Earlier this month, I was in New York for the weekend and some friends and I decided to sate our pupusa craving with a trip to the Red Hook Ball Fields in Brooklyn. Little did we know that our visit fell on the first weekend the new! improved! "healthy"! stands were open. After a lengthy battle with the city, less than half the vendors have returned this summer, ensconced in approved taco trucks, following all health code standards.
Bean and cheese pupusa with cabbage slaw.
The food was just as good as it was when I first sampled it last summer--particularly the grilled corn, doused with lime, cheese and chili. However, as I explained to a NY1 reporter, the weekly gathering has lost some of its neighborhood, family picnic charm. You can see my brilliant interview here.
Though it may have been first weekend madness, I recommend arriving early. At 11:30 when we showed up, lines were short--by the time we left around 12:45, you'd have to wait awhile for your Latin food fix. One exception--the ceviche line was unreasonably short, considering the deliciousness of the refreshing dish. Maybe the $8 price seems unreasonable compared to $3 tacos, but a serving is packed with meaty shrimp and worth every penny.
On another note, Manhattanites have an additional option for arriving at the Ball Fields this summer--the new IKEA ferry. Over at Serious Eats they have a handy map and instructions, but be warned that on the trip back those with receipts from IKEA jump to the front of the line. However, a receipt for a bottle of water is just as good as one for an IKSANDEERVERDENHOVEEN heap of plywood, so you won't be stuck waiting all afternoon. And you'll get a beautiful view and lovely breeze--much better than the stinky subway on a summer afternoon.