10 Ideas for Foodie Street Fairs That Haven't Been Tried Yet

Why not put these babies in a bun?

I had high hopes when I visited the Hester Street Fair on Saturday, but walked away disappointed. While last year's Korean tacos had seemed fashion-forward, this year's meatball sliders seemed hopelessly retrograde -- especially given the proximity of the Meatball Shop, a few blocks distant. Have they no shame?

So I got to thinking. Is it so difficult to find other great choices for street-fair food, or even invent them? Read on and see if I've proved my point.

1. The smoky ground-meat kuftas made in tandoori joints would go really nicely in a bun. Actually better than a hot dog, with a real smoky flavor rather than an artificial one. Dressing? How about spicy yogurt? Doctored ketchup? Mixed Indian pickles chopped fine?

2. A vegetarian barbecue stall that offered seasonal vegetables (this week ramps, green tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, etc.) done over charcoal, with spice rubs or marinades. Offer a mixed-grill basket, too.

3. Serve excellent homemade pâtés in a bed of salad with a choice of mustards.

4. Create, say, four moist, colorful, and well-dressed composed salads representing different cultures, and offer one, two, three, or four, at discount if you get all four: Italy, bread salad; Thailand, ground pork larb; India, bhel poori dressed with tamarind and cilantro chutneys; Germany, bacon and vinegar potato salad with extra bacon.

5. A wurst-o-rama offering a choice of sausages in specially made buns. Signature could be two dissimilar wursts sharing the same elongated bun, with funny historical names. A selection of premium or even homemade mustards could add value.

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