So, Brooklynites, whadja eat at the Antic? This is, to you out-of-towners, perhaps the only NYC street fest worth attending. Unlike the other interchangeable greasy affairs selling tube socks and fried stuff, the annual Atlantic Antic is an almost entirely local affair, with the many restaurants--and churches and other organizations--providing the chow. The menu and vibe changes block by block--from Hicks to clinton it's hipsterville, with beer gardens, rock and alt-country stages (here are The Dansettes, swinging their blue-eyed soul), and sangria Spanish paella, chorizo and grilled fresh sardines from La Mancha.
I was tempted by many, many things, but the standout this year was the lamb sharwerma sandwich from the table outside the Oriental Grocery, on the South side between Clinton and Court.
I think I'd heard tell of their legendary sharwerma here, and the beautiful old copper machine they grill the meat on, taken out and used only for the Antic. Juicy, very well-seasoned meat, chunks of tomato, dollops of tahini and yogurt sauces, cucumber and tomato salad, and a big sploosh of fabulous hot sauce. wildly messy but worth the stack of napkins.
Earlier in the day I'd seen a makeshift bbq pit on the street--a rectangle of concrete blocks topped with a sheet of corrugated metal, with hooves sticking out from either end. A return visit a few hours later revealed an entire butterflied pig laid on a metal grid and smoking away over a bed of coals laid down right on the asphalt.
It was the work of PJ Handley's, the bar and grill down on Court, who were serving up chopped pork sandwiches and plates of ribs. As I was admiring the pig's head, one of the pig choppers snagged a particularly tender morsel from somewhere down around the pig's neck and handed it over. Mmmm, tender porky goodness.