I was lucky enough to snag a pass to Tuesday's Choice Eats event hosted by the Village Voice. Restaurants, bakeries, wineries, breweries, etc. came together and showcased their finest eats and drinks. I arrived at the 69th Armory on Lexington Ave. which is a historical building that used to house...you guessed it...the U.S. 69th Infantry Regiment. These days it's used for special events. Back in 2009, they held the Victoria's Secret Fashion show.
I arrived hungry which is ideal when attending a food event. After attending a few of these things I've become something of an expert on navigating through the crowds and making the most of the experience.
Always check your coat. It's no fun try to balance a plate of samosas and your coat. Plus, if you're like me, you'll likely trip over your scarf and fall flat on your face.
Don't try to jot down the name of the restaurant/winery/brewery. Take a small digital camera and snap a picture instead. Take a card/pamphlet and move on.
Pace yourself. Although the portions being handed out are small, you can quickly become full/drunk. Scope out the place first and stop by the tables that you really want to see.
Arrive early and leave early. You'll get the freshest food, the place won't be as crowded and the vendors will be a lot more energetic at the beginning of the night.
Now I really should've taken my own advice because I forgot my camera and stuffed my face in the first 30 minutes of the event and ended up walking around in a food coma. I literally did laps around the armory in an attempt to digest so I could eat more. Mission: Failed.
But here are some things that I stuffed my face with:
- I met Cathy Erway, food blogger and author of The Art of Eating In. I sampled her wild dandelion pesto with crostini. And get this. She has just picked the dandelions herself fresh that day!
- Eddie Huang (BaoHaus) created his own version of kung pao chicken, laced with tons of lemongrass.
- Bark Hot Dogs from Brooklyn was featuring their signature Bark Dog, made in-house using pork shoulder, pork shank and beef shoulder.
- The sexy duo behind The Meatball Shop, Daniel Holzman & Michael Chernow, created a mini Reuben meatball served with sauerkraut and thousand island dressing.
- Luke’s Lobster… There was a huge line to get a taste of the buttery and juicy lobster rolls. I’ll just hit up their East Village location.
- For pork lovers, there was a tomato-y pork ragu brought to you by Porchetta. The fabulous Sara Jenkins was on hand and gave me the secret to her famous roast pork. “The recipe is on the website,” she said. Click here for “the secret.”
- Leaving the Armory, I came across the Wafels and Dinges truck and sampled their Throwdown Wafel. (It won against the Throwdown w/ Bobby Flay).
I left feeling stuffed and content. Can't wait till next year's Choice Eats.
Happy cooking tasting!