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Munching Away at Hester Street Fair Opening Day

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This past Saturday, I went over to the Hester Street Fair with a friend. It was on its opening day for the season and we were looking forward to checking out all the vendors that would be there, not to mention all the food too!

We arrived nice and early, and after making an initial walk through the fair, we were ready to eat! There was so many yummy options to choose from, but here’s what we ate.
First Stop was Arancini Bro’s. Their risotto balls are made with arborio rice, filled, and then deep fried. They had three savory balls: Ragu, Spinach and Ricotta, and Chicken and Fontina. They also had a sweet one filled with Nutella chocolate and cinnamon sugar. My friend picked Ragu, which was filled with ragu meatsauce, peas, mozzarella, and saffron. The risotto ball looked so nice and crispy on the outside. You can see the creaminess of the arborio rice once you pull it apart. Looks so yummy, but too bad I had to pass on this one. No cheese for me.


Next Stop, more balls!. Since I couldn’t have risotto balls, we went for some Mighty Balls, not yo mama’s balls. Their gourmet meat balls can be enjoyed in three easy steps.
Step 1: Choose your ball: Pork or Beef
Step 2: Choose your sauce: Cranberry horseradish, Not your average brown sauce, African onion, Jalapeno jelly
Step 3: How do you like it? Slider (one ball, on a slider bun), Just the balls (three balls in a bowl), Hero (three balls in a roll)
We ordered Just the balls on a tray – two beef and one pork, topped with Cranberry horseradish, Not your average brown sauce, and Jalapeno jelly, one on each ball.
Those were some tasty meatballs and the sauces were great – it’s so hard to just pick one. While we were eating, we couldn’t stop thinking about that Schweddy Balls skit from SNL.

Then it was time for a Bao! so we walked over to Fresh Ginger Ginger Ale and Bao by Bruce. Along with their natural ginger root ale, Bruce served up some steamed Berkshire pork buns and wheat edamame buns too. We just had to get our hands on the Berkshire pork buns! Tasty!

We were not quite ready for dessert yet and wanted to pick up one more good eat. We couldn’t get our eyes off those two huge claypots at Brooklyn Taco Company. In one pot was their Lightly Chipotle’d Chicken (Chicken braised in light Chipotle broth, Tomato and Red onion Salsa). While in the other, was their Chilorio Brisket (4-hour braised Brisket in a Chilorio Sauce).
We happily ordered the braised brisket taco, since it was listed on TimeOutNY’s top 26 tacos! We asked for a dairy-free one, with no cheese or sour crema. The meat was so juicy and flavorful. The salsa had sweet pineapple chunks and went really well with the meat and chilorio sauce.

Yes, now it was time for dessert. It was a hot sunny day and shaved ice sounded like a perfect dessert. I’ve heard good things about The Shaved Ice Shop and their Bao Bing (Taiwanese shaved ice), so we were excited to try. It was quite neat watching the ice machine in action as it tackled the large block of ice. We opted for the mango sorbet and picked our three toppings: strawberry, mango, and mochi. The Bao Bing was then finished with a light drizzle of condensed milk. So refreshing and delightful, and lots of fun to eat, although I had to work my way around the milk!

Other food happenings at Hester Street Fair:

  • King’s County Jerky shared samples of their grass-fed handcrafted beef jerky.
  • Dolce Nonna shared samples of their all-natural food products including marinated peppers, pickled eggplants, pickled string beans, and succulent spiced pears. I tried a piece of the spiced pears and it was really good and had just the right amount of sweetness to it. I’ll have to buy a jar next time. It would be perfect on waffles or in a dessert.
  • We tried a tiny cup of matcha tea from Wellnista Signature Blends and enjoyed the aroma of her custom blends of teas.
  • Herbin Spoonful shared samples of their gourmet caramels toppings, available in flavors like habanero, lavender, and chai.
  • Melt Bakery had three of their artisanal ice cream sandwiches: Belle (peach ice cream with brown butter shortbread cookies), Lovelett (red velvet whoopie pies with cream cheese ice cream) and the Classic (vanilla ice cream with chocolate chip walnut cookies).
  • Macaron Parlour had 16 innovative flavors of their colorful and gorgeous French macarons, like red velvet, candied bacon with maple cream cheese, pistachio with morello cherries, and thai chilli, to name a few.
  • Girl Next Door Baked Goods sold and offered samples of their brownies and cookies, which had awesome names like “Husband Bait” and “Stuck on you”.
  • First Prize Pies sold mini and large versions of her signature pies, like Rhubarb Frangipane Pie, S’mores Pie, and her new Bits & Pieces Cinnamon Sugar Pie.
  • Roni-Sue sold lots of chocolate covered goodies.
  • Lucky Penny Bake Shop had cute little packaged shortbread cookies and chocolate chip cookies.
  • Wonder City Coffee and Donut Bar served pour-over coffee and donut holes. The coffee smelled amazing.
  • Sigmund Pretzelshop sold their artisanal pretzels, available in normal size and jumbo size.
  • La Newyorkina Mexican Paletas sold their signature Mexican ice pops, available in flavors like mango-chile, cucumber-lime and horchata
  • La Crêpe C’est Si Bon prepared crepes and Cheeky Sandwiches sold their New Orlean style sandwiches.
  • An Choi sold their Vietnamese banh mi.
  • Fat Radish heated up mini pot pies.
  • Luke’s Lobster was there ready to assemble lobster rolls, crab rolls, and shrimp rolls.
  • the Dumpling Diva pan fried dumplings on site.
  • La Sonrisa sold pulled pork sliders and empanadas.
  • Spatzi sold bags of their homemade granolas mixes.

About Hester Street Fair:
The Hester Street Fair is open every Saturday from 10am to 6pm this summer. The fair is located at Hester St and Essex St, in the Lower East Side and you can get there by subway by taking the F, J, M, or Z to Delancey and East Broadway. If you get the chance, go check it out! I know I’ll be returning some time to check out the rest of the vendors and enjoy more delicious food!

After the feasting away at the Hester Street Fair, we walked over to the Festival of Ideas’ StreetFest, which was going on near by… cont.

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