Field guide: Outdoor eats
TONY presents a handy manual for navigating the city's newest flea markets and alfresco food courts.
Tue May 31 2011
Photograph: Noah Devereaux
Hester Street Fair
This Lower East Side flea hosts one of the best collections of food vendors in Manhattan, with more upstarts joining the fray each week. Standout rookies this season include Mighty Balls, which tops its fluffy, two-bite meatballs (bowl $7, slider $3, hero $8) with fresh cheeses and globally inspired condiments, like spicy-sweet jalapeo jelly and purple cranberry-horseradish chutney. Adirondack Creamery, an upstate outfit that makes ice cream using local dairy, sells pints and small cups ($2) in flavors such as Strawberry Moon, a creamy blend of vanilla ice cream and fresh diced strawberries. And the Wonder City Coffee & Donut Bar stand—a spin-off of the Brindle Room's new morning coffee service—seduces caffeine-seeking grazers with bright pour-over coffees (hot $3, iced $4), made with beans from Plowshare Coffee Roasters and topped off with generous dollops of whipped milk. The orange-zest--infused doughnut holes ($2) use mashed potatoes in the batter to produce a sturdy crust and springy interior; they're served with powdered sugar and gooey house-made caramel sauce. Hester St at Essex St (hesterstreetfair.com). Sat 10am--6pm. Through October.