Saturday might have had some crazy weather, but you could hardly tell amongst the mounds of meat on display at Meatopia on Randall's Island. Was that rain or just meat sweats coming on? Who cares, there was a 1,000-pound steer to eat!
The Whole Foods-sponsored event had lots to offer in its many deliciously-named villages (think Meatopia Heights, Carcass Hill, Offalwood) but these five stood out the most to us when we came to early Sunday morning, shoeless and under a nearby tree, and tried to piece together what had happened:
Wholey Marinated Steer Batman!Meat masters Pat LaFrieda went all out and once again literally brought an entire steer to be devoured. And it was. Because it was good. Really good. Even better, however? When we overheard one petite girl ask another as they approached the carcass: 'Is that a pig?'
Best. Brisket. Ever. Aaron Franklin from Austin's award-winning Franklin BBQ came up to offer that joint's Texas Beef Brisket to the masses and holy moly did that meat melt in your mouth. We would happily have bathed in the stuff it wouldn't have totally grossed out everyone waiting on line to sample it (we may have tried to later)
Veal Me Another! There were at least two delicious veal dishes on hand at Meatopia this year, but the one we would happily have continued eating to the point of explosion was the roulade from Ed Fraundeder (Edi and the Wolf). Served with peaches, arugula and a rye bread vinaigrette is was just perfect. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Iceland Had A Little Lamb Like the veal, there were a quite a few good lamb dishes available for comparison sake on Saturday, but also there wasn't any comparison. Siggi Hall of Iceland's SKVR's boneless butterflied leg of lamb served with a light slaw was out of this world edible. We still aren't quite sure why the lamb is Iceland tastes so silky, but we want more. Now, please?
That Much Meat Makes Us Scream For Ice Cream Oh, there was so much meat at Meatopia. SO MUCH MEAT. Which—and we're almost embarrassed to admit this—made the Jenis ice cream stops sprinkled around the grounds the happiest surprise of the day. Yes, there was lots of Amstel and water and cocktails to sip between bites of cooked animal flesh, but those only cleared so much of one's palate. A bit of ice cream though? Did the trick perfectly.
And now, we will return to our meat coma until spring. That was the point, right?
Looking out at the early crowds from Meatopia Heights (Garth Johnston / Gothamist).