Tomorrow begins the Great GoogaMooga Festival and while we're definitely psyched for the solid music lineup, we're equally intrigued by the killer roster of restaurants which will be vending throughout the weekend. Organizers have promised an improvement over last year's dining desert debacle, and while vegetarians might not be fully placated, there are still some tasty eats to be had.
With 85 restaurants, 75 beers and ciders, and 100 wines on hand, hopefully there will be enough food and drink to go around. Prices are higher than your average food truck fare—especially when a single glass of beer or wine will run you $8 to $15—but it's not like you have another option, so hit your bank's ATM before you head to the park (if last year is any indication, ATM fees will likely be Strip Club Caliber) and remember that rent isn't due for another two weeks.
Below, a few standouts we'll be queuing up for this weekend.
We've been eagerly awaiting California transplant Umami Burger's first tri-state location since they announced their move last fall. Experience what the fuss is all about with the Truffle Burger ($10), their signature patty topped with house-made truffle cheese and a truffle glaze on a slightly sweet bun.
Vendy-award winning food cart Calexico is bringing a veggie-friendly quesadilla ($11) with roasted mushroom, goat cheese, sweet corn and huitlacoche. While huitlacoche—a kind of freaky-looking fungus that grows on corn—may turn some people off, we promise the rich, earthy flavor transcends its strange origin.
Top Chef alum Leah Cohen's Lower East Side hotspot Pig and Khao has been drawing praise from both critics and foodies since it opened last September. Cohen—who partnered with the Fatty Crew set on her restaurant—will be serving up her version of Baby Back Ribs ($10): pork spare ribs with an Asian BBQ sauce and coleslaw.
April Bloomfield's new homage to Mexican cuisine Salvation Taco opened last year, offering a selection of tacos and tortas, plus large format offerings like a whole roasted pig's head. You won't get the full porcine dome this weekend, but you can get another piggy bite with the Tacos al Pastor ($10) with cochinito, roasted pineapple, and avocado salsa.
There will be no shortage of pork this weekend and pop-up pig purveyor BaconLand is offering "Bacon Flights" for the "ultimate bacon tasting." $12 gets you samples of the best selections of cured and smoked pork belly from across the country. Just look for the gigantic, 22-foot steel pig named Henri to locate the "Hamageddon" section, where other pork-centric dishes will being cooked in Henri's fiery belly.
Carroll Gardens' Southern-style restaurant Seersucker channels a bit of the Middle East with their festival offering. Black Eyed Peas will be transformed into Falafel ($10) with New York Argyle handmade yogurt and benne (sesame) seeds. Besides plain pizza and mac and cheese, this is one of the bulkier vegetarian items on hand and it probably won't weigh you down like the (delicious) carbs would.
Sometimes you just crave a gosh darn lobster roll, and the tender, paprika-flecked monstrosity from Red Hook Lobster Pound is one of the best around. The Crustacean Elation Maine Lobster Roll ($16) packs a gut-busting 1/4 pound of tender lobster meat into a buttery, griddled, split-top bun. Yes, it's on the pricier side, but remember: you're paying to taste the ocean.
If you missed the pop-up Banana Stand this week, redeem yourself with The Big Banana's version. The frozen fruit is dipped in dark chocolate then coated with peanuts, sea salt and toasted coconut. At a respectable $4 per banana, it's a relatively inexpensive yet filling dessert for a warm day at the park.
Besides the individual food stalls, Pop-Up Restaurants are offering a more inclusive experience at set reservations times on Saturday and Sunday, with DJs and other zany amusements while you drink and dine. Gnaw meat and veggies on a stick from Roberta's Urban Ren Faire; feast on beer and seafood at Gabe Stulman's Little Wisco Seafood Boil & BBQ; or essen das sausage at April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman's The Spotted Pig Haus. Tickets to each pop-up are between $15 and 20, and as long as you make a reservation in advance you're guaranteed a seat at the party.