Two veterans of Brooklyn's Smorgasburg food market have branched out into actual brick-and-mortar establishments. Zagat’s Kelly Dobkin filed the following report.
Upgrading everyone’s favorite party snack, pigs in a blanket, is what made Brooklyn Piggies a hit at Smorgasburg, and now the brand has opened its first brick-and-mortar location on Avenue A in the East Village.
"It was always our plan to go into a brick and mortar and setting up at Smorg gave us the confidence that we actually did have a concept that people were responding to. So it's going to give us the opportunity to really expand on the core concept,” said Missy Koo, owner of Brooklyn Piggies.
Late night revelers can stop by the storefront’s take-out window which serves up piggies until 4 a.m. on weekends. The piggies come in three varieties: original, spicy and chicken, with the option of three housemade dipping sauces: catsup, BBQ sauce and spicy brown mustard.
"The biggest difference is that we a sausage that has a natural casing. The snap is really important to us. The other difference is that we don't use a crescent roll, we use a puff pastry. So it keeps it nice and and light and flaky,” said Koo.
Over in Cobble Hill, another Smorgasburg vet has gone brick and mortar with a versatile, gluten-free Indian dish. Dosa Royale dishes out countless varieties of their signature item.
"The dosa is made of rice and lentil, it's kind of like a South Indian crepe. Dosa's are really good for you. It's gluten free and it's vegan and it's very healthy,” said Thiru Rajamani, Dosa Royale owner and chef.
The dosas are complemented with creative items like donuts made from fried lentils. The venue has come a long way from its modest roots, but dig in here and you'll find the same delicious surprises that caused lines at the outdoor market.
"It's very easy to put your product out there, and it's a real low cost to start at Smorgasburg. You can actually try out your product there and see the people really buying it,” said Rajamani.
"It's fairly labor intensive so if you can keep that up you'll be able to see that you could possibly succeed at your own restaurant,” said Health Rajamani.