Smorgasburg, Part II: Duck Season

Duck Season's duck fat fries

As you probably already know, I recently ventured to Smorgasburg to try the famed ramen burger—but that wasn’t the only thing I tried on my trip. In fact, before we made our way to Ramen Burger, we stopped at Duck Season, a stand that specializes in—you guessed it—duck and only duck. Heaven.

I knew I had to try it—but before I did, I sent an email to make sure they’d be a safe option. The next day, I received the following reply:

There are no nuts in anything we make in house. However, we do use some products (mostly in sandwich and wing sauces) that *may* contain tree nut traces. To be completely safe, I suggest you stick with the duck confit, sliced duckbreast, duck rinds and duck fat fries. (Avoid sandwiches.) Our bakery makes some stuff with nuts so there’s always and chance for cross contamination. We isolate wheat based products on site and they never go on/in cooking equipment. If you have concerns I will be on site at Smorgasburg and can walk you through choices that are safe.

I really appreciated the level of detail in this reply. Usually, the emails I get are pretty curt: “Yes, we have nuts” or “No, we don’t have nuts,” with no consideration of possible cross-contaminants, even though I’m always sure to ask. But Duck Season demonstrated an impressive level of allergy awareness, so I was pretty confident that their food would be safe for me to eat.

Duck breast from Duck Season

When I arrived, I followed up with the (incredibly friendly and helpful) guy I’d spoken to via email. As I’d expected, he was exceedingly competent, and I felt 100% comfortable ordering whatever he suggested. He pointed me toward the duck breast, the duck-fat fries, and the duck wings—they were out of the confit, unfortunately—and advised me again to steer clear of the sandwiches, which I’d planned to do anyway. Easy enough. I went with the breast and the fries, and both ended up being pretty damn delicious.

To start, the fries (pictured at the top of this post) were great. Imagine Five Guys fries, if Five Guys fries weren’t so abysmally disappointing—and if they were cooked in duck fat and served with some sort of duck-based gravy-like sauce. Simply put, these fries were divine. The breast (pictured above) was really good, too, even though I probably let it cool for way too long while looking for a place to sit. Still, it was perfectly cooked and seasoned—tender, salty, and delicious, overall—and I’m genuinely excited to go back and try the confit.

Like Ramen Burger, you can find Duck Season’s tent at Smorgasburg—in Williamsburg (90 Kent Avenue) on Saturdays, and in Prospect Park (near the entrance on Lincoln Road) on Sundays. And unlike Ramen Burger, they do take cards. Definite plus.

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