One of the sure signs that we’re headed into spring is going to Village Voice’s Choice Eats tasting event. VV hosted the 7th annual at downtown’s Basketball City, and always, we had an awesome, delicious time stuffing our faces with delicious bites from 60+ of NYC’s favorite restaurants and eateries.
The night kicked off in the VIP Lounge with Clarke’s Standard, Juliette Restaurant, La Slowteria, Doughnut Plant, Morgan’s Brooklyn Barbecue, Mrs. Dorsey’s Kitchen, and Grandaisy Bakery, where they let us steal their extra loaves of bread at the end of the night.
Early on in the evening, the main floor was still surprisingly not too crowded with ample room down the aisles, but as the minutes ticked on by, lines began to form for each table. Comfort food seemed to be the popular hit for the night. Charles Country Pan Fried Chicken where people lined up, ready to feast on a whole meal of fried chicken, mac and cheese, ribs, collared greens, sweet potatoes, and corn bread. You really could have had your entire fill right here. We also loved Jimmy’s No. 43 biscuit sandwiches with beer sausage, and Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter served cheese biscuits with country ham.
Peppa’s Jerk Chicken served their signature chicken with Festivals (which are like hush puppies??) and their own homemade hot sauce. The meat lasagna from Max was pretty good despite it being a bit cold, so we’re gonna take a trip to the restaurant and try it out for real. Queens Comfort served up atomic mac and cheese, just spicy enough to add flavor without burning your tastebuds off. For the Indian version of comfort food, Chadni Restaurant served up several chicken dishes, including chicken biryani, chicken tikka masala, and chicken 65.
For fellow meat lovers, we were obsessed with Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue. El Almacen served up some delicious Malbec-braised short ribs, sitting in Boniato purée. For more a more subtle presentation of meat, we enjoyed mini nachos from Fonda topped with slow baked pork shoulder and pickled onions. The Greek coffee steak from Ovelia Psistaria was also another standout crowd favorite.
Other standout dishes included the Dark Men black sesame paste noodles with spicy ground pork from Tabata Noodles. We eagerly slurped down our first cup and immediately grabbed another. Though better known for their epic lobster rolls, Rod Hook Lobster Pound served up some praise-worthy lobster bisque. Loved that it wasn’t overly heavy or creamy, and we can’t wait to check them out at their new East Village location. The rabbit tacos from Mexico Lindo were also quite delicious, though we secretly feel terrible about eating adorable things.
For dessert, we could not get enough of Ample Hills Creamery ice cream and all their amazing flavors. Salted crack caramel is still my favorite, but the recommended flavor and crowd favorite was “Gather ‘Round the Campfire’ with toasted marshmallows. In addition to bubble tea, Fay Da Bakery was there in full force with egg custards, a giant table of strawberry short cake, and mango cake. For some sweet and savory combos, Bien Cuit served an apricot danish, tartine with serrano ham, and a mesquite corn biscuit.
Be sure to check out our photo gallery below for even more eats and also refer to the full list of vendors. Another successful Choice Eats event – thank you, Village Voice!