Madison Square Eats is a food festival that occurs twice a year right outside of Madison Square Park located between 24th and 25th Streets at the intersection of 5th Ave and Broadway in the Flatiron District of Manhattan. Some of NYC's best food vendors and restaurants set up booths for you to grab a taste of their deliciousness. The multitudinous options can seem overwhelming on your first go around, but lucky for you I went twice last week so I could share the best of the best! You have until Friday, May 27th (3 days!!!) to eat all the noms.
Pro-tip: The vendor names below are links to their business sites in case you can't make it (shame on you), but still want to eat all this yum.
Pro-pro-tip: If you DO go, stock up on Bandit boxed wine-to-go from Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit on 19th St. between 5th and 6th aves. Go to Dough across the street, buy a life-changing Dulce De Leche doughnut, and steal their water cups. You'll be the classiest bunch at the Eats.
A regular at MadSqEats, this is ALWAYS my first stop. The margarita pizza is life. Roberta's brings this awesome portable wood burning oven that cooks your crust to a perfect charred and crispy, yet somehow still chewy consistency in about 90 seconds. Watching them make the pizza is half the fun! Sauce: amazeballs. Cheese-Pull: YES. They have a permanent restaurant located in Bushwick, but I rarely make it out to Brooklyn, so this is my fix.
Mush two of my favorite things together and ask me not to devour it. See what happens. This Coconut Curry Chicken Empanada is a gift from the gods. You get the best of both worlds. It's fried. It's flavorful. It comes with hot sauce and spicy mayo. Eat this.
So funny story. Years back I had two bad rounds with lobster and was therefore convinced I was allergic. I never went to get allergy tested, simply decided if I ever ate lobster again I would die. This past Fall temptation was too strong while visiting in Cape Cod and I decided if I go, it would be by Lobster Roll dammit. I was fine (yes, this is really me and not a ghost-writer...hah) and have eaten lobster every chance I've had since. I have a lot of time to make up for... I digress. Get the Connecticut Lobster Roll and a lemonade. A buttery toasted hot dog bun is stuffed with rich, warm lobster chunks. It tastes like my childhoods on the Cape.
I love rice balls. I crave them far to often and they are way too limited in supply. Arancini Bros. takes rice balls and jazzes them up. I tried the Classic Ragu, the Pizza Ball, and the Jalapeno Cheddar balls. The first two were a little too saucy for me, but the Jalapeno Cheddar (pictured half eaten) I could eat all day.
Okay, this was really the main event. Craft ice cream and craft marshmallows on a craft cone. I didn't even know those were things until Saturday. I've had funky flavors of ice cream before, but this was a piece of art. I couldn't decide between the two flavors, so duh, I got both. Detention was a malted vanilla mixed with fruity pebbles dust and mexican chocolate brownies. Sounds gross, right? It's not. Milk Money was a ball of frozen toasted milk, sea salt, and chocolate ganache. I chose to top it with a torched ooey-gooey Birthday Party marshmallow, which is basically if funfetti and marshmallows had a baby and set it on fire. Wait, bad analogy... The cone, made by Konery, was a funfetti cone. THERE ARE SPRINKLES BAKED INTO THE CONE PEOPLE!!! Sprinkles make everything magical. I am a bottomless pit, but if you are someone who gets full easily I leave you with these words: Life's short. Eat dessert first.