It was too hot to hike back up to the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket after my run this morning, so we decided to check out the fabled Central American food vendors of Red Hook Park, something we had been intending to do for a long time. For years now, local cooks have set up makeshift outdoor kitchens to serve up authentic Mexican, Guatemalan, Salvadoran, and Dominican home cooking to the neighborhood folks who drop by the park to watch or play baseball. Word spread of the wonderful food, and now “tourists” like us come from all over the city to sample it. First off, we enjoyed a refreshing cup of shrimp and cuttlefish ceviche, easily the best I’ve ever had. Then we moved over to one of the taco booths, where Will ordered a bistec (thin strips of marinated beef), which he piled high with spicy pico de gallo:

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Which took some effort to eat:

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Then he got a smaller chorizo taco (I helped eat both, of course) and we shared a limeade. Then we headed to the Salvadoran section and got pupusas, which are sort of corn griddle cakes stuffed with various treats. We had one stuffed with shredded pork and cheese and one stuffed with zucchini and cheese (here’s the booth):

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There were many other things I’d like to go back and try, but it was too hot and we were pretty stuffed at that point. Unfortunately, the vendors are in danger of losing their licenses, as the city wants to start taking bids from mass-market food vendors who will be able to offer money that the locals can’t. If something doesn’t happen to block this, this little market may be shut down shortly after Labor Day and replaced with hot dog carts. So I guess we have to head back soon…

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