Foodies flock to ‘TASTE Williamsburg Greenpoint’ to indulge in Brooklyn’s best grub

September 20, 2016 By Scott Enman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A spicy taco from Zona Rosa. Eagle photos by Scott Enman
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More than 1,500 foodies flocked to Williamsburg’s East River State Park on Sunday to enjoy a taste of Brooklyn’s finest restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries at “TASTE Williamsburg Greenpoint” (Taste WG), an annual showcase of North Brooklyn’s elite eateries.

Entering its seventh year, this block party-like event hosted more than 40 of North Brooklyn’s most popular restaurants and an additional 40 vendors, sponsors, performers and community partners.

In addition to showcasing some of the borough’s best food and drink, the affair also aims to tighten North Brooklyn’s community. Funds from the event went toward renovating the former Engine Co. 212 Firehouse, which will be restored and used as a meeting hall for community groups in North Brooklyn.

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Brooklyn Eagle x TASTE Williamsburg from kristian winfield on Vimeo.

Notable establishments at Taste WG included Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn Winery, Freehold Brooklyn, Brooklyn Cupcake and Anella.

The menu included tacos from Williamsburg’s Zona Rosa, oysters from Maison Premier, buffalo chicken and blue cheese meatballs from the Meatball Shop and burnt flour tortellini stuffed with ricotta, lemon and basil with Sicilian pistachio pesto and roasted mushrooms from Barano.

Brooklyn Roasting Company provided refreshing cold brew coffee, and Brooklyn Brewery and Brooklyn Winery showcased their best spirits.

McClure’s Pickles also offered guests their famous pickles. McClure’s pickle juice was the original pickle juice used in the pickleback, which is a concoction founded in East Williamsburg that includes a shot of whiskey chased immediately with a shot of chilled, spicy pickle brine.

Brooklyn Brewery employee T.J. Smolka spoke with the Brooklyn Eagle about why Taste WG is such a special event. “This is our neighborhood,” Smolka told the Eagle. “This is where we started. These are our people. We love this event. There’s tons of food, great people around. We love to give back to the community, and everyone shows so much love for us while we are here.

“The people [in Brooklyn] are so interesting,” Smolka continued. “If you look around, everybody here is different. There are multiple cultures and a mixture of genders, just an amazing mixture of people, tons of diversity. That is the most beautiful part of Brooklyn, and so an event like this, with all different types of food and all different types of beer, really brings those people together. It gets people talking, and it’s just a beautiful, wonderful thing.”

In addition to showcasing its beer, the Brooklyn Brewery also held a cornhole tournament and gave out an array of prizes to guests, including beer koozies, snapback hats and water bottles.

German beer company Radeberger passed out bottle openers to attendees as well.

Guests were also treated to live bands, a DJ and a performance by Tim Kubart, who in 2016 won the Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album for his album “Home.”

Visitors with sated stomachs in need of a siesta were able to rest inside sleeping pods provided by the mattress company Casper.

Jonathan Soleimanzadeh from Barano explained how Taste WG serves as a forum and gathering place for individuals of the culinary world to come together and share their mutual love and appreciation for food.  “From our perspective, we spend so much time actually in the restaurant that its tough to communicate with the people that are working on their project,” Soleimanzadeh told the Eagle. “So being in a small space like this where everyone is working together at the same time, it’s just nice to meet the creatives behind the projects and see how much hard work they’re putting in as well.”

Following Taste WG, the event’s director, Dana Krieger, told the Eagle, “People may have come for the food, but they left knowing what a special community Williamsburg Greenpoint is and how the The Firehouse North Brooklyn Community Center will bring value and home to diverse, dynamic, and thriving community I am proud to call home.  

“Some examples of community groups we loved working with were North Brooklyn Coalition, who took our left over food to Southside Mission; Common Ground Compost, [which helped] us become a zero waste event; and Greenpoint Chamber, engaging patrons!” Krieger continued. “It truly was a blending of a community.”

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