Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Perfect Storm - Brooklyn, Soccer, Tacos, and Senator Chuck Schumer

I loves me some Latin American cuisine.

So when I heard that the best Latin American street food in all of New York City can be found at the Red Hook ballfields in Brooklyn, I had to taste for myself.

Apparently, this was their opening weekend for the summer – some New York City Dept. of Health red tape kept them from opening earlier.

This past Saturday was, like, hotter than Venus, so we waited until Sunday to head out to Red Hook. It was still supposed to be hot - the forecast called for molten lava to rain from the sky – but with somewhat lower humidity than Saturday.

After a two-hour “side trip” to the new Brooklyn Ikea megaplex, Jaimi and I found our way to the ballfields – a short jaunt from the Swedish furniture funhouse.

And when we arrived?

Pure, unadulterated Madness. Notice how I used a capital “M.”

Near the rear of the longest line in Latin American cuisine history.

Hundreds and hundreds of people waiting in line – in the summer heat – for a taste of Colombian, Peruvian, and Mexican delicacies. There were 6 food trucks, and when it seemed as though a line for one of these trucks couldn’t possibly get any longer than the last, the next one trumped it by 30 people.

After an hour or so, I had made it about 20 feet. I'm in the middle of this photo in the sunglasses, and I'm hungry enough to eat those glasses.

So we went to the one with the longest line of them all.

We waited.

And waited some more.

And then Senator Chuck Schumer showed up.

Schumer - ready to ruin everything.

Now, you’re probably assuming all these people were here to see Senator Schumer - the food trucks sort of happened to be there so they all got in line while waiting for Schumer to appear - that all anyone really wanted was to bask in the U.S. Senator’s ample liberal glow.

He was there to give a little speech and try some food – the bastard cut right to the head of our line for a photo-op and a taco - but no one took more than a moment to care. They were too focused on dreams of quesadillas, pupusas, and huaraches.

Senator Schumer using his prodigious political power to get a taco ahead of 300 of his hungriest constituents.

Eventually, after about 1.5 hours, our dream came true. We ordered huaraches from the Longest Line Ever Truck, and sat down at a picnic table to enjoy them.

At long last - the front of the line is within visual range!!

If you’re not familiar with an huarache, it’s like a massive, giant-ass taco – hand-made, soft corn tortilla loaded with steak, cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, beans, and spicy sauce.

Jaimi had the vegetarian version, which consisted of the above, minus the mammal meat.

No longer starving, a little delirious, and still angry at Schumer, I enjoy my hard-earned huarache.

All in all, this was not the ideal way to spend a Sunday. We were dehydrated, tired, hungry, and combative before we were even halfway to the front of the line. Chuck Schumer’s barging ahead of everyone was like a jalapeno right in the eye – while at the same time, a soccer ball to the groin. I certainly could have done without one or the other.

This dog confided in me that he feared being eaten by the hungry, large man in the purple shirt. The man was subdued after drizzling hot sauce on the dog's leg.

Still. I’d go back. Legend has it that the Red Hook ballfields aren’t usually so insanely crowded. But combine opening weekend for the food stands, extra-hot weather (thousands were cooling off at the nearby public pool) and Schumer, and you’ve got yourself a living nightmare - but at least the food was pretty good.

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Anonymous said...

Yeah, I was there too. Food's great, but not worth the wait!

Also, would have rather seen Hillary eating a taco than Schumer, but I guess I'll take any US Senator sighting I can get.

Dennis said...

As I've said before, Schumer took down IndyMac just by opening his big fat mouth!

Sure IndyMac would have fallen EVENTUALLY!, but did he have to help it along?

Anyways, you looked great in your fighter sunglasses Scott, but you need to get your own Mill T-shirt.

That would have been great advertising!

The Mill said...

To be clear, I'm not a total Schumer-hater - even though he did cause the downfall of IndyMac and got a taco before I did.

Ok fine. Maybe I hate him just a little bit. But mostly for the taco thing.