Even the most fiendish of flea freaks may not realize that on summer Saturdays and Sundays, there’s a massive flea market in Aqueduct Racetrack’s parking lot, and while the goods may not be as chic as at Brooklyn Flea, Hester Street Fair, and Artists & Fleas (imagine a giant outdoor discount store), the food scene is certainly thriving. There's a fried-chicken cart that sells watermelon and passion-fruit juice, a Chinese fish and chips cart, a mozzarepa cart doling out tamarind juice and fruit punch, a couple of halal carts, a zeppole stand, and an imposing grill turning out roasted corn. One Parika Sancho sells tasty plantain chips in a bag, and there are a handful of food trucks, including Staten Island’s Sin Fronteras (tacos, tortas, and sopes) and the El Paraiso de las Empanadas (Empanada Paradise).
That last truck has been serving Argentine platters (bisteak, chicken cutlets, or grilled chicken with rice, beans, and salad) to Brooklynites as well as at the flea, but we're told that this week, it will start parking on 14th Street and University Place during the day and move over to the meatpacking district at night. The empanadas are stuffed with cheese, beef, or chicken. They're on the greasy side, but that should do meatpackers just fine. The truck also specializes in homemade sausages, barbecued ribs, and more. It has no web presence, but you can reach it the old-fashioned way, at 347-245-6301 or 347-659-5515.