Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quick Bite: The Hester Street Fair

Usually I would post my yummy and money signs at the top, but since I was at the Hester Street fair, there were a number of different vendors to review, so I will post them before each one. 
I love going to street fairs, you never know what you are going to find (or eat!) Usually I go to these things to dig for unique and interesting jewelry and clothing, but sometimes my tummy finds more things than I do.
Entrance at Hester street.

Sweet Jewel Cake Balls

This was the first thing I saw entering in the fair, and as soon as I saw "red velvet cake ball"" I had to get one since I am such a sucker for red velvet. I went with Buddy, and he insisted we try both flavors, I wasn't going to complain. :)

Both flavors were coated with chocolate and coconut shavings and were a hybrid between a cake and truffle( which was also how big they were)
Vietnamese Coffee Cake Ball
This one was the more successful out of the two. There was a definite strong coffee flavor (though I'm not sure how "Vietnamese" it was). The coconut and chocolate coating cut through the sharp flavor of the coffee nicely and the cake itself was dense and very moist.
Red Velvet Cake Ball
I was kind of disappointed in this one, it seemed to lack the flavor I was looking for in a red velvet. I wished the center had a cream cheese filling of some sort and the coconut flavor kind of threw me off. Buddy really enjoyed this one because it seemed more moist than the vietnamese.
These were cute and fun to eat, but next time I'm looking for a cakey treat, I might just settle for a mini cupcake.
Price: 1 for $3.00 or 2 for $5.00
Sweet Jewels Cake Balls
Kumquat Cupcakery

Coincidentally after walking past some vintage jewelry vendors I found a stand whos bakery is devoted purely to miniature gourmet cupcakes. They had flavors ranging from chocolate lavender, to peanut butter and jelly. Considering I just ate two cake balls, I decided to go with just one. My staple red velvet.
It was about the size of large gum ball and surprisingly packed a flavorful punch in such a small bite! Extremely moist with the perfect hint of cocoa, the cream cheese frosting was silky and not overly sweet. I wished I had gotten more for later to pop in my mouth! 
Hopefully they will be at the fair again next weekend, but if not then you can always order them online.
Price: $1.00

La Newyorkina

Since the weather had been getting nicer, a lot of  specialty popsicle shops have been "popping" up, from Popbar to Peoples Pops. La Newyorkina seemed to be a new name in the biz, and their menu looked interesting, making me weak to resist their modern Mexican twist on popsicles.
Guayaba (guava)
This was a little bigger than the size of a business card and boldly tart, this was Buddy's favorite out if the two. It tasted like papaya with lemon juice, and was very refreshing. The texture was smoothly blended and equally juicy.
Price: $1.00 for a mini
Horchata Cinnamon Rice Milk
I loved the flavors in this, but it seems that they still need a little more time perfecting the technical aspects of making it. The texture and flavors were very inconsistent. Some bites I got a dense almost powdery texture that tasted sour, and other bites I got very sweet icy bits. The overall underlying flavor that was kept consistent was the milk and cinnamon.
Perhaps I got a faulty popsicle, but thats not going to stop be from wanting to try their avocado flavor next time which looked creamy and delicious.
Price: $4.00

Sigmund Pretzel Shop

Okay so after eating 2 cake balls, 2 popsicles and a mini cupcake, you would think I would have enough self control say "no" to this pretzel stand right? Umm... have you looked at this display? What human being could say no to melted cheese on a pretzel??
Bleu Cheese and Walnut with a side of Beet Relish and Honey Mustard
I was first drawn to this because of the bleu cheese, it looked bubbly and plentiful and was about 5x4 in size.They toast the pretzels in a portable oven, but only toast them for the length of time it takes to squirt you your mustard ( which was literally 10 seconds). 
I have to say, this was disappointing. It looked SO good, but the pretzel tasted day old. The bleu cheese flavor was barely there and was dry and crumbly. The walnuts were untoasted chopped bits mixed in the dough,added nothing to this pretzel.  There was not much textural diversification and was dense, tough, and like of bland. The winner was the honey mustard; spicy, tangy, gooey and sticky. The beet relish tasted like blended beets with horseradish mixed in. Not worth the money.
Price: $4.00
Gruyère and Paprika with Mustard Seed Dip
The cheese flavor was more prominent in this one, however I couldn't taste the paprika (though I saw specks powered on top). Again, its good looks deceived me and tasted day old. The mustard seed dip was fantastic however, bold and spicy.
Price: $4.00
I really wanted to love these pretzels but they failed to impress. I might try their store to see if I have a change of heart (they also have more flavors)
Sigmund Pretzel Shop
29 Avenue B
New York, NY 10009
This fair was a lot smaller than I had expected, maybe only 10-15 vendors but its fun to walk around on a nice sunny weekend day. 
Hester Street Fair
Hester & Essex Street
New York NY 10002
April- December Sat-Sun 10am-6pm

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