The Village Voice's "Choice Eats" 7th annual tasting event took place on March 25th at Basketball City at Pier 36, from 7-10pm, and a VIP-only hour from 6-7pm. The last time I went to "Choice Eats" was back in 2011, and it's only gotten bigger and better, with more participating restaurants and amazing foods to taste.
The final lineup included 84 participating restaurants including 606 R&D, Alobar, Ample Hills Creamery, Anella, Bear, Banana Leaf, Beecher's Handmade Cheese, Bhatti Indian Grill, Bien Cuit, Black Tree, Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter, Brooklyn Kolache Co., Buka, Bunker, Butter & Scotch, Carlo's Bakery, Chandni, Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken, Clark's Standard, Coppelia, Deccan Spice, Devi, Dirt Candy, Distilled, Doughnut Plant, Edi and the Wolf, Egg, El Almacen, Fay Da Bakery, Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue, Fonda, Grandaisy Bakery, Indian Clove, Jimmy's No. 43, John Brown Smokehouse, Jacob's Pickles, Jones Wood Foundry, Juliette Restaurant, Kaia Wine Bar, Khe Yo, Kuma Inn, La Newyorkina, La Slowteria, Larb Ubol, Liddabit Sweets, Little Prince, Littleneck, Louro, Luke's Lobster, Mables Smokehouse, Mai Sushi, Maima's Liberian Bistro, Martha, Max, Mexico Lindo, Mooncake Foods, Morgan's Brooklyn Barbecue, Mrs. Dorsey's Kitchen, No. 7, Oda House, OddFellows Ice Cream Co., Ovelia Psistaria, Ovenly, Peppa's Jerk Chicken, Pete Zaaz, Pickle Shack, Queens Comfort, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Robicelli's, Rosamunde Sausage Grill, Rubirosa, SCRATCHbread, Sheep Station, Spicy Bampa, Swine, Tabata Noodle Restaurant, Telepan Local, The Kati Roll Company, The Meatball Shop, The Pines, Thistle Hill Tavern, Xe May Sandwich Shop, Yunnan Kitchen, Zenon Taverna, and many more.
Sponsors included Stella Artois, Great Brewers, Southern Wine & Spirits, Whole Foods Market, Disney NEWSIES on Broadway, Diamond Vision, Asahi Beer USA, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Blueprint Brands, Asahi Beer, Verizon FIOS, Alphabet City Brewing Company, Blue Point Brewing Company, Brewery Ommegang, Crabbies Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer, Lagunitas Brewing Company, MOA Brewing Co., Oskar Blues Brewery, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Singha Beer, Sixpoint Brewery, Smuttynose Brewing Company, Black Dirt Distillery, Catoctin Creek, Dulce Vida Organic Tequila, New Holland Brewing, Rogue Spirits, Suerte Tequila, Virginia Distillery Company, Woody Creek Distillers, SingleCut Beer, Four Roses Bourbon, Ste Michelle Wine Estates, Sidney Frank Importing Inc., Tito's Handmade Vodka, Cabot Creamery, Flat Rate Moving, Green Mountain Energy, Hailo Cab, White Pike Whiskey, City Tech, Frames and Hot 97.
Congratulations to the winner of this year's "Choice Eats" Fan Favorite Voting Contest - Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue! I didn't get around to trying their dish, but I'm sure it was amazing!
Here's a look at some of my favorite participating restaurants from the VIP Happy Hour. This was actually my favorite part of the tasting, as it was laid back without any long lines or crowds.
La Slowteria: El Cotorroguava - Salad with Hibiscus Flower Dressing
La Slowteria: El Negrito - Duck in Black Mole
Morgan's Brooklyn Barbecue
Clarke's Standard - Mini Standard Cheeseburgers
Rosamunde Sausage Grill: Grilled Sausage, Beer Sausage, Cheddar Brat and Vegan Apple Sage
Carlo's Bakery: Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting
Grandaisy Bakery: Roman-Style Pizzas
Here's a look at the participating sponsors and restaurants on the main floor. A special thanks to Verizon FIOS for introducing me to an Ultimate HD package I couldn't pass up, and for giving me the most practical gift I can ask for add a food tasting - Verizon FIOS tupperware that was perfect for storing some Carlo's Bakery Red Velvet goodies for later.
Luke's Lobster: Maine Crab Rolls
Louro: Bacon Cornbread with Braised Chorizo
Coppelia: Arepas - Corn Cake, Shredded Chicken, Guacamole, Rocoto Sauce
Martha: Berkshire Pork Ribs with Ginger Glaze Over Jasmine Rice
Fay Da Bakery: Bubble Tea
Steve's Ice Cream: Burnt Sugar Vanilla
Steve's Ice Cream: Cranberry Cinnamon Marshmallow
My favorite dish of the night was Ample Hills Salted Crack Caramel Ice Cream with Crack Cookies. I rarely trek over to Brooklyn but now I'm going to have to and pick up a few pints of that ice cream flavor!
Ample Hills Creamery: Salted Crack Caramel Ice Cream with Crack Cookies and Gather 'Round the Campfire Ice Cream - Toasted Marshmalllow Ice Cream with Chocolate-Covered Graham Cracker
The Village Voice's "Choice Eats" was an amazing success! Next up is The Village Voice's 3rd annual "Choice Streets" food truck tasting set for May 7th on the Intrepid. For details and to purchase tickets, go to villagevoice.com/choicestreets.
- Kim Weling