Another Weekend at the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival

Whether or not you like NYC street fairs, this one--to me--is the season's must-attend. Not only does it showcase businesses and organizations in my neighborhood (amidst the sadly usual corporate sausage-and-peppers and grilled corn stands), but it's also just damn fun. When else can you grab a beer and an empanada, sit in the middle of Ninth Avenue, and watch and meet so many different kinds of people?

This year's prize for the most truly international dishes at the food festival: Kumgangsan's bulgogi tacos and burritos. Though the restaurant's not a Hell's Kitchen place (the closest location is in Koreatown on 32nd Street and boasts a white piano perched on a waterfall), its stand stood out for food preparation demonstration and salesmanship--free samples were encouraged, and they were happy to explain what everything was...even if we couldn't really understand.

I tried a taco. Kimchi + bulgogi (Korean barbecue) + veggies + tortilla + cheese = oddly yummy. While the cheese was a bit weird, it was the tastiest--and probably healthiest--dish I tried at the festival.

A few other highlights:

I had to pick up a Bahamian-style conch fritter from Myrna's Caribbean Cuisine, since they were one of my favorite things to eat on my childhood trips to Nassau. I was happy--it was unusually flavorful and served with a side of nicely-spicy scotch bonnet sauce.

One of the neighborhood's Democratic organizations was serving up ceviche in style.

Makers and model show off one of the festival's popular balloon hat creations (while Mr. Suit tries to comprehend).

No comments: