Food & Drink

EVENT: Choice Eats 2014 — Why I’m Still Full, Four Days Later…

by Lea Faminiano

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[All photos –  including this one of Mexico Lindo’s Banana Leaf Steamed Local Rabbit Tacos – by Casey Feehan]

Choice Eats is basically the epitome of first world problems, with the problem being that there is just way too much of New York City’s most delicious food in one room and unfortunately you only have one stomach that isn’t large enough to try it all. Life is so tough.

Bob White Lunch and Supper Counter

Dirt Candy

[Dirt Candy’s Broccoli Hot Dogs]

Fa Day

[Treats from Fay Da Bakery]

Village Voice provides you with a list of the participants before the event, and a map is handed to you upon your arrival (as well as a strong scent wave of tantalizing meat), but the best bet is to follow your stomach and ignore any rules you’ve ever heard about eating, as well as any attempt at planning out a navigation system. No dessert before dinner? No eating past a certain hour at night? Navigate Choice Eats by going down the rows? Wrong. We were slowly working our way down the aisles and thought we had a game plan, but the mere sight of Ample Hills Creamery in the distance completely ruined any chance of an eating structure. High off Salted Crack Caramel ice cream, things went wild – and we scurried around Basketball City like ravenous hyenas, stuffing ourselves with every type of food imaginable.

Food from Georgia

La Slowteria

[Guava and mint cups from La Slowteria]

In a nutshell, here’s who hit it out of the park: La Newyorkina’s popsicle stand was a hit, complete with chocolate and toppings, and waiting for their mango popsicle was the only line I felt was worth waiting on. I never had a rabbit taco in my life, but Mexico Lindo’s banana leaf steamed local rabbit tacos made me feel so terrible for all the future local rabbits that I’ll probably be eating.

Louro

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[Telepan Local’s Broccoli Rabe]

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Coppelia, one of my local favorites, served up the most adorable tiny arepas that were just as good as their normal sized arepas, and I had always wanted to try Bunker, who made a little plate of green beans more delicious than I thought it could be. I can honestly say I didn’t have one bad bite, and I’m anxious to visit all the new places I tried – these first impressions were that convincing. I was pumped to see cuisines of all kinds represented – there was a good amount of American, Italian, Mexican, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, and the list goes on type of food that we generally see all over the city, but I also saw Georgian (a cuisine I’ve never had – or really ever thought of – in my life), Filipino (holla!), and then my favorite – the fusion type where flavors and cultures you don’t expect get mashed together to make something truly delicious.

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[Queens Comfort serving up special mac & cheese]

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[AMPLE HILLS!]

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[Butter & Scotch]

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[Red endive cups with salmon and avocado]

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[MEAT]

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[Beet spoons!]

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[All the pigs. I mean people]

I fell asleep Tuesday night trying real hard not to think about all the different kinds of animals, vegetables, and sweets slowly digesting together in my stomach. Thanks again, Choice Eats and Village Voice – can’t wait to see you again next year, but I might have to go on a serious year-long diet before we cross paths again.

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[A little too excited about La Newyorkina…]