Red Hook Vendors took to the ball fields for the first days of their 2012 season and Blondie, Lawman, Lawman-in-Law, Little B and I were all on hand to get our first huaraches and pupusas of the season. Even if the weather was chilly on opening day, eight of ten vendors were out in force serving up authentic pan-Latin dishes. As far as I'm concerned it's still one of the best deals around for recreational eating. Here's just a small sampling of what we had...
Agua Fresca de Sandia from Vaquero's Fruit Truck. On a hot summer's day there is nothing better than fresh watermelon juice. Not even a dip in temperature could keep me from this drink on opening day.
Ceviche Mixto. Chock full o' pieces of seafood, we're talking squid, octopus and shrimp with plenty of onion, cilantro and tomato.
Pupusa Platter with Chicharron from El Olomega. These traditional pupusas revueltas (pork and cheese filled) were so good we got one platter in the morning and one at the end of the day.
Chorizo Huarache from Country Boys. No trip to the ball fields would be complete without a chorizo filled huarache from the Vendy award-winning Country Boys truck. Secure your place in line as soon as you get there as there's always a queue. You won't be sorry.
The coming weeks will bring some exciting events to the ball fields. This weekend is the official opening of the Soccer Liga and there will be several tv shows filming vendors the follow weekend. Andy Bates All American Street Eats on will be filming for the Food Network UK on May 13th and Cooking with Kelsey will film on on May 19th.
This is the last year for the Red Hook Vendor's six year permit that they had to fight so hard to get from the city. As with any vendor permitting in the city, there's no telling what the future will hold. The Red Hook Vendors have been a culinary treasure for going on 38 years, but we can't take that for granted. Many of the vendors are still paying off the trucks they had to invest in to comply with the city regulations. The costs of doing business, from the time and hard labor to the permits, commissary parking fees and equipment fees are very high considering they can only work eight days a month from April until October. Traffic can depend greatly on the weather. The vendors need your support and if you love great street food it's a win/win. Let's help the vendors have their best season ever!