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GoogaMooga: Weird Name … Bitchin’ Champagne

There was a concert series in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park last weekend. I know …  shocker.  But this wasn’t any ordinary show, this was the Great GoogaMooga. Superfly Presents – of Bonnaroo and New Orleans JazzFest fame – brought two days worth of two stages of bands to the table, but they didn’t stop there: they brought food too. Going to a concert, you might expect to be able to buy a hot dog or a donut, but a fried bacon-wrapped hot dog, or a foie gras-filled donut? In fact, GoogaMooga was less a music festival than it was a food, beer and wine festival that happened to have awesome live music playing. Food vendors lined the perimeter of the park, selling small bites while beer and wine pavilions sold tastes of their wares to wash them down. Here are some of the highlights:

M. Wells' Foie Gras and Bologna Grilled Cheese

First stop was the Wine Pavilion, for some Champagne from Terry Theise’s portfolio. Then, with a little bubbly in hand, I set off for 10 hours of uncontrolled gluttony. It being before noon, donuts seemed to be the right choice. BedStuy’s Do or Dine served up donuts that looked exactly like the jelly-filled variety you might get around any corner in New York. But when you bite through, there’s an explosion of gooey, buttery foie gras. This paired phenomenally with Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens on the main stage.

Googa Panorama: quite the turnout

Having already had a few glasses of Champagne and some foie gras before noon, I decided it was time for some greens. I headed over to the Tia Pol stand where there were grilled green onions covered in aioli. Shucking this DIY onion like an ear of corn revealed a super-succulent inside whose Latin influence mimicked the Pedrito Martinez group playing at the time.

Tia Pol's grilled green onions and aioli

Truth be told, I’m ashamed of what came next: with my internal foie gras levels reaching perilous lows, it was time for M. Wards Foie Gras and Bologna Grilled Cheese. From there it was a downward spiral of Pancetta’s pancetta sandwiches and bacon flights in Hamageddon, a section of the festival solely assigned to pork – all of which was interspersed with samplings from one of the Wine Pavilion’s 150 wines (Jose Pastor’s Fino Sherry lineup pairs amazingly well with pancetta sandwiches by the way) or the slew of Belgian and local brews in the Beer Pavilion.

Hamageddon: the all pork section of GoogaMooga (massive statue that breathes and farts fire whilst roasting an entire pig)

Now, it’s Monday and it’s all over. I did take a few things away from the event though: a few added pounds around the waist, a horrible sun burn, a sweet new EP from local band called Lucius, and memories of an outrageous air guitar competition. I left all my shame at GoogaMooga this year. Hopefully, I’ll reclaim it in the near future so I can lose it again at next year’s Hamageddon.

Lobster Place's grilled half lobster (paired with the New Orleans Preservation Hall Jazz Band)