One of the best things about living in NYC is that there is just about always something going on and it’s even better when those events are FREE.
Check this one out...
EVENT: The Great GoogaMooga
DATE: May 19th & 20th, 2012
LOCATION: Brooklyn’s beautiful and historic Prospect Park
WHAT: Approximately 75 food vendors, 35 brewers, 30 winemakers and 20 live music performances.
COST: General Admission was FREE (if you reserved your tickets as soon as they “went on sale” online. NOTE: There was a reservation cap so you had to be quick about it.) There were about 40,000 general admission tickets that sold out in a few hours.
*You could also purchase “ExtraMooga” tickets for about $250 which got you into an exclusive portion of the event. It didn't seem worth it to me.
Describing itself as an “Amusement Park of Food and Drink” this festival was inspired by New York’s limitless amount of fantastic culinary experiences and backed by some of the best in the business, including Anthony Bourdain (author and host of No Reservations), Tom Colicchio (chef & judge of Top Chef), and Garrett Oliver (brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery).
This was the inaugural GoogaMooga festival and it spanned two days. Reports from friends who attended the Saturday event found it a bit unorganized. The place was too crowded, lines were too long, and vendors were running out of both food and beverages. These ExtraMooga tickets holders are being offered a refund.
Thankfully, I had gotten my tickets for the Sunday festival, and by then they had worked out all of their kinks. For the HUGE turnout, everyone was very friendly and laid back, the lines were reasonable and there were water fountains throughout the area along with free gum and hand towels. It’s also noteworthy that they had the bathroom situation under control. They even had sinks, which is pretty important with all of the food making/eating.
The music was pretty good as well. The Saturday headliners were The Roots and for the Sunday festival we had Hall & Oates.
Since the even was free, I didn’t mind shelling out anywhere from $5 - $11 per stand. It’s a great way to find new places to eat without running all over town.
What I ate:
Wild Boar Sloppy Joe from Georgia’s East Side BBQ
I’m no foodie, but this was fantastic and not overly priced for the size of the sandwich. For me, that’s what this festival was all about trying something new that you wouldn’t necessarily stumble upon on your own…
Brisket Taco From Hill Country BBQ Market
So f’n good.
Dirt Cake from Katzie Guy–Hamilton
I got this since it looked like it would be refreshing. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. It does look cool, but the mix of flavors wasn’t for me. Eh, you can’t win them all..
Unfortunately, some things that I already love, or would have liked to try out were sold out by the time I got there (including everything cold). I’ll just have to make other arrangements to try the foie gras donuts from Do or Dine as well as chocolate dipped bananas from The Big Banana.
Some people might not agree, but based on MY EXPERIENCE, I would definitely recommend this event (for General Admission) and plan on making it again next year. I hope to see you there!