Sausage fest! Italian staple the draw at Carroll Garden’s fair

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Photo gallery

THE REAL THING: George Esposito shows off the finished product: a true sausage and pepper hero, a staple at the Court Street tradition.
SUNDAY SAUSAGE: John Esposito of G. Esposito and Sons Jersey Pork Store works the grill during the Court Street Festival on Sunday.
FUN AND GAMES: Two-year-old Sebastian Alvarez is locked and loaded to win a prize.
TO EACH HIS OWN: Sal Piro opted for something other than the sausage and peppers.
THIRST QUENCHER: Martin Viera and Krystal Romero offered lemonade — and zeppole!
FISH TALES: Hanna Haar and bags filled with living, aquatic trophies.
ALONG FOR THE RIDE: This child slid by too fast for us to get his name!.
Balls of rice: Deme Mustafaj and Marco Chirico of Marco Polo Restaurant entice passersby with this classic Italian comfort food.

Sure, sausage and pepper heroes have become ubiquitous at street fairs across Brooklyn (you can even get them at the Native American Festival at Floyd Bennet Field), but there is something about the Court Street Festival that makes them a must-have.

Hundreds of Brooklynites flocked to Carroll Gardens on Sunday for the annual Court Street Festival that boasts an endless supply of the Italian staple served up in an old Italian stronghold that makes the delicacy a bit more authentic.

“We make our sausages with love,” said Frank Esposito, son of meat-master John Esposito of G. Esposito & Sons Jersey Pork Store between Union and President streets where customers lined up to bite into the freshly grilled sweet or spicy treats that the family-run has been cooking non-stop for decades. “They’re better than everyone else’s — we use my great grandfather’s recipe from 1922.”

But they don’t just come for the sausages. For many old-school neighbors who resisted making the move West over the Verrazano Bridge, the all-day festival that stretches from Union Street to West Ninth Street can’t be missed.

“It’s about camaraderie with old friends you haven’t seen in a long time,” said lifelong Carroll Gardens resident Larry Love, who added that he has been coming to fair since its inception in the early ’90s. “It’s nice to see the neighborhood prospering.”

About 200 food vendors, merchants, and business owners lined the streets of the festival, which is sponsored by the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation.

The crowd-pleasing event also featured live music and fun-filled activities for children including carnival rides and bouncy castles.

Carroll Gardens native Ally Boggio, who now lives in New Jersey, came all the way back to the small neighborhood for the festival to rendezvous with friends and savor the day.

“It’s tradition for all my friends and I to get together and enjoy the fair,” said Boggio. “To us it marks the start of summer.”

For the record, the zeppole was also great.

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at
Updated 10:10 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
G Espositio simply makes the best sandwich in Brooklyn. It's been that way for a long time. Just walk in and ask for the regular Italian and have the best Brooklyn has to offer. All the sandwiches are great. If you are lucky there are still rice balls left. No Kale here, just great old school food. Well done guys!
May 6, 2013, 10:24 am
Jay from WT says:
It would of been great to see more local neighborhood vendors at the fair. The local guys were too few and far between. I was sad to see the same toy, sunglass, roasted corn, vendors on every block.
May 6, 2013, 4:48 pm

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