2013 Choice Eats (3)

The Village Voice threw their 6th annual Choice Eats food fest at the 69th Regiment Armory, and as always, we had an awesome, delicious time stuffing our faces with bites from 80+ of NYC’s favorite restaurants and eateries.

To help assuage our gluttony, a portion of ticket sales went to Slow Food NYC, a non-profit organization to counteract the culture of fast food, to promote local food traditions, and to educate consumers on where their food comes from.

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The night kicked off in the VIP Lounge with a special demo by Sarah Simmons, founder of CITY GRIT and recently named as one of “America’s Greatest New Cooks” by FOOD & WINE Magazine. We tried bites from Pig and Khao, SCRATCHbread, Sigmund’s Pretzels, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Exchange Alley, Qi Thai Grill, Thirty Acres, Kati Roll Company, and many more.

Headed to the main room, we decided to dive in head first. On the meat front, Jimmy’s No. 43 gave us a spoonful of bacon and grits. Mable’s Smokehouse served tender brisket with amazing BBQ sauce. This was one of the first dishes of the night, and it nearly ruined the rest of the evening for me. Ok, a bold statement, but damn, that was some good BBQ.

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Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter had a “mini fried chicken picnic” with cold fried chicken served with a side of seasoned salad. Not sure that I’m a fan of the cold part of the cold friend chicken – but the chicken itself was delicious, so my next order of this will be self-heated in my microwave. There was a giant line at Ovelia Osistaria for authentic Greek food by way of Astoria. The Greek coffee rubbed skirt steak was just too irresistible not to try.

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Kuma Inn stunned passerbys with their table with a whole hog splayed out, carving it up and serving it immediately onto folks’ plates.

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Allswell had delicious mini pies with chorizo, chicken bacon, or beef and stilton. 606 R&D served a “Drunken Poor Man’s Fondue.” Sounds like my kind of meal!

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Old-time vendors include Red Hook Lobster Pound, Luke’s Lobster with their shrimp rolls, Txikito, Del Posto, Ditch Plains with their infamous Ditch Dogs – a hot dog topped with macaroni and cheese – the Meatball Shop with their Buffalo chicken balls, Porchetta‘s crostinis, and many more. New timers included Anella, Brooklyn Brine, Carlo’s Bakery, Chinese Mirch, David’s Brisket House, EMVI Chocolate, Grandaisy Bakery, Juliette, La Newyorkina, Landbrot Bakery, Le Midi Bistro, Max, Peanut Butter & Co., Psistaria, Peppa’s Jerk Chicken, Resto, Rosamunde Sausage Grill, S’more Bakery, Tabata Noodle Restaurant, The Good Batch, Woodland and Yemen Cafe & Restaurant.

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As for dessert, we are obsessed with Ample Hills Creamery and their amazing selection of thick and creamy ice cream flavors, from Mexican Hot Chocolate, Sweet as Honey, Ooey Gooey, and – my personal favorite – Salted Crack Caramel. No judgement when I went back for seconds and thirds. Nearby were adorably delicious cupcakes from Butter and Scotch.

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Back downstairs, there was a dessert power hour as part of the VIP Lounge.  For lack of a better word, the most intense station was for S’mores Bakery where they literally took a mini blowtorch to a giant slab of homemade marshmallow to melt atop a graham cracker with chocolate. Amazing! The Blue Stove and their signature monkey served up some Drunken Money Pie.

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Carlo’s Bakery of Cake Boss fame could have filled up all the stomachs in the VIP lounge on their own with their array of cakes – chocolate, vanilla, carrot, and red velvet – along with cookies and rugelach, and cannolis. Butter Lane presented their assortment of mini cupcakes on a tempting tower.

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Despite being a chilly March evening, I was sweating my

[expletive] off and welcomed a taste of delicious ice pops from La Newyorkquina. Other amazing dessert vendors included BITEME Cheesecakes, Danny Macaroons, EMVI Chocolate, Grandaisy Bakery, Liddabit Sweets, Ovenly, Peanut Butter & Co., and Zucker Bakery.

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Another successful Choice Eats event – thank you, Village Voice!