Choice Eats Delivers A Happy Belly

The Village Voice’s 7th annual Choice Eats tasting event was a satisfying hit!  As soon as I walked into Basketball City on South Street and noticed the thousands of people lining up at each table, I knew I shouldn’t have eaten lunch that afternoon. I was greeted with a tasting glass, a souvenir tray to hold my food-sampling plates in and a “Food Bill” to guide me through the 118 tables of different restaurants, beers, wines and spirits, and of course some cool sponsors like Whole Foods and Stella Artois Garden Beer.

Photo Credit: Denise Pina

Along with the overwhelming food choices, there were food demos for our entertainment.  Allison Kave spoke about how to create the perfect pie (the secret is in the crust!), and Andres Fernandez prepared us for our summer barbecues with some simple and cookout-changing BBQ techniques.

Although my stomach didn’t allow me to try everything at the event, I sure did make my way around to each table. There was a culturally diverse choice of dishes with over 35 countries represented by their traditional foods.  Here are a few of my favorite dishes from the night:

Jacob’s Pickles

I am not a fan of pickles but these guys may have changed my mind with their surprisingly desirous pickled string beans and carrots.

Photo Credit: Denise Pina

Maima’s Liberian Bistro

They describe the food as “The Soul Food of Africa”. I can only describe it as spicy, spicy goodness for your soul! Yum! (Please excuse the blurry picture, I was juggling plates and a tasting glass).

Photo Credit: Denise Pina


The Indian Sloppy Joes served by Devi, is also known as Mumbai street food. I’m a big fan of this vegetarian spicy sensation.

Photo Credit: Denise Pina

Luke’s Lobster

Lumps on top of lumps of crabmeat served on perfectly toasted buttered bread just how they do it in Maine. The simplicity got them 15 votes for favorite dish from me!

Photo Credit: Denise Pina

Bien Cuit

Croissants baked to crisp dark perfection, full of sweet character to make your belly smile with satisfaction.

Photo Credit: Denise Pina

Odd Fellows Ice Cream Co.

Who would have thought that cedar ice cream goes so good with orange flavor? Add a graham cracker and it’s a cedar creamsicle – I had three samples!

Photo Credit: ©LauraJuneKirsch

Choice Eats introduced me to some new places that I must go visit.  It has also got me anxious for the next food tasting event, Choice Streets, which will be hosting 20+ food trucks on Wednesday May 7th. It’s never too soon to get your tickets.  I cant wait to go!


By: Denise Pina




  • Agness says:

    It’s good to know you can get some perfectly baked croissants at Bien Cuit. Since I visited Paris last time, I can’t imagine my life without craving them :). It’s a good diet option, but one wouldn’t kill me, right :):?

  • Heather says:

    Looks like an awesome event! Too bad it started the year after I left New York :-(

    • Used York City says:

      Aww, definitely! We love how it gives you a taste of what restaurants you’d like to try!

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