Sunday, August 19, 2007

Red Hook Ball Fields: Never Fade Away

You know something better taste damn good if it motivates a fat kid to get off his/her fat ass and hop onto a bicycle (one of those manually powered ones?!?) and pedal all of his/her overeating weight to Red Hook in Brooklyn. After all, I've never thought expending calories and consuming them to be all that compatible. Yet oddly enough, for the abundant offering of authentic Central American street fare amid "ball fields"in this hard to reach part of Brooklyn, it seemed not only logical, but completely natural.

Fresh with hunger induced by my ride through Park Slope (turns out that Park Slope is, in fact, aptly named. who knew?), I arrived at the fields with the conviction that I would try everything this magical oasis had to offer me. I started off with an horchata that was the sweet rice drink equivalent of a "forty" in its sheer size and power. Together with some trusty fat kid companions, we pummeled through some delectable fried ribs, elotes and a pork taquito to start.

After these light appetizers, we moved on to the heavy hitters.

Taco de Chorizo
Why does fried lard taste so good?


Pu-pu-sa. A Salvadoran delight of thick, hand-made corn tortilla stuffed with lovely standard ingredientes such as cheese, pork, and the like, served with pickled cabbage and hot sauce.

Darin's pupusa was cheese + jalapeno.

Max's papusa was pork + cheese.


Josh got an huarache - comparable to a giant taco with beans cooked into the tortilla. It was the size of Tejas.

For dessert, we had some fresh mango with salt, chili powder, and lime juice. Who knew fruit could be so sexy (besides M.I.A.)? We also had enough fresh watermelon juice to put out a small forest fire. And by "we" I mean Max.

And it wasn't just the food. Everything else about these ball fields were equally euphoric. It kind of captured so much of what is happy and wonderful about Brooklyn in the summer in that "oh come on, this type of corniness is actually really welcome and refreshing, and if you don't think so then you have no soul" sort of way.

The spectators.

The children with their water balloon and silly string fights.

Oh childhood. How I miss you.

The sky.

The lush greenness.

The company.

And this guy.

*bottom left. Have you ever seen anyone more comfortable in his own skin?

I'm not sure how I've carried on my not-so-secret love affair with high-caloric content food for this long without having come here before. Unfortunately, I didn't accomplish my mission - the ceviche, plantains, and tamales all managed to escape my hungry grasp. Hopefully, if the Parks Department and the health nazis don't have their way, I will have many more chances to revisit this wonderful phenomenon of a place to rectify the situation.