We had to go up to Boston this weekend for our son’s graduation, so we asked one of our regular readers to cover the Great Googa Mooga for us. After last year’s fiasco, we weren’t sure what to expect, but Joe B, a Brit currently living and working in NYC, seemed to have a good time.
Without further ado, here are a couple of Joe B’s culinary experiences at the Great Googa Mooga 2013:
I seem to never have much luck with weather, and this weekend was no exception. What should have been a day of sunshine and lying on the grass turned out to be a rather miserable, dreary affair. Maybe it’s the Brit in me that attracts these kind of conditions.
That said, nothing could have prepared me for the food Mecca that waited at The Great Googamooga in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.
I’m an indecisive guy at the best of times, so in the face of what seemed like hundreds of amazing looking food stands with everything from Pad Thai to Foie Gras Donuts, it took a lot of walking around (and a few beers) before we were able to make our first lunch choice of the day.
However seeing the charcoal grills at “The Lobster Place” packed with dozens of the fresh, colorful crustaceans helped us make up our mind pretty quickly.
There are certain foods which require a great deal of attention, fine tweaking and a multitude of flavors to complement them in order to bring out the best. Lobster, however, is not one of them and the guys at The Lobster Place know that.
The meat was beautifully silky, not rubbery, but with enough bite to remind you to chew your food. With nothing but the smoky charcoal, the smooth garlicky butter and a lemon wedge to complement it the lobster was a fantastic choice, and we wouldn’t have had it prepared any other way.
As the day went on, discovering new music and forgetting all about the fact that we’d been in the rain all day, our appetite began to rear its head once more… Here we were again with no idea how to decide which vendor would be our next stop.
Wandering around, everyone wanted us to buy their food, we had a few free samples thrown our way (Beef Tongue Pastrami from Craftbar was fantastic and almost persuaded us), but in the end we decided to follow the hype after seeing the huge line over at Umami Burger.
The West Coast burger joint is making a venture east to show us what we’ve all been missing, and it was clear that everyone wanted to know. The Umami stand was just selling their classic “Truffle Burger” with house made truffle cheese and a truffle glaze.
What we got for our $10 was a somewhat small, uninteresting looking burger on a brioche roll. It didn’t have all of the bells and whistles of gourmet burgers you find these days, lacking any sides and any color… We began to wonder if maybe we’d been too quick to buy into the hype.
However, the first bite explained everything. The simplicity of the toppings only served to highlight the amazing flavor locked within the beef patty. The juicy, salty, sweet, earthy sensation that can only be described as “Umami” was absolutely flawless.
The soft slightly saccharine brioche bun perfectly balanced with the garlicky truffle-y flavor of the burger was an absolute delight with every mouthful in both texture and flavor. I really think this may have been the best tasting burger I’ve ever eaten.
The only disappointment was perhaps the size; it was so good that I could have eaten 3!
With tickets for both the Saturday and Sunday at Googamooga, my friend and I made our way over to Prospect Park for the second time, discussing the entire way what culinary delights we might sample that day. We were annoyed at ourselves for not getting anything sweet and planned to rectify that omission by getting dessert before we left at the end of the day.
Approaching the park, however, we felt it all a little too quiet… Alas, our suspicions were confirmed when breaching the hill we’d walked over yesterday to get to the festival site. Seeing the stage and food stands being taken apart and the arena empty we quickly fired up twitter to find the event had been cancelled due to the rain.
Huge shame and no chance of getting a second Umami Burger until they get their first New York store opened in Greenwich Village. It can’t come soon enough!
Thanks for the writeup Joe. Now we can’t wait to try the Umami Burger when it opens in the Village, which is where we live.