If you’re a food fan in New York City, then stop by Madison Square Park this fall. Pop-up market Mad. Sq. Eats features sample stands from some of the city’s most exciting eateries, and is around for a few weeks only.
Taking up Worth Square (a small spot adjacent to Madison Square) are 26 vendors, surrounding a seating area studded with the red-flowered designs of Marimekko. Urbanspace, a “leading developer and manager of speciality markets” on both sides of the Atlantic, is the mastermind behind the midtown market. They pioneered Camden Lock market in London, and are also responsible for the new Meatpacking market in the shadow of the High Line.
Mad. Sq. Eats is open daily from 11am – 9pm, and it was late afternoon when I arrived, not especially hungry. That soon changed. I had to restrain myself from sampling something at each stand: the lobster roll at Red Hook Lobster Pound; the fresh cut salami at Charlito’s Cocina.
In the end I opted for the Beijing Ya Duck Bun at Hong Kong Street Cart, and the apparently infamous Crack Pie from Momofuku Milk Bar. The bun was delicious, a mini bite of Beijing – shrimp, roast duck, scallions and hoisin sauce sitting snugly in a soft mantou.
As for the Momofuku offering, I can’t even describe the almost-gooey, just-sweet-enough slice of Crack Pie, still cool from the fridge. All I can say is that it didn’t last long (and that the name is now understandable). A toasted oat crust with a butter filling might not sound like much, but it is quite possibly one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.
This week was my first visit, but it won’t be my last in the run up to the market’s finale on October 19th. Fabulous food in the shadow of the Flatiron – what’s not to love?