Night one of the mission to turn myself into a nocturnal being for the next week has begun. This is my first forced effort to completely turn around my sleep schedule, and all throttled by work. As some say, "you have to give a little to get a little." In this case, the "giving" involves shifting my sleep schedule by 12 hours within one day and the "getting" involves me doing everything on my week's bucket list.
Starting with this! I traveled to New York City last weekend for Labor Day. In all, I probably gained 10 pounds there, what with all of the food I shoveled down my stomach. Aside from dining at my usual haunts in Koreatown, some friends coordinated a walking food tour of the up-and-coming Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn. The first thing you need to know about New York City is that nearly everyone is a foodie. Not to generalize, but seriously 90% of the people I've met are either chronic Yelpers or bloggers. This time proved no different, as we were led through the neighborhood by my fearless acquaintance Jack.
The first stop was Berg'n Food Hall, a beer hall slash food court opened just weeks before. If you love Smorgasburg (or any street fair food) and hate long lines, this is the place for you. Boasting a collection of 4-5 changing eateries, Berg'n gives you the opportunity to sit down with a cold craft brew and your greasy deliciousness. In my case, I got to cross off one item of my NYC bucket list by eating a Ramen Burger, which proved to be an overrated yet still tasty combination of textures.
Because we were still hungry, we meandered two blocks over to the Crabby Shack, which had just opened in July. This place is quite possibly the cutest place on Earth, with its hipster nautical decor and ambient Corinne Bailey Rae soundtrack. It was all very Instagram-worthy. As you guessed, the food was all crab-related, but I thought the best thing on the menu was their banana pudding. Seriously, sleep-deprived me is still salivating at the thought 5 days later.
In all seriousness though, what interested me the most about these two places was that they exemplified the underlying trend of collaboration in the food industry. Berg'n is a mixed-use development providing a more traditional brick-and-mortar space for the "disruptive" food carts of the city. Even in the planning stages, Berg'n was being labeled as a "food incubator." In that same vein, the Crabby Shack received $28,655 worth of funding from Kickstarter. Given that increasing number of crowd-sourced or cooperative style restaurants across the country, it's clear that the restaurant industry may be a much different landscape in the next few years. Then again, perhaps I'm just giving it too much food for thought...?
P.S.... I couldn't resist a good cliché.