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Smorgasburg Upstate

Smorgasburg in NYC is a big deal. Part food hall, part flea market, part craft fair, it’s become a must-do for the hip and cool.

So I was really excited when they announced that they were expanding to Kingston last summer. I thought I'd figured out the ideal weekend to go – October, after leaf peepers and other tourists were long gone. Well, I was wrong. The weekend I decided to go, so had Smorgasburg Upstate.

This year, I wasn't wasting any time. Met my partner, Janet, there on the first Saturday. It's in an old brickyard on the banks of the Hudson.

We went hungry because the draw in the city Smorgasburg is all the “street” food you can nosh. Sadly, the food in the Kingston venue was uninspiring at best.

Maybe it was the stand with a fried mac and cheese doughnut that changed my mind about lunch. Call me old (fashioned) but there are certain food mash-ups that just don't need to happen and topping a doughnut with mac and cheese would be one of them.

Another mash-up is a Smorgasburg legend, a ramen burger. Yes, it's a hamburger nestled between two slabs of ramen noodles. And no, even for the sake of this blog post, I didn't try it.

There are some good local food producers there. Cara-Sel caramel sauce, More Good soda syrups, a variety of hot sauces, some baked goods, bitters, brittles and chocolate.

If you're counting calories there are local jewelry makers and some vintage furniture, lighting and clothing vendors.

There's music, loud rock and roll, not the usual quasi hippie folk groups you find at farmers’ markets (but if that's important to you, Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan did a concert there in June).

Is it worth the trip? Sadly, probably not, unless you really want one-stop shopping for ramen burgers and mac and cheese doughnuts.

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