Some things should be done only in the dark of night, in the shadows of streetlamps. You turn a corner and suddenly you see them. This is your chance. You reach inside your jacket and pull out ... a fork?
The New York Times' Patricia Leigh Brown reports
that the pop-up restaurant, which she describes as an underground market or
indie food rave, is the drug of choice for this generation of junkies
-- food junkies, that is.
The pop-ups initially began as a way
around traditional farmers-market expenses and legal restrictions.
Vendors gather, typically in the evening and as late as midnight, to
concoct a variety of dishes that their thrill-seeking followers crave.
If bacon caramels are the new pot brownies, then are
restricted foods America's ultimate high? Fat City encourages its readers
to search out their own psychedelic dishes, but it's important to stay grounded with some simple suggestions:
First, know your dealer. What you're about to put in your mouth could be made with high-quality ingredients by an experienced chef in a clean space, but by definition, underground markets sell unlicensed food and don't require health inspections or permits. If you feel uncomfortable, just don't do it.
Second, pay attention. Ask what you're eating, and know who is serving it to you and how. Anything that involves cheese and deep-frying? Good. Finding out that your mozzarella stick is made of breast-milk cheese halfway through your first bite? Not so much.
Third, be adventurous. You're there to exhilarate your taste buds, not find an Oscar Mayer wiener cart. At least try the jellyfish salad. If it freaks you out, at least it will make a good story.
So do tell us, dear Fat City followers, what food do you turn to for your fix?