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A Food Flea Market Sets Up in Brooklyn

Liza Queen preparing specialties she learned while living in Vietnam. She is among the vendors who will sell food at Smorgasburg.

COMING Saturday from the folks who unleashed Brooklyn Flea on an unsuspecting universe: Smorgasburg


Robert Stolarik for The New York Times
Liza Queen preparing specialties she learned while living in Vietnam. She is among the vendors who will sell food at Smorgasburg.
COMING Saturday from the folks who unleashed Brooklyn Flea on an unsuspecting universe: Smorgasburg, a conglomeration of about 100 purveyors, including hawkers of handmade food, Greenmarket farmers and cookware vendors, gathering weekly at the East River in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
With pupusas from a Salvadoran immigrant, strawberry-turnip-jam hamantaschen from two young hipsters and B.L.T.’s by the farmers who cured the bacon, this food festival will offer the work of rank newbies, established restaurants with bright ideas and kitchen professionals on a lark.
The organizers hope that Smorgasburg (call it Smorg for short) will become a weekly addiction that ramps up the connection between upstate farmers and city purveyors of high-quality local food, and celebrates the borough’s chauvinism. Eric Demby, a founder and the “curator” of Brooklyn Flea (that anthology of 150 booths of collectibles, vintage clothing, jewelry, arts and crafts and artisanal food that in three years has become an institution) wants Smorgasburg to be “a one-stop culinary clearinghouse and cross-section for folks who are curious about the new Brooklyn.”
Some of the new market’s better-known participants see it as “kind of a laboratory, an excuse to do cool stuff,” said Tom Mylan of the Meat Hook, the Brooklyn temple of butchery. Yes, he will sell grilled sausage, hot dogs and burgers, but also the Ruckus, a weekly specialty “that will be totally random, crazy,” he said.
Other participants include Shorty Tang & Sons, with a reprise of the Sichuan cold sesame noodles Mr. Tang served at Hwa Yuan in Chinatown in the 1970s; and John Husby, a line cook from Momofuku Noodle Bar who, with some friends under the rubric King’s Crumb, will prepare fried chicken (as well as homemade pork sausage, egg and cheese) on biscuits.
Liza Queen, who left her celebrated indie-punk restaurant Queen’s Hideaway in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, to study the cuisine in Vietnam, will open a booth called Queen’s Dahn Tu. It will feature street-food staples like banh xeo (crepes with meat or vegetables) and banh trang tram (shredded rice paper, shredded green mango, fried shallots and hard-boiled quail eggs).
Other Smorgasburgers include La Buena, where Alexandra Raij, of Txikito and El Quinto Pino, will make creamy gazpacho; and Bon Chovie, an all-anchovies-all-the-time stand selling fried fresh anchovies with aioli and lemon.
Among more than a dozen packaged food and baked goods purveyors will be Market Share Outpost, with rotating vendors offering everything from “faux gras” (walnuts and lentils) to vanilla extract and flavored nuts. Cookware will be sold by the Brooklyn Kitchen and others.
While some vendors have reputations, Smorgasburg will mainly be an incubator for unknowns and seat-of-the-pants entrepreneurs introducing their “passion projects,” as Mr. Demby said. “We can bring a big audience to some really small craftsmen.” (The full list is here.)
The Greenmarket farmers are the anchor tenants, he said, “and the drivers of our mission.” So far, close to 20 farmers and other Greenmarket vendors have signed up, said Michael Hurwitz, the Greenmarket director. “We’ve never integrated with prepared-food purveyors on this scale, and we see this as a new hybrid endeavor,” he said. For example, Tenpenny, an offshoot of the intimate Manhattan restaurant in the Gotham Hotel, will offer a medley of summer vegetable dishes, like a flea-market version of its decadently composed vegetable concoction with lemon crème fraîche, ranch powder and caramelized sunchoke crumble.
The Smorgasburg lot, at 27 North Sixth Street, between Kent Avenue and the East River (near East River State Park), will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is the same spot that, since April, has hosted a 150-vendor offshoot of Brooklyn Flea on Sundays. That market will continue, as well as the original Brooklyn Flea on Saturdays at a parking lot in Fort Greene.
Vendors will pay Brooklyn Flea $100 to $200 a day for Smorgasburg booths. As elsewhere, farmers will pay the Greenmarket $60 to $90 a day, and the Greenmarket will pay “a very modest rent,” Mr. Demby said, “since we really want them to be there.”
The Vendors: A List of the Smorgasburg Participants
Here are descriptions from Eric Demby, the organizer of Smorgasburg, of vendors that will be at this new open-air food court in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Most are new, but some have been at Brooklyn Flea before. Smorgasburg will be open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 27 North Sixth Street, between Kent Avenue and the East River (near East River State Park).
Food Ready to Eat
BEP An Nguyen Xuan, who runs a Vietnamese pop-up inside Simple Cafe in South Williamsburg, will be serving banh mi (with barbecue pork), noodles and maybe a few other dishes.
BITE SIZE KITCHEN Connie Sun, a line chef at the Citigroup executive dining room who teaches dumpling-making at Brooklyn Kitchen, will serve her take on Asian street food, like dumplings, banana-ricotta spring rolls, Shanghai-style scallion-shrimp pancakes, yakitori and prawn chips.
BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE Drip coffee, with beans to take home.
BON CHOVIE Nothing but fried and fresh anchovies served with aioli and lemon.
BROOKLYN OYSTER PARTY Kyle Needham, a bartender at the Gibson in Williamsburg and a former wholesale shellfish seller, will be shucking East Coast oysters for less than $3 each.
CEMITAS Danny Lyu makes these Pueblan sandwiches with fried chicken.
KING’S CRUMB A cook from Momofuku Noodle Bar, a Prime Meats bartender and another friend make biscuits with fried chicken, with homemade pork sausage, egg and cheese on biscuit, and with clotted cream and homemade jam.
LA BUENA Alexandra Raij of Txikito and El Quinto Pino, serves her gazpacho blended for creaminess, with an optional extra of fresh crab.
LANDHAUS Arcadian Pastures farm, near Schenectady, makes BLTs with its own bacon from its own pigs. It’ll also sell the bacon.
THE MEAT HOOK Grilled hot dogs, sausages and burgers, and some freeze-packs of the same. It’s promised something called the Ruckus, a weekly random specialty.
MIMI AND COCO NY Grilled Japanese octopus balls with pork sausage, potato and shrimp filling.
NANA’S Frozen chocolate-covered bananas from Cecile Dyer of Pies ’n’ Thighs.
QUEEN’S DAHN TU After leaving her Greenpoint restaurant Queen’s Hideway, Liza Queen went to Vietnam and learned how to make Vietnamese street food. Now she’ll be serving banh xeo (omelet-crepe with meat or vegetables); banh trang tram (shredded rice paper, shredded green mango, fried shallots, hard-boiled quail eggs); and pandan leaf iced tea.
RADISH This Williamsburg shop will make seasonal fresh salads with Greenmarket produce and probably sell some packaged products from the store.
ROB & ANNA’S (Say the name out loud.) Emma Schwartz’s vegan, made-to-order frozen dessert is pure bananas, served with her own raw sauces: raspberry-date coulis, apple-cider syrup and peanut butter-agave-cinnamon.
SEA BEAN GOODS Soup with local ingredients from a young Greenpoint couple.
SHORTY TANG & SONS Sam Sifton has said that when Mr. Tang made sesame noodles at Chinese restaurants in the 1970s, they were the best of their kind. His sons, one of whom cooks at Locanda Verde, try to bring them back.
SPEEDY ROMEO Justin Bazdarich, who has worked with Jean-Georges Vongerichten for 10 years and plans to open a wood-fired restaurant in Clinton Hill this fall, serves fresh mozzarella with pairings like salsa verde; citrus-fruit chile balsamic; fig-honey-almond; and oven-dried tomato-basil.
TENPENNY This Midtown restaurant will serve its popular market vegetables with lemon crème fraîche, ranch powder, and caramelized sunchoke crumble with a rotating cast of vegetables, likely from the Greenmarket.
WEEKEND GIRLS Hamentaschen-style folded wheat dough over fillings like sweet-spicy strawberry-turnip jam, or savory kale and cotija cheese, or cabbage and ricotta.
The following vendors have been regulars at Brooklyn Flea.
ASIA DOG Hot dogs with Asian toppings.
BLUE MARBLE ICE CREAM Organic ice cream from Brooklyn.
BROOKLYN SODA WORKS Small-batch sodas using fresh fruit juice.
CHONCHO’S TACOS Fish tacos, guacamole and more.
CITY ’LASSES SWITZEL, an old-time molasses-based beverage.
COUNTRY BOYS A Red Hook ball-field vendor with Vendy-award-winning huaraches and quesadillas.
DOUGH The Clinton Hill doughnut shop.
MILE END This Canadian-Jewish restaurant from Boerum Hill serves brisket at the Flea, but will add other products at Smorgasburg.
PEOPLE’S POPS Greenmarket ice pops.
PIZZA MOTO Pizza from a handmade portable brick oven.
PORCHETTA Roast pork sandwiches from Sara Jenkins.
RED HOOK LOBSTER POUND Lobster rolls, hot and cold.
SCRATCHBREAD A local baker with interesting twists on classic loaves, sticky buns, etc. Plus, a topping of the day on toast.
SOLBER PUPUSAS A well-known vendor from the Red Hook ball fields.
Packaged Foods and Baked Goods
ANARCHY IN A JAR Local jam-makers.
BEAN-IN An art collective that stages bean-based temporary restaurants in Brooklyn and San Francisco and sells heirloom beans and bean recipes.
COURS LA REINE Macarons from Taryn Garcia.
DA VINE PROVISIONS the mini-grocery next to Donna Da Vine wine shop in Boerum Hill, will be at the market every other week selling salts and flavored oils and vinegars, as well as antipasti from L’Epicurien.
GRANOLA LAB Granola in flavors like coffee-chocolate-hazelnut, cranberry-cashew-clove, ginger-molasses-raisin and tamarind-walnut-dried banana.
GROWN IN BROOKLYN Barry’s Tempeh, locally made.
MARKET SHARE OUTPOST Vendors from a soon-to-open Greenpoint kitchen-incubator space will rotate through this booth with products like raw coconut bites, flavored nuts, “faux gras” (walnuts and lentils), and sausages and meats.
PIE BIRDS Pies with whole wheat and regular crust, as well as pies on a stick, mostly with fruit fillings, plus a peanut butter-chocolate version.
PONTCHARTRAIN PRALINES Traditional and experimental New Orleans-style pralines: rum, chocolate-bourbon, cashew-coconut-jaggery-curry leaf.
RIO GRANDE ORGANICS Organic Texas pecans.
SAVORY SPICE SHOP Spices, extracts and a few sauces.
SCHOOL HOUSE KITCHEN Mustards, spreads, chutneys and vinaigrettes, with some proceeds going to public schools.
SIR KENSINGTON’S Artisanal ketchup.
SKIMKIM Kimchi; an Asian green-goddess dressing-marinade-tenderizer; Bloody Kim Jong-il mix (a Korean-flavored bloody mary juice); and kimchi butter.
SOCIAL EATS A French pastry called the canele: a mini crème brûlée-bundt cake with a dense-gooey cake middle.
STEVE’S KEY LIME PIE Pies to take home, with single-servings on site.
SUN NOODLE An Asian noodle-maker from Hawaii that has sold mostly wholesale and to Asian restaurants and chefs. It will sell noodles starting June 11.
TABLE TALES Conchetta’s Sunday Gravy: a chunky pasta sauce with sausage and other kinds of meat. To take home in quarts, or in $5 bread boats.
TIN MUSTARD Whole-grain straight-ahead mustard.
The following vendors have been regulars at Brooklyn Flea.
BROOKLYN BREW SHOP Home brewing kits.
EMPIRE MAYONNAISE The chef Sam Mason’s new mayo business. He also serves a special item to go with it every week: fries, sandwiches, etc. One week he had emu-egg mayo.
FLOUR CITY PASTA A Syracuse organic pasta-maker.
FRGALI A young Czech couple from Brooklyn make pie-style pastry with sweet cheese and raisins, or pear and icing, by the slice or the pie.
KINGS COUNTY JERKY Pasture-fed beef jerky.
KOMBUCHA BROOKLYN Growlers and bottles.
MOMOFUKU MILK BAR + FRIENDS Milk Bar staples, plus items by employees, including preserves, rosemary-plum tarts and artisanal P.B.J.’s.
MORRIS KITCHEN Artisanal syrup, mostly ginger and apple, for cocktails (which are sold to many “serious” bars).
Q TONIC A Dumbo-based tonic-water and ginger-ale producer.
SLANT SHACK JERKY Vermont beef jerky maker.
THE STAND NY Local syrups.
THISTEA East Village bubble-tea cafe that also sells loose tea.
THIS ‘N’ THAT JAM Preserves, including cardamom-honey pepita butter (like almond butter), onion jam, grapefruit marmalade, carrot jam and apple butter.
WHIMSY AND SPICE Interesting baked goods like chocolate-chile-cashew biscotti, brown-sugar ginger spice shortbread, cardamom marshmallows and Earl Grey sandwich cookies.
BETH’S FARM KITCHEN Jams, preserves, chutneys and pickled vegetables from Columbia County, N.Y.
BODY AND SOUL Baked goods and prepared foods from Manhattan.
BROOKLYN GRANGE Vegetables from a rooftop in Queens.
CONSIDER BARDWELL FARM Goats’ and cows’ milk cheeses from Rutland County, Vt.
DIVINE BRINE Pickled products and chutneys from Suffolk County, N.Y.
GRADY’S FARM Vegetables from Dutchess County, N.Y.
HEALTHWAYS FARM Vegetables from Ulster County, N.Y.
HOT BREAD KITCHEN Multiethnic artisanal breads and tortillas from New York City.
HUDSON VALLEY DUCK Heritage-breed ducks and duck products from Sullivan County, N.Y.
JERSEY FARM Vegetables, herbs and fruit from Hunterdon County, N.J.
KING FERRY WINERY Wine from Cayuga County, N.Y.
LAVENDER BY THE BAY Fresh cut, dried and potted lavender and honey from Suffolk County, N.Y.
NATURE’S WAY FARM Honey and candles from Chemung County, N.Y.
RED JACKET ORCHARDS Fruits, juices and preserves from Ontario County, N.Y.
RONNYBROOK FARM DAIRY Yogurt, butter and ice cream from Columbia County, N.Y.
ROAMING ACRES Ostrich and emu eggs and meat from Sussex County, N.J.
TRUCK FARM A mobile farm.
BROOKLYN BOWLS Craig Diamond makes handmade bowls and spin tops on a vintage English lathe, using some woods from reclaimed Brooklyn logs, etc.
THE BROOKLYN KITCHEN Cookware, utensils, etc.
COMMON GOOD An organic cleaning-liquid maker from Williamsburg.
SPROUT WELLNESS Adina George from Greenpoint makes small-batch skin-care products using many food-based ingredients. Recently featured on Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop blog.
Community Groups
ETSY A booth for Etsy sellers who make housewares, aprons, small foods, etc.
FOOD AWARENESS A booth for various food-awareness groups, including Slow Food, Just Food and the Brooklyn Food Coalition.
MOOMAH This TriBeCa play space founded by Tracee Stewart (Jon Stewart’s wife) will have weekly collage and interactive children’s activities.
KICKSTARTER A crowd-sourced fund-raising organization.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: May 21, 2011
An article on Wednesday about Smorgasburg, an open-air food market in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to be open on Saturdays beginning this weekend, misstated the market’s street address. It is at 27 North Sixth Street, not North Street.
A version of this article appeared in print on May 18, 2011, on page D3 of the New York edition with the headline: A Food Flea Market Sets Up in Brooklyn.

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