Brooklyn Flea Market
Skylight One Hanson
1 Hanson Place (Forte Greene)
Brooklyn, NY 11217
As you can see from the photos above, the location of this flea market is absolutely stunning! During the winter months, the Brooklyn Flea is held indoors every Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm at the former Williamsburg Savings Bank. As you navigate through the aisles of vendors, it takes you a second before you realize that their booths are set up against old teller windows – so cute! People rarely look up in a place with so many goodies below eye-level but if you do, you’ll see the beautiful vaulted ceiling and even an old “Life Insurance” sign that someone forgot to take off. Over 100 vendors gather at this site to sell all sorts of random things.
In addition to the cool vintage jewelry, clothing, handbags, there are also paintings, old school toys, handmade crafts, and of course…. FOOD. The food is located on the lower level, where the bank’s vault used to be. You have to come just to even check out these amazing original vault doors. Look at how thick they are!
There are two sets of these crazy doors, the last of which leads you into the “dining” space. We tried almost every single booth, which unfortunately, was not as many as I hoped there would be. Apparently there are more food vendors during the warmer months. I must come back. Anyway, let the food tour begin…
BETTER THAN LUKE’S LOBSTER ROLL! I don’t normally like to write in all-caps because my brain automatically reads it in a yelling voice when I see it but in this case… I WANT YOU TO READ IT THAT WAY BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE I HAVE DISCOVERED A NEW LOBSTER ROLL THAT I LOVE. If any restaurant boasts about its lobster roll, I will give it a try. Since trying Pearl Oyster Bar for the first time almost two years ago, I have tried all of “Boston’s Best” and most of “New York’s Best.” Pearl always wins. Luke’s always comes in second as a cheaper alternative. At $16, RHLP’s roll is one entire dollar more expensive than Luke’s, but I would say tastes maybe five dollars better. The bread is very, very toasty and almost a little crisp on the outside. The interior is warm and buttered. The lobster is, like Luke’s and Pearl, sweet and plentiful. However, RHLP uses a little more mayo than Luke’s, making it more similar to Pearl, aka. more delicious. The thinly sliced scallions on top surprisingly add a great deal to the flavor, making it THAT much better. I would definitely have this over Luke’s any day. Unfortunately they are only located in Brooklyn.
Meh. Not. Worth. It. $4.50 for a beef, chicken, or veggie dog or $5.00 for an organic one. I got the MASH because it is apparently their bestseller. It ended up being a low-grade and very skinny beef dog topped with slightly stale chips that are the leftovers at the bottom of the bag, “spicy ketchup” (tasted like normal ketchup) and “jalepeno mustard” (didn’t taste the pepper at all…) stuck between a very dry bun that was falling apart.
I got the Lychee Black for $4. It tasted a lot like the bubble tea they sold at the coffee shop in college… meaning it is very mediocre. Bubbles were not crumbly and falling apart, but were also not sweet and chewy. They were just… there. Tea tasted like watered down tea. Lychee flavoring was subtly there, which I appreciated … it would’ve be worse if it was all too sweet. Not worth $4. Go to Kung Fu Tea for better bubble tea.
We got the combo plate, which included a little bit of everything listed on the menu. I had been to an Ethiopian restaurant in Boston before (Addis Red Sea) and really enjoyed the food. Ethiopian cuisine, if you haven’t had it before, consists of a lot of spicy meat and veggie “stews” that are placed on top of a spongy bread. I’m not sure if what I had at Addis was more catered to an “American” palate, or if it just tasted better to me, but Taste Ethiopia was a very different meal. The injera bread was very sour, which I read is how it is supposed to be made. I guess I’m just not used to eating it. For some reason, the injera bread at Addis was not as sour… it was also much thicker and spongier (legit, looked like a sponge). The bread here was very thin and rolled up like a fruit rollup. I didn’t really like the dishes either because they were very strangely sweet and sour (not the same as General Tso’s chicken) and heavily spiced. This may just be due to the fact that my taste buds are inexperienced with this type of food. I can’t really judge if this place is considered “good” or “authentic”. I can only tell you I didn’t really enjoy it.
This was also a disappointment. We got a single carnitas taco, hoping for a taste of something familiar after the Ethiopian plate. The taco was surprisingly very bland. The slow-cooked pork was soft and all, but tasted like … well I couldn’t really tell you because it didn’t taste like anything. The lime wedge we were given was the end of the lime so didn’t have any juice. After a bite, we decided to smother it in hot sauce to bring out SOME flavor… but the hot sauce was also not very hot!
FINALLY SOMEWHERE DELICIOUS AGAIN! After having the lobster roll, I had not had anything that was worth going back to. I was feeling a little blue because I had been so excited to come to the market and eat all kinds of yummy treats but ended up being full over a lot of bad food. Luckily, I found Dough. I don’t even like doughnuts that much but I was desperate for something yummy to end with. They only had the Lemon Poppy and Chocolate Earl Grey doughnuts left when we got there. I decided to get the Chocolate Earl Grey because I’m a sucker for tea flavored things and there were fewer of them… meaning they were probably tastier. This doughnut is the best doughnut I have ever had. Krispy Kreme used to be my favorite because I like doughnuts that are heavenly soft and glazed. Dunkin’ Donuts is too dense. Doughnut Plant is too sweet and actually a little dry. Dough doughnuts are heavenly soft, glazed, AND have incredible flavors! It tasted like an extra-large chocolate glazed Krispy Kreme (one KK doughnut is not enough, two are enough to make me sick; this doughnut was about the size of 1.5 KK doughnuts) with a tinge of that Earl Grey bitterness. So. GOOD. They also had flavors like Cafe Au Lait, Blood Orange, Hibiscus, Chocolate and Chipotle, etc. I definitely need to try more. Can you tell I’m excited? I’m salivating now just thinking about it.