A bounty of borough-based food and drink retailers brought local flavor to Downtown’s New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge on Friday for Brooklyn Eats, the annual showcase of Kings County’s cuisine, and the foodies and culinary pros who packed the room could not get enough of the grub up for grab, according to vendors.
“It was busy — a lot busier than last year,” said Kevin Liang of Southeast Asia Market, a distribution company that provides Asian food to borough grocery stores, restaurants, and other clients.
The company cooked up fried dumplings that attracted hordes of hungry attendees at the event hosted by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, which took place from 10 am to 4 pm and featured 92 vendors.
Other popular stations included those of pizzeria Table 87, for its coal-oven slices, and Sicilian street food slinger Arancini Bros., which drew long lines with its fried rice balls stuffed with pesto, mac ‘n’ cheese, and other savory ingredients.
And so many people clamored for a taste of Den’s Hot Dogs that the vendor ran out of samples of its pre-packaged microwavable franks long before the day ended.
Guests washed down the grub with beverages from area makers including Rooftop Reds, a vineyard in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn Brewery, and Five Boroughs Brewing Co., which plans to open its Sunset Park taproom in July and offered sips of several different brews.
The brewery’s founders said the chamber of commerce has been a great asset in its expansion.
“The ability to connect with people who know the scene, and who knew how to navigate some of the hurdles has been invaluable,” said co-founder Blake Tomnitz.
The diverse mix of vendors and attendees created recipe for success at this year’s event, according to the chamber of commerce president.
“This year’s Brooklyn Eats was a sweet and savory success,” said Andrew Hoan. “More importantly, it showcased a slice of the borough’s thriving food and beverage manufacturing scene. When you grow, cook, and eat food in Brooklyn, you create jobs and encourage economic development, on top of showing buyers, manufacturers, foodies, and tourists a good time.”