I went to Red Hook over the weekend and explored some of its famous culinary destinations.
Soccer field vendors:
The ballfields had the famous crowds, and the food was tasty. I had an excellent Chilean cheese empanada -- though how could one really go wrong with deep fried dough and cheese? It did have a delicious very spicy salsa, though. Cheese pupusas were similarly tasty, though the vegetable ones lacking cheese were a little too dry for my taste. Though they're good, they are not worth an hour's wait, though.
Steve's Key Lime Pies
Steve's KLP are located in a quaint corner near the water with catchy kitschy signs and an boat-turned-garden near the entrance to its location. The key lime pie is highly limey and tasty, but the real star is the swingle, which is a 4" pie dipped in chocolate and frozen. Fantastic.
Stars: 5/5 on the strength of the swingle
Baked is a famous bakery that extends its reach over all New York now through various distributors, like Cafe Royale in the W. Village. I tasted a salty caramel-chocolate cake, a peanut butter whoopie pie, and a chocolate chip cookie. The frosting on the cake and whoopie pie were too hard, something later explained by a server who told us that the cakes had come out of the refrigerator not much earlier. This is not really a good excuse, but it's something of an explanation. In any case, I found the frosting too buttery for my taste. On the cake, the cake was too clumped together and not fine-grained enough.
However, the chocolate chip cookie was marvellous. Of the thicker, well-cooked variety, it had a nice toasty outside and a crumbly-to-soft interior. The chocolate was of high quality, and the overall cookie experience was in the "best" league of the city - not surprising since one of my other top choices, Chocolate Bar, used to be co-owned by the owner of Baked. And Chocolate Bar carries many goods from Jacques Torres, who makes my third favorite chocolate chip cookie. So there are links to be found here...
Stars: 4/5 (for the cookie)