“I’m starting with sushi,” said Art DeTitta, wolfing down a meal at the first stand in a long row of food stalls. “I’m going to hit the beer trailer next. Then probably a gyro. And then maybe a cheesesteak, and end up with zeppole.”
Food was a major draw at this year’s Street Fair in Secaucus. Held over three days in Buchmuller Park, from Friday, June 6 to Sunday, June 8, the event drew more than 100 vendors selling food from all corners of the globe and a wide variety of crafts and products.
Entertainment was provided throughout the three days by bands, hypnotists, and other performers at the bandshell, where visitors danced to oldies or sat in benches or lawn chairs to enjoy the fine weather. Kids were entertained by rides and games, including a “drown the clown” dunk tank where visitors could test their pitching arm.
Secaucus resident Mike Heaney was among the first to visit Molly McEvoy’s beer trailer early on Saturday afternoon, with friend Sandra Decker visiting from Edison.
“It’s awesome,” said Heaney about the event. “It’s a nice town. Except for the bartenders.”
He was joking, of course. “No, I’m a big fan of Molly’s. Hence why I’m here. We gotta support Molly’s. Mol-ly’s, Mol-ly’s.”
“Secaucus, if you look at the calendar, there’s events all the time.” –Bhavan Patel
“No, you were here,” said Decker.
“Really?” Heaney thought for a moment. “Maybe I had too many Miller Lites.”
Raymond Chan has lived in Secaucus for 13 years. He attended the fair with his young son Zachary. It was their first time at the annual event.
“It’s great,” said dad. “I used to go to the one in Manhattan, in Chinatown-Little Italy, the San Gennaro Feast. This reminds me of that. Only better choices in food.”
Zachary was more interested in a goldfish he spotted in the hands of a fair attendee, so the hunt was on to find the stand where they could win one.
“Secaucus is amazing,” said local resident Bhavan Patel, attending with his friend Ravi Patel. “I don’t know if a lot of towns do this that often. Secaucus, if you look at the calendar, there’s events all the time.”
…and more food
The Indian restaurant Dhoom opened in Secaucus about six months ago and brought a sampling from their menu to the event. Unlike other stands, they had a table out in the open, where Vivek Satsangi stood in the hot sun on Saturday, wearing a crisp shirt and tie, waiting patiently for their tent to arrive.
“We did this last moment so it’s on the way, it’s coming,” he said, hopefully.
Dhoom offered a selection of mouth-watering treats, both vegetarian and meat, with recipes honed at their other restaurant. Tulsi, in Manhattan, opened in 1998.
The name Dhoom comes from a popular Indian movie series, now on its third installment. “It means when you’re really very happy and you want to blast your happiness to that extreme, celebrating your happiness,” said Satsangi.
An appropriate name, given the delectable treats on offer.
Sean Beyah was manning the stand at Maisah’s Lemonade Blends, doing a brisk business in funnel cakes, fried Oreos, foot-long hot dogs, and especially ice cold drinks.
Maisah is his mom, off this weekend at another event selling her signature blend of lemonade.
“Anywhere there’s an event, we show up,” said Beyah, who has been in the business about 10 years. “In New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, anywhere.”
Directly across from them, the one and only Original Soupman truck sold seafood bisque, chicken gumbo, broccoli and cheese, and lobster rolls. Co-owners John Gibbs and Marcus Crawford are in the truck every day selling their distinctive goods on the street and at events.
Based in Old Bridge, they are launching a franchise for “SoupMobiles” nationally with partner Shaquille O’Neal. And yes, the soup is as good as its reputation.
Joe Piscotta stood in the shadow of a tree eating a shish kebab, wearing a Jersey City t-shirt. Born and raised in J.C., he has lived in Secaucus since 1998, “since the tragic day I got married,” he said.
Now retired after working 40 years for the Jersey City Board of Education, he enjoys living in Secaucus. Sort of.
“It’s nice,” he said between bites. “But it’s not Jersey City.”
Art Schwartz may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.