I absolutely loved The Great Googa Mooga! I know there has been a lot of negative backlash for the cancelling of the last day due to bad weather, but I was lucky enough to attend Friday and Saturday so I got to experience everything. The weekend-long event featured 85 food venues, 75 brews, 100 wines, and 20 live music performances. Let’s be honest, I totally went for the food, but I also thoroughly enjoyed the drinks and tunes. I even got to see one of my favorite Italian rappers, Jovanotti from the early 90′s – it was such a surprise and a total treat!
When we first arrived, we literally did a walk through of the entire place before committing to food options. I had pre-screened the list on the Googa Mooga website, and had already created a top 10, but I had to make sure I had seen everything first (reading the description of an item is not the same than actually seeing it in person!). I couldn’t believe how many people showed up for Friday night, and yet it wasn’t overwhelming, Prospect Park was a great venue because it was so huge and felt so open.
Our first stop was Num Pang Sandwich Shop, one of my friends’ picks and she got the Pulled Duroc Pork Sandwich with cucumber, pickled carrots, cilantro and chili mayo. The Cambodian inspired pork was mouth watering, and went so well with the crunchy veggies.
We made our way across the park and ran into “Hamageddon” an incredible giant metal smoker in the shape of a pig where many of the pork items had been cooked. There was quite a trend for the “other white meat” at this festival, you could find anything from bacon flights to spare ribs to pork belly tacos.
Our next stop was Pork Slope, I had been dying to try this place since I moved to NYC since there had been so much fuss about it, but I hardly ever make it over to Brooklyn. So this was the perfect opportunity to try their Porky Melt, a cheddar wurst pattie with caramelized onions, on marble rye with yellow mustard. This was my favorite sandwich we tried on day 1, the pork pattie was bursting with flavor, and the caramelized onions gave it a nice sweetness.
Continuing on in pig heaven, Porchetta had been another restaurant that I had heard a lot about and people raved about their Porchetta Sandwich. This is a typical favorite in Rome and is essentially just pork seasoned with garlic and aromatic spices served on ciabatta bread. I had high hopes for this one, but was kind of disappointed. Maybe it was because I had just had the porky melt which was very tasty, the porchetta sandwich just fell flat. There was too much bread and not enough pork so it seemed dry and lackluster.
Pig and Khao was our next stop, and we had the Southeast Asian inspired Spare Ribs which were amazing! They were so flavorful and just fell off the bone. I’m generally not a huge fan of ribs, but these were perfectly charred and yet so tender. They were topped off with a crunchy coleslaw, and they made the perfect outdoor summer food.
At this point we were all porked out so we moved on to another section of the park. Another one of my picks was M.Wells, I had read about their Oysters Bolognese and absolutely had to try such an interesting combination. It was literally a grilled oyster with bolognese sauce on top served in the shell. I took a hesitant bite expecting to be bombarded by fishy flavors, but was surprised to really only taste the bolognese. In fact I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t taste the oyster at all!
Moving right along, we approached Pok Pok Phat Thai, another one of my picks. The Phat Thai Thamadaa were rice noodles in rendered pork fat, tamarind, fish sauce, palm sugar, peanuts, dried tofu, dried shrimp, preserved radish, egg, garlic chives, bean sprouts, and chili powder. No wonder the noodles were so flavorful packed with all of the those ingredients! I made a slight error in not trying the noodles before adding some more chili powder. Usually the noodles are so mild so I wanted to give them a little kick, but I got more than I bargained for! Luckily I like spicy food because the noodles were extremely spicy!
Ok at this point you must be thinking, she can’t possibly eat anymore food… but do you really have so little faith in me?! In all fairness, I didn’t eat everything pictured, we definitely shared most of the items, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t eat the majority of it! Our last savory stop was one of my friend’s picks – Bromberg Brothers Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken Wings. We kept seeing people walk by with them, and they looked delicious! They were scalding hot right out of the fryer, and soo crispy! They were sprinkled with a sweet and tangy sauce which was awesome, but it was too sparingly drizzled on. The wing itself was perfectly crispy and the chicken was very tender, but it lacked flavor. It should have been dunked in the sweet sauce if you ask me!
Finally on to the sweet stuff! I had seen Do or Dine on the Googa Mooga website, and what really caught my eye were the Foie Gras Doughnuts. There was no way, I wasn’t going to try those! My friends were a little skeptical about them, but they all took a bite anyway. First of all, I’d like to note that the one doughnut was $10! They really do pack a lot of foie gras into that little guy though, honestly too much in my opinion. I really liked the idea of it, the sweet jelly was a perfect complement to the rich and savory foie gras, but it was a little too overpowering. They need to cut back on about half the amount of foie gras, and cut the price while they’re at it!
Our last stop for the day was Baked, my friend saw the brownies from afar and headed straight for them. Besides the brownies, they also had “brooksters” which were cookies baked inside brownies. I wanted one so bad, but just couldn’t eat anymore! The brownie my friend got was actually quite spectacular, I know it doesn’t look like much in the picture, but it was so rich, chocolatey, and decadent. I wish they weren’t all the way in Red Hook because I would definitely go back for that brookster. (Actually my friend loved the brownie so much that after she ate hers, she bought another one to take home!)
Stay tuned for day 2 coming soon!
The Great Googa Mooga | www.brooklyn.googamooga.com | Prospect Park, Brooklyn