As a foodie always on the lookout for a new culinary adventure, I was thrilled by the idea of taking my taste buds on a “one-of-a-kind” trip around the world — all while inside the 69th Street Armory on Lexington Avenue in New York City. The Village Voice, an alt-weekly newspaper in New York, hosted its second annual “Choice Eats” extravaganza, boasting samples from over 50 restaurants and foods from dozens of nations. The Voice billed the event as “unearthing the five borough’s best-kept secrets.”
To be sure, there were many less-than-stellar participating restaurants. Some ran out of food quickly, others proffered stale, cold fried appetizers, and some samples were downright disgusting. I guess one could expect as much in a stampeed-like festival environment in the middle of a city in March. That said, there were several true gems that I discovered!
Porchetta (110 East 7th St) served up its famous pork sandwiches on fresh, crusty ciabatta rolls. The outfit describes it’s roasted hunk of meat as “roasted pork with crispy skin, highly seasoned with aromatic herbs and spices, garlic, sage, rosemary, and wild fennel pollen.” Incredible.
Motrino (319 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn) served up fresh, warm samples of their Italian doughnuts filled with strawberry-rhubarb compote and dusted with white sugar.
Peaches Market (393 Lewis Avenue, Brooklyn) had me sold on the first bite of these irresistable lime bourbon glazed mini-cakes. I could have stood in front of this station and kept popping these in my mouth until I was full. So tasty!
The beer samples were also fun; great micro-brews and unique batches not commonly found. Check out Choice Eats 2010 if you think your stomach can handle it!