Sadly we did not have any dinner parties this week, but I did have a couple of weekend food adventures. On Saturday I met several friends and went over to the Mulberry Street pop up Big Social Holiday Market. I found this pop up on Grub Street, but when I arrived I was kind of disappointed by the small number of food stalls. That being said, some I loved pretty much every food vendor who was there, so in the end it wasn’t that bad.

1. Macaroons I love French macaroons, otherwise known as macarons. I know it is cliche and they are “the next cupcake,” but whatever. They are sweet and delicious and come in pretty colors. The lovely Macaron Parlour was therefore my first food stop at the market and I got four: earl gray, ginger, red velvet, and caramel fleur de sel. All four flavors were delicious, but my favorite was hands down earl gray. I could eat forty of those in a sitting. Unfortunately they do not have a shop yet, but they are available for online orders and events, so be sure to check them out.

2. SkimKim The Skim Kim stall had a number of cute products, many based on various kim chi flavors, but my favorite was Green Goddess (soybean oil, water, garlic, ginger, chives, kiwi, black sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil, lime, agave, salt). The tasting samples were served on little bits of bread, but it would work as a dressing, a dip, a spread, or a pasta sauce. The woman working the stall also suggesting throwing it in dumpling mix, which I would never have thought of, but which I’m sure would taste delicious. I ate so many samples that I eventually felt guilty and purchased a bottle, so I will be sure to let you know how it tastes in different contexts.

3. Faux Gras I do not generally get very excited about vegan food products. I completely respect other people’s dietary decisions, but vegetarianism in general and especially veganism has never appealed to me personally. So I had serious reservations tasting The Regal Vegan‘s “Faux Gras,” a vegan foie gras substitute. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste. I wouldn’t say that it does a particularly good job approximating the taste of foie gras, but it was a very delicious spread and I would happily eat again or purchase in-store. I couldn’t find a complete list of ingredients, but I do know that it includes lentils, walnuts, and caramelized onions. If you ever encounter it, it’s definitely worth a try, but expect something that tastes like lentils, walnuts, and caramelized onions instead of bloated duck or goose liver.

Sadly I did not sample of offerings of the following two vendors, but they are New York favorites and therefore worth a mention.

4. Luke’s Lobster I have only ever had one thing from Luke’s Lobster: the lobster roll. I cannot foresee myself ever ordering anything else because it is so good. I’m not sure what else to tell you; you just have to go eat one. They have locations in the East Village, Upper East Side, and Upper West Side. And at $16 for a lobster roll, Maine Root Soda, Miss Vickie’s chips, and pickle, you really have no excuse not to try it.

5. Pies ‘n’ Thighs I am embarrassed to admit that I have never been here. I am always on the hunt for proper Southern food in New York (so expect a recap of a visit to Red Rooster soon), so I feel like I should have been here already. I could invent some snide comment about how it is in Brooklyn and that is why I haven’t been, but that would be a lie because I eat in Brooklyn pretty frequently. So really it just comes down to laziness.

That’s it from the Big Social Holiday Market! I am now at home in North Carolina until the 30th. Watch out for a holiday post tomorrow, and then I’m signing off for a few days. I’ll be back to regular posting before the year ends and then look out for some exciting new features on The Infinite Table!

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