Two weeks ago I had the privilege of attending one of the most anticipated foodie events in a long time. The Great Googa Mooga, a food theme park with hundreds of some of NYC’s best restaurants, took over a large chunk of Prospect Park and had over 40K attendees. Admission to the park was free but there were a certain amount of tickets released. I was lucky enough to obtain a freebie. There were also VIP tickets up for grabs at almost $300 bucks a pop.
I had mixed feelings about this event as I am not a fan of crowds and even more so , not a fan of heat.
Of course, the weather was a muggy 80 something degrees which was enough to make me grumpy but I set out on my adventure with high hopes. The event started at 11am and I was there by 11:30. It was quite a trek from Queens but I braved the 2 hr commute to Prospect Park and met up with 2 friends who also had tickets.
Even at 11:30, it was starting to get crowded.
The Roots were scheduled to perform as well so many people showed up for the free concert and the food was just a bonus.
Let it be known, I was there for the food.
The scene was a little intimidating as there was so much to choose from. I decided that if I were to get anything at this festival, it was going to be something that wasn’t easily accessible to me on any other occasion. This was my chance to try something new.
I made my way over to the dessert side first. There were no lines on this side of the park.
Each kiosk featured one or two items.
My posse and I opted for the Fried Cheesecake bombs.
I had wanted to hit Big Gay Ice Cream, but they werent selling their amazing cones, just a curry ginger milk shake. I declined the $6 milkshake out of fear of my lactose intolerance. portojohns and lactose intolerance is not a good time.
I opted for a lemon cheesecake bomb. The bomb was a fail. The crispy coating was probably the only thing that I liked. the innards, while strong in flavor tasted curdled. That’s not tasty.
We left the dessert area in search of a line with less than 10 people on it… we were amazed at how many people lined up for Pizza.
It made no sense.
The line for arancini brothers rice balls was ridiculous. So, I decided from here on out to document my journey, even if it was in creeper mode. I cut the line and went right for this pic and yes, I did say I love your balls to the guy plating balls.
I keeps it classy.
I was also dehydrating. I cannot be held responsible for my actions.
We decided to hydrate and sought the many beverage kiosks that were in the park. There were about 25 of them. And they all had lines that were beyond the scope of rationality. We got on the shortest line we could find which still sucked 1 hour and change of our time there. Our best bet was taking turns waiting on line for drinks while the others sought food.
Right next to our unholy line was this Fried Chicken Bahn Mi kiosk that had NO LINE. That was my opportunity. I ordered the only thing on the menu. A fried Chicken Bahn Mi.
I asked for a whole sandwich to share with my friends.
Lady: That will be $12.
Me: Blink whaaaaa?
Lady: If you want half, that will be $6.
I bought the whole mother loving sandwich that was the size of my fist.
Was it good? Yes it was good.
Was it worth $12? Hell to the No.
I hopped back on the stupid beverage line. This was the end of it by the way. Can you tell how it is curved like the letter L? L is for LONG ASS LINE.
When we got to the front of the line, I ordered a beer ($7) and a water ($4). The staff kept getting my order wrong. What a shit show.
While I was standing in yet another line, I spied this man. I could care less about his face…but his platter of fried chicken called to me like angels from heaven.
Can you hear it?
I contemplated walking up to him and asking him if I could be a weirdo and photograph his chicken… but I like to be different.
So I just followed him until he was close enough for a picture. He stood there sharing his chicken with his girlfriend and I gave him daggers with my eyes…
until my line buddy came back with a taste of the same chicken! These three flat wing pieces cost $5. Five EFFIN Dollars. They were crisp and fried to perfection. The seasoning however, fell short. It was seasoned with old bay and honey. But it was skimpy on flavor. Plus I burned the shit out of my lips and fingers.
Meanwhile, back on the line, I was enjoying my time being a creepster and spied this beautiful woman feeding her man some of the grilled lobster being sold.
Can you believe people paid $9 for half of a grilled lobster?
This guy is lucky. My BF is awesome but he would have to not only get his own lobster but feed his own self… im not down with that mushy shit. (okay, maybe sometimes)
Me want lobster.
After we got off that stupid ass line we walked. and walked. we bypassed stupid lines like the $11 foie gras donut that some people drooled over and others cursed after spending that amount on a donut. I ended up on the line near Coolio’s Kitchen. And yes, I saw the crazy haired 90’s rapper but he ran off to take a pic with someone.
His booth kept it classy with a very professional looking sign. You go Coolio.
And when I couldn’t take the heat any longer, and my water and beer were long gone, I waited on line for a $4 soda from Brooklyn Soda Works. The cardamom cream soda was really good.
I walked around for a little while longer before I succumbed to the heat exhaustion. I was not feeling awesome as I had acquired an awesome sunburn on my shoulders. then I endured a 2 hr train ride feigning nausea and severe exhaustion. The heat is not my friend.
Overall, this event was an epic fail for me. I made the best of it but unless there are major changes, I wont be back. The event organizers scored some major redemption points when they offered everyone who bought VIP passes FULL REFUNDS after the shit show got really really bad reviews. So maybe next year, it will be less of a shit show.
But for now, I’m telling you it was Ass.