Choice Eats Awards Recap

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Last night I had the priviledge of attending the 2nd Annual Choice Eats Awards at the 69th Armory. Thanks to Foodbuzz’s wonderful Featured Publisher Program, I was able to attend Choice Eats as an official member of the press. Now you’re probably thinking WOW what does an “official press member receive”? Foodbuzz was able to provide me with TWO complimentary passes ($70 value) and the ability to cut the insanely long line that hundreds of people were waiting on. And hey, I always have the title…

The best word to describe the event itself… OVERWHELMING. I can’t say for sure exactly how many people were in attendance, but there were a good few hundred hungry eaters present AND a whopping 57 restaurants  (and that doesn’t even include the beer and liquor)! Needless to say my adrenaline was pumping a mile a minute between the amount of people, the seemingly endless food and drink choices, and the excitement of just being an “official member of the press” at an event as tantilizing as this one.

Upon entry we were all given bibs to ensure that the massive damage we were doing to ourselves would only effect our health and not our immediate appearance (it’s safe to say the five pounds I gained last night are NOW showing). And as soon as we, or as I had my bib on tight, I officially entered the rat race of tasting the most and the best foods Choice Eats had to offer.

Do I go right or left? Do I eat dessert now, or hope there is some left for me later? Do I fill up on beer, or go straight for the mac and cheese? But it’s Chimay!!!! Questions on where to turn and what to do were plaguing me for at least the first 20 minutes upon entry. Finally I realized that it just wasn’t possible for me to eat and drink everything. So instead of giving up, I got smart. Luckily I had some friends with me so the move was divide and conquer. We’d each wait on a line and get a few things for all of us to share. This brilliant strategy allowed us taste an assortment of foods relatively quickly and not become too full, which was key!

Sadly, I am not the food champion I once was. Well, I’m not really sure if I really ever was, but after multiple servings of pulled pork (which I’m officially never eating ever again), italian inspired donuts, lamb meatballs, chicken wings, mac and cheese, shrimp, stuffed peppers, chicken kebabs, pizza, bruschetta, and the purest ice cream you’ll ever have I was officially DONE. Well, maybe one more donut came after that, but I think you catch my drift.

Unfortunately, I was unable to try the majority of liquor cocktails they were serving up, but I have no regrets. Though I was enormously disappointed by the few servings of cookies Momofuko Milk Bar dished out because there was not a ONE left by the time I’d finally made my way over to their table. Instead there was a sad little sign explaining that they only brought 500 cookies to the show and we should take their business cards anyway. I took a picture of this hilariously terrible sign and will post it later tonight so you can all feel my pain.

Despite the Momofuko Milk Bar incident, it was a great show and something everyone should experience whether they’re a foodie or just like to eat… A LOT! There’s so much more to cover on this event and I’ll hope you all check back for additional photos and harsh reviews. But in the meantime I’ll leave you with a list of the WORST FOOD SAMPLES:

Jimmy’s No.43 – Pulled Pork – This was BY FAR the most repulsive thing I’d eaten last night and possibly ever. It tasted as though it was frozen for 2 years and had then been defrosted.

Dirt Candy Portobello Mousse with fennel pear compote – This hideous dish is what comes from the new, trendy vegetarian spot in the East Village? What are people thinking???? I actually spit this out right on the spot. The dish was neither appealing nor tasty and I can only imagine what Dirt Candy’s main course would be, yikes!

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6 Responses

  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  2. How cool that Foodbuzz gave you comp tickets to this event. I’ve actually tried the portobello mouse from dirtcandy and it wasn’t terrible, but I didn’t think it derserved all the rave reviews it was getting. I also had the stone ground grits as my entree – delicious, filling and the tempura poached egg was sublime.

    Looking forward to reading your full recap of the awards!

  3. Yeah I was really excited to receive not only one free ticket but two which was vital to trying the most amount of dishes possible. Unfortunately I was completely underwhelmed by Dirt Candy’s sampling, but obviously that’s not to say that the restaurant isn’t good. I just hate when standard restaurants are overrated because of their decor or presentation. I believe Pure Food and Wine has a similar concept to Dirt Candy and though it’s a little overpriced, the food is fantastic and completely worth trying whether you are a raw foodist, vegetarian or even a carnivore!

  4. I just put a reminder on my calendar for next year to buy tickets for Choice Eats before they are sold out.

    I LOVE Pure Food & Wine. I know what you mean about the prices though – I have to save up just to eat there. We did the tasting menu a few months ago and were too full to move after, we didn’t miss the meat at all. One of my best friends is vegan (married to a carnivore) and it’s their favorite restaurant.

    Glad to have found your excellent website. Cheers

  5. […] I had a few samplings of pulled pork at this year’s Choice Eats Awards, but I had never had a meal that was centered around pork. And since I’ll be starting a new […]

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