Coming to Smorgasburg: Barbecue, Chorizo Sandwiches, and Alan Harding's Rice Balls
A chorizo sandwich, inspired by London's Borough Market and headed for Smorgasburg
"Smorgasburg," Eric Demby says, "is in this Darwinian phase: We're trying out lots of people. It's a little bit survival of the fittest." The market's evolving list of vendors is producing some new faces this weekend and beyond, and its founder got in touch to let us know who we can expect to see. Suffice to say, there's a lot to see.
A vegan pastry army from Electric Blue
Demby estimates that 300 vendors have applied for a spot at Smorgasburg, which launched on the Williamsburg waterfront almost a month ago. While some of their ideas, Demby says, feel "like an Onion headline," plenty of applicants have made the cut thanks to innovative products and the business sense to accompany them.
This weekend, 95 of them will be at Smorgasburg to ply you with food and drink. Among them will be Alan Harding, who was most recently seen closing down Hot Bird Food Truck. At Smorgasburg, the Brooklyn restaurant impresario will debut what he's calling "locavore-driven rice balls" under the name of Four Pi R Squared.
Harding was inspired, Demby says, by the recent closure of Joe's Superette, which was known for its deep-fried prosciutto-stuffed rice balls. Harding's version will be decidedly more upscale -- expect the likes of sweet potato, split pea, and spinach basmati balls with cilantro chutney and toasted coconut, served on a watercress and cabbage slaw with Dijon vinaigrette.
There will also be a nod to London's Borough Market courtesy of Bocata, a collaboration between Alex Clark, the owner of the East Village's Ost Café, and Nicolas Carr, a Brit who once worked at the market. They'll be paying homage to the Borough's famed chorizo sandwiches, which, Demby says, are "almost like the pupusas of the Flea: street food on a pedestal." Bocata's version will feature imported Spanish chorizo on Sullivan Street bread.