Flea Eats

Thank goodness October is here. I love this month. I’ve always gotten excited about Halloween and scary things, fall weather, leaves changing, pumpkins and hearty slow-braised Dutch Oven dinners and soups. Sadly I haven’t had the time to cook or bake much at all since I moved here. I’ve made simple salads or pasta dishes on occasion for dinner—nothing very exciting. I miss it terribly and need to just try harder to make time for it because cooking/baking are my release and they make me happy and those are important things. I’m eager to make chili and ragu and pho and pumpkin cupcakes…

So while I haven’t been eating many exciting things at home, I’ve been lucky to be around amazing food every weekend, in Brooklyn. I have this awesome weekend job, working at the Fort Greene and Williamsburg Fleas (though I am about to just do Fort Greene). I sell insane sweet and savory baked goods by Heather Bortnem, a very talented baker who works at Commerce Restaurant. She’s a rockstar. She makes pretzels, pretzel dogs, tartines, muffins, danish, pop tarts, baguettes, sourdough, english muffins, olive sticks and more (and one of my favorites—aptly named “The Good Roll,”) which is like a lard roll. It’s very Italian and it’s essentially a yeasty, doughy ball with oozy provolone and parmesan and it’s studded with salami and Italian sausage. I mean come on, how can you fail with something like that? You can’t. People go crazy over her stuff. It’s fun selling it to them.

I get to meet nice people from France and New Zealand and Ireland and am always entertained by hipsters in silly clothes and I get to see things like this…

and this…

and this…

I also have excellent neighbors, like Cornelius, who makes and sells dresses, is always effortlessly stylish and has one of the most infectious smiles and laughs I’ve seen/heard. He gets just as excited about the food at the flea as I do.

Jonathan is my other Saturday vendor neighbor and he works for McClure’s Pickles. He’s an actor and the nicest guy. He’s going to be in a musical about Dusty Springfield in a couple months, which I find awesome.

Anyhow, here are some of the delicious goodies and favorite Flea eats of mine:

A brisket sandwich with jalapeños, pickled cucumber and homemade bbq sauce and some killer mustard-based potato salad, Texas style, from Lonestar Empire (also at the Flea). Best brisket anything that I’ve ever had. Hands down.

This vibrant dish has become a favored lunch staple for me on Saturdays. It’s the mozzarella salad, from Speedy Romeo’s and it is divine. It’s one of those dishes were all of the elements are there, fusing together in perfect harmony, doing a happy dance on your tongue. It consists of rich, creamy homemade buffalo mozzarella, red, green and orange chiles (for a little heat), cucumber (for a little cool and crunch), torn basil, buttery-acidic heirloom tomatoes (that melt in your mouth), salsa verde, olive oil, sea salt and a fresh squeezing of lemon juice. I like to break off chunks of Commerce’s baguettes to sop up the delicious juices. Oh and also, it’s just $3. (Vendor perks) ; )

-A Concord Grape Shaved Ice from People’s Pops (at the Williamsburg Flea). People’s Pop has been my neighbor on Sundays and all the guys who work there are awesome and always keep me immensely entertained.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Flea Eats

  1. Barry

    Nice writing (and self-eding), Hayley. Good photos too.

    You are quite the Brooklyn bon vivant. Enjoy the City life while you can.

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