caramel-flavor lattes. In which case you should be shot, but I don't advocate violence on this blog (I'm KIDDING).

The reasons to love this place actually have nothing to do with anti-chain coffee store sentiments. They're more taste-based reasons rather than business-model related. They roast their own beans locally in Williamsburg. There are several types all named after Viking Gods. Thor, the house-blend drip coffee is a mix of 5 different types of beans, Freya is a dark roast, and Odin is their espresso blend. I usually get a cup of regular coffee, or a cafe au lait. I'm a big fan of the Thor blend. (and yes, for you comic geeks out there, there is a Marvel comic by the name of Thor which I have seen floating around the store). Hagan ordered a cafe Breve, which as I learned is made with cream in place of milk. I was a little jealous that his came with the pretty latte art. This is not the place you come to for brunch, but they do have some delicious croissants and muffins. We had a zucchini-peach-pecan muffin, which was much better than it sounds. It was similar in taste to a ginger cake with bits of peaches. And the croissants are always solid too. They come in daily so they're not those saran-wrapped faux-croissants that are similar to rolls. I just couldn't deal with that in the morning.

Oslo is a great place to stop for coffee if you're visiting the neighborhood and a great institution if you live here. Mornings are not so bad after all.

Oslo Coffee 133-B Roebling Street or 328 Bedford Street, Williamsburg, Bklyn 11211