Queens foodies had been anticipating the arrival of Smorgasburg- myself being one of them. I have to be honest here and say that I was on the fence about checking it out. I have been a loyal visitor of the LIC Flea and the thought of having another food market in the area just didn't make sense. But I am only human and my curiosity got the best of me- Michael and I eventually decided to check it out. Funny thing was, our friend (?) Rob of Kimchi Smoke needed help at his booth and we volunteered to lend him a hand. So, our experience at Smorgasburg Queens was spent as customers during the first half and then as 'vendors' for the remaining duration.
We got there sometime after noon and immediately looked for something cold (it was such a hot day!) and found Wooly's. I decided to try their Melona Shaved Ice with corn flakes and Poky sticks. Let me just tell you- it changed my life! In fact, I think it changed the lives of a few others: I had the chance to enjoy my treat with Queens Eats, A Story of Astoria, Fuelgrannie and Joe DiStefano. When you think of anything shaved ice, you immediately assume that it'll feel heavy but that's not the case with Wooly's. I don't know what they do to make the ice so light and airy but it's awesome! When you take that first bite, it surprises you because you're expecting that crunchy element from the ice. However, it melts into the texture of an ice cream in your mouth. I'm looking forward to other flavors they bring to Smorgasburg Queens. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to try anything else. I spotted a handful of dishes that I hope to try soon like the stingray sandwich and I really wanted to get my hands on Outer Borough's scallion pancakes.
It was a bit after 3 P.M. when we made our way to Kimchi Smoke's stand (which was located directly across the entrance). Jen (of astoriabout) had been manning the crowd since 11 A.M. and it was our turn to take over. I admit that I was nervous (I've never worked in the hospitality field) but after watching her for over 30 mins., I felt confident enough to manage the orders. A lot of the people who came for Kimchi Smoke were there for the Chonut, which sold out before 3 P.M. (I suspect Food Baby has something to do with it) but a lot of people also had the Red Neck Tacos and the Austin Cho. Rob, the one-man-machine, sold out by 5:30 P.M. I don't think I've ever met anyone as dedicated to their craft as Rob.
My overall thoughts about Smorgasburg Queens: I think it's a good thing. I think that it'll continue to attract a crowd and I don't think that it's a threat to the LIC Flea. Smorgasburg attracts more of the hip and young from all over NYC while the LIC Flea has a local vibe to it. Either way, both markets support local businesses and that's what matters most.