A new food hall (Time Out Market New York) just opened in DUMBO!? How many more food halls can there be? I grew up loving food halls, but I called them food courts. I would venture with friends to Northbrook Court, a Class A Mall at the time, and loaded up on Sbarro pizza. It’s such a suburban concept where space is not at a premium. Then came Smorgasburg, which changed it all. Sure there was always The Farmer's Market in LA, but Smorgasburg was where you came to find (Instagram worthy) things you couldn’t find elsewhere. Unique pickles, ramen burgers, or Amazeballs ... this was a magical place of discovery. Like any successful concept, many others rush in to share (steal) the success. Heck, it's the very definition of perfect competition. It is certainly not defensible, and soon the novelty wears off. These new ones remind me of the one of my childhood, a place to eat rather than to discover new cuisines. Is Roberta's the same when you can find it on 53rd and Lex! Our cities are turning into malls, (gasp)! Look no further than Hudson Yards ... maybe that's why I sorta like Hudson Yards (as do the droves of people I see when I'm there).
This week's Loupe is dedicated to loving the mall, but staying away!
Instead of going to the prototypical trendy beer hall, maybe enjoy a draft beer at home? I genuinely enjoy a draft beer more than its bottled or canned counterparts. There is something about the carbonation and temperature that work better from a tap. Typically, this is difficult to accomplish at home until Hopsy came along. This device was introduced to me by fellow Louper Jason B. and is an excellent addition to your home appliances. Now you can pour yourself a draft beer at the end of a long day or on a warm summer night. They have a variety of beers from leading breweries, including IPA, Pilsner, Lagers, and much more via a subscription (or not) as needed. The beer comes in a 130 oz cannister resembling a 2-liter bottle, which will not serve an entire backyard BBQ, so order plenty! They are continuously adding great beers to add to their system. I recommend freezing your glasses and enjoying your draft beer asap!
Whisky River Soap Co.
Soaps and candles were always the mainstays of a mall. Sure they weren't the anchor tenant, but they were a must stop by. The stores always smelled great and had a variety of curiosities inside. Whisky River Soap Co. has taken that vibe and made an online store of similar fun gifts (a la soaps, bath bombs, and even astrology) that is a must visit. This time of year, everyone is looking for teacher or graduation gifts. Look no further. Here, you can find a candle called I Fucking Love You or Soap for Grammar Police, Smells like you're Annoying. You may even find a soap that your kid (Dean!!!???) will actually use, as they think it's funny. Oh, and Father's Day gifts. Here's one ... Soap for Dad Bods, Smells like Cookies and Cable Sports.
Why leave your home to taste a variety of great foods? Yummy Bazaar has curated packaged foods from all over the world and will deliver to your home. It is essentially an international grocery store with the ease factor of Fresh Direct. They have carefully selected the best available items from every region of the world, think gourmet store on steroids! You may sort by region, food type, or even diet (kosher, vegan, gluten-free?). This website opens up a variety of foods that you either wouldn't know about or be able to procure. The next time you have an Italian dinner party, actually get the products from Italy! Salute!