Village Voice Choice Eats (1)

Still recovering from Monday night’s 3rd Annual Choice Eats, hosted by Village Voice!  What a spectacle of food it was!  Surely no one was left hungry, and even those that were filled to the brim still fought to taste every single morsel out there.

I literally ran the 5 streets and 4 avenues to The Armory from work because I was so giddy with excitement!  And also because I was late.  VIP entry started at 5:30 pm and I was there a little past 6:00 pm, and the line for the regular entry at 6:30 pm was already winding around the block!  Fortunately, I slipped in and headed to the VIP lounge downstairs hosted by Sam Mason, chef and host of IFC’s Dinner with the Band, where we got a sneak preview on some dishes from Fatty Crab, Fette Sau, Tiffin Wallah, Porchetta, and Kuma Inn, and access to the Belgian Beer Bar with Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, and Leffe.

Village Voice Choice Eats (14)

Ranging from the more expensive restaurants like Fatty Crab, Del Posto, Resto, and Smorgas Chef, to the more recession-friendly priced places of Congee Village, Hummus Place, and Rajbhog Sweets and Snacks, and hailing from Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, each table brought something unique, best representing their restaurant

I am obsessed with Luke’s Lobster, so that was one of my first stations I made a beeline for.  They had just gotten their stand set up and there was already a huge line with the crowd spilling over into the other stands.   Their sample sizes were about 1/3 of their regular roll, but they were churning out only 1 sample per 20 seconds while people were pushing their way to the front.  The two workers looked super stressed out as they tried to hurry, but it wasn’t until a third worker came to their rescue and they reconfigured their assembly line did they finally figure out the most speedy and efficient process.  Better late than never!  Check out a regular size lobster roll the next time you visit – for just $14, it’s one of the best deals for lobster rolls that you can find in the city.

Village Voice Choice Eats (7)

I met my friend Terry and her BF so we three trekked to more stations.  I loved the mini tacos from both Mercadito and Pinche Taqueria; the lamb meatballs from Txikito; the Greek-style sausage from Astoria’s Ovelia; and delicious meats sliced from Fette Sau BBQ.  Pretty much everything with/on/in meat was great!

There were not that many dessert options which I was slightly disappointed about, but I guess that I didn’t really need it.  Spot Dessert Bar served up some smooth yogurt with sweet fruit spread and granola.  Del Posto served a popcicle ice cream stick, vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate and covered with salted breadcrumbs, a great way to fuse sweet and salty together.

Village Voice Choice Eats (21)

There were a surprising amount of beer stations, much to my delight!  Magic Hat, Sierra Nevada, Flying Dog, Abita, Ommegang, Blue Point, Left Hand, Oskar Blues, Smuttynose were all giving out tasting with explanations from their knowledgeable staff.  Oh, we tried this crazy-ass drink called Chartreuse.  Kinda Matrix-esque, we were told to pick between the yellow liquid and the green liquid.  We were told that the green liquid was a higher proof, so duh, green it was!  It was incredibly strong and potent, minty like we just took shots of Listerine.  It certainly was a palette cleanser, but much more than I could handle at the time!

This year’s partner for the Choice Eats event is Slow Food NYC, a non-profit organization:

Slow Food NYC is the local chapter of a national association that is part of an international movement dedicated to achieving a good, clean, and fair food system, where good means food that is real and culturally rooted, clean means food that is produced sustainably and humanely, and fair means that those who produce our food are treated fairly and that everyone has access to good, clean food.

Definitely a worthy cause, and a great event to celebrate food!  We already can’t wait for next year’s Choice Eats, but in the meantime you’ll see us hitting up all the restaurants on this year’s roster.


See more photos by Sam Horine in the gallery below and via the Village Voice!
Also, check out the review by NY Mag’s Grub Street!