Jodi had a pop up show in Long Island City, right across from the LIC Flea and Food Market. As we finished setting up her paintings and were looking for a place to eat, I proposed to go there. It was really my first time in this area and I was really impressed by the neighborhood, especially the river bank with its huge Pepsi Co. sign that you can see from the East side of Manhattan.
I love markets because of the diversity of food you can find there, although some of them like Smorgasburg, are getting a bit too crowded. We wandered around the market and our first pick was Empanada Papa, a place that sold...empanadas.
We chose the cheese and buffalo chicken empanadas. Both were quite good, the empanadas having lots of tasting filling in it and being nicely crispy. However, my favorite was the buffalo chicken one that had a nice kick.
Next was Butcher Bar from Astoria that was proposing BBQ. I could not resist! First, I observed them serving patrons and my appetite increased as I saw them pulling the pork with their hands, so easily. And then I saw the brisket with its nice char: it looked juicy and fatty. So, I decided to try some. They cooked it for 12 hours in a BBQ pit that you could see in the back after applying a dry rub. I ordered it with some slaw that was delicious, but nothing compared with that fantastic brisket: it was so good! Tender, juicy and fatty, I loved the burnt ends. I really need to go check out that place.
With the brisket, we got some lemonade that was quite refreshing.
Then, we wanted something sweet and ended up at Enzo Le Beau, a place serving crepes and waffles. I wanted a butter and sugar crepe, my favorite: simple but so good. Unfortunately, they did not have anymore butter (what? Who does not plan for butter when serving crepes?) and I did not want any of those heavy crepes with too many toppings. No, simplicity was fine for me. So I asked for a waffle with sugar. What I did not foresee was that they use the same batter for crepes and waffles. Sacrilege! These are two different items and of course, the texture of the waffle was off, being way too light and a bit bland. Anyway, we just tried bit of it as the wind took care of the rest...
I admit that I was still hungry after that and so, we finally decided to get a Mozzarepa, a dish that you can often find in street fairs, that is made of two arepas, these corn based "pancakes") and mozzarella. They are cooked on a griddle and the best part is when the cheese is burnt on the outside. We got this delicious item at Chuzos, an Ecuadorian stall.
I liked the market, but know that, like many of these places, you will not find healthy food there, but more items that are in the category of guilty pleasures...
Enjoy (I did)!
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LIC Flea & Food Market - 21-52 44th Drive, Hunters Point, New York City, NY 11101