BY HELEN KLEIN, MEAGHAN MCGOLDRICK & JAIME DEJESUS
Call it an amusement park for the taste buds.
Dekalb Market Hall at City Point officially opens today, June 16, and for these eaters, it was more than worth the wait.
During a preview event held on Thursday night, June 15, this hungry trio tasted and sampled, and oohed and aahed over the array of foods available at the latest blockbuster to open in Downtown Brooklyn, which not only has a stunning selection of eateries but is also aesthetically enchanting.
The 40 booths are each individually designed to reflect the character of the goodies being purveyed, and also dynamically arranged in a sort of angled grid, so that there are surprises around every corner, some really well-known (think heavy hitters like Katz’s Deli, Ample Hills Creamery, Fletcher’s BBQ and Bensonhurst’s own Lioni Italian Heroes) and others relative newbies like the amazing Kotti Berliner Doner Kebab (whose marinated chicken is extraordinary), Pierogi Boys and BK Jani, which serves up flavorful Pakorey (vegetable fritters) and Chicken Tikka among its offerings.
While there was no way we could begin to try everything, we did pick out some favorites — not only Kotti’s chicken but the flavor-packed banh mi from Bunker, crusty baguettes piled high with meat or mushrooms and shredded and sliced veggies; the chive-sprinkled cheese and potato pierogi from Pierogi Boys with their dense filling; and the tart and tantalizing Key Lime Pie from Steve’s, with its creamy filling nestled happily in a graham cracker crust.
Then, there were the BBQ Fries from Fletcher’s, crinkled rounds of crisp potato goodness that provided the perfect foil for the restaurant’s rich and spicy BBQ sauce. Most samples from the eatery included the incredibly tasty sauce which added extra savor to the BBQ wings, with meat that falls off the bone and the Burnt Ends Beef Brisket, which had a deliciously smoky taste. The meat was soft and flavorful, leaving foodies wanting more.
The Fried Chicken Sandwich from Wilma Jean, which specializes in traditional southern fare, was tender on the inside, crispy on the outside and the fluffy potato roll it was served on sealed the deal.
Katz’s pastrami was lean and soft; it was accompanied by a wedge of potato knish that was dense and satisfying, pillowy inside but with a crispy — but not too crispy — exterior.
On the sweeter side, there was Ample Hills’ exclusive-to-Dekalb-Market-Hall Honey & Eigels, ice cream, which was super-creamy and studded with chunks of Junior’s marble cheesecake, and crushed malted milk balls.
The superb sweet tooth ride continued with a unique doughnut from Cuzin’s Duzin. Dubbed the original hot mini doughnut, the bite-size goodies included a bit of Hennessy — a grown-up dessert to be sure.
The birthday cake-inspired push-up cake pop from Pop Cakeshop was as nice to look at as it was to dig into. The tasty treat — made from layers of fluffy vanilla cake pieces topped with frosting and sprinkles, and then layered again — transported us to a birthday party. Each spoonful had us coming back for more.
Then, again, that could certainly be said for Dekalb Market Hall as a whole.
We will return.
DEKALB MARKET HALL
445 Albee Square West
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Sunday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Select vendors open at 7 a.m.