There are lines at Smorgasburg. Oh, there are lines at Smorgasburg! Some things are worth waiting for, of course. I’d do bad things for Dough’s Chocolate Salted Caramel Donut & The Good Batch’s Goodwich. I call them properly rated. But some offerings are completely underrated. They are the kind of dishes that, after tasting, make me think “Why in the hell doesn’t this place have a line?” Since everyone already knows the very popular items at the market, this new feature is going to try to shed some light on the food that I think is delicious but possibly under the radar. (You might be thinking that if things are underrated, it must follow that there are things that are also overrated. This is true. But, they shan't be named here.) So, here’s a new feature I call "Underrated at Smorgasburg."
Disclaimer - Being a vendor myself, I know many vendors. I share kitchen space with others. I have become friends with quite a few. But that has zero effect on what I think does and does not taste good.
First up are the Bajan Fishcakes from Mr. Cutters. To be honest, I was a little skeptical before trying these. Fried seafood is a staple of our diet in south Louisiana. At least once a week we were eating fried shrimp, speckled trout, crawfish tails, soft-shell crab, catfish, etc. I knew it was delicious, but I never knew how good we had it until I tried fried seafood after moving away. I was almost always confronted with under-seasoned fish that had a soggy batter, or shrimp that had been frozen for eternity and was also under-seasoned and soggy (at least it was consistent). I inadvertently became, and still am, a bit of a seafood snob, as much as it pains me to type that. So despite really liking Mr. Cutters beef patties, I did not have the highest expectations when I ordered their fishcakes.
I was happily wrong. These fishcakes are fantastic. They reminded me of the best fish fritters I’ve had in the Caribbean and the great fried seafood I know from home. Deep fried but not greasy, they retain a tender bite. The salt cod comes through but does not dominate the way that salt cod often does, and it melded nicely with the vegetables, herbs, and spices for a great flavor. The scotch bonnet sauce brings the fire, so go easy on it if you’re spice averse. If spice is your thing, then do it up, man, because this sauce is for you.
So the next time you don’t want to wait in a long line at Smorgasburg, head to Mr. Cutters and get the Bajan Fishcakes. You won’t regret it.