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Grub Street Food Festival… Some good food, but mostly lines.

After eagerly awaiting the Grub Street Food Festival on Hester Street all week, after finally arriving (despite the MTA’s limited weekend service on almost every line), I almost didn’t enter the fair when I saw the crowd of people overflowing out of the enclosed park-area.

There were some great vendors present, like Luke’s Lobsters, Ditch Plains, Sigmund’s Pretzels, and many more, but the space was really really small for a fair with so many popular stands.

My friends and I fought our way through the masses to reach Luke’s Lobster. Inside the fair was PACKED, it was difficult to move at all, and hungry people were pushing their way through the crowds in every direction. It was really hard to determine where the lines started, ended, and many vendors seemed to have multiple lines. We were accused of cutting a few times, though I’m pretty sure we didn’t. After a good thirty-five minutes we had our lobster rolls, $14, which were pretty good, but didn’t have the amount of lobster most sea-side spots offer up. The lobster meat (claws and knuckles) did taste really fresh and tender, and was mixed just a hint of mayo, and sprinkled with celery salt on a toasted and buttered hot dog bun. Overall, really delicious, but would have been just as good at the store’s 7th street location.

Next we got in line for Patacon Pisao‘s, Patacon, we saw many people eating these messy but tasty looking sandwiches and had to try one. We didn’t know exactly what these Venezuelan snacks were made of until we got up close, and were not disappointed. The outside of the sandwich was made of crispy plantains stuffed with chicken or beef layered with piece of white cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and special sauce. This was definitely worth trying, especially since Patacon Pisao can usually only be found in Elmhurst.

We sampled some beautiful breads from Pain D’Avignon while we waited in line. Their cranberry nut loaf was really great, nice for Fall, and came in many different sizes.

We didn’t even get a clear sight of most of the 44 vendors, and what they had to offer on Saturday, but really couldn’t handle the crowds any longer than we did.

Instead took a short walk around the corner to Broome and Orchard where we discovered Ten Bells, a signless establishment that turned out to be a warm, quiet, organic wine bar that had $1 oysters and Smuttynose Robust Porter. It turned out to be not such a bad Saturday after all.

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