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Anyone Going to Choice Eats?

I bought a ticket but live about 70 miles outside NY and am feeling too lazy to go into the city. Funny that it didn't get any press here. If anyone on this board goes, will you report back? Thanks!

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    1. re: jakew8

      Thanks - don't know why I couldn't find that thread. Hope to hear about it!

    2. I went tonight. Overall, for $25, it was a great deal--copious amounts of food and alcohol were on display. The negatives were that we arrived maybe 6:25 for the event starting at 6:30. The line was over a block long and it took us 40 mins to get in. On the other hand, my sister who arrived at 7:20-30 said there was no line for her. The other main negative was the circus atmosphere--every table was packed, and it felt like a race to get as much food as possible in as short amount of time. It felt like we were just gorging with very little detail on what we were actually eating and not much time to plan the best route of attack. Luckily, we did race to get as much food as possible because many of the tables (including Fatty Crab, Mercadito, Fette Sau, Jimmy's No. 43, Kampuchea, and Chiyono) were out of or almost out of food before 8pm--only 1.5 hrs into the events. Between the alcohol and the rush for food, I didn't get much explanation of what I ate, so here's my best recollection:

      Highlights
      Philoxenia (grape leaves stuffed w/rice and beef that tasted like my mother's)
      Hummus Place (hummus w/fava beans)
      Tiffin Walla (rice, pancake w/different sauces, corn bread-like squares)
      Smoke Joint (smoked pork, grits)
      Xunta (chorizo, fried cheese)
      Maison du Couscous (couscous w/different sauces, including a nice spinach sauce, and a fried triangle of spinach and cheese)
      Albert's Mofongo House (very good chicken, pork)
      Chiyono (loved the pickled lotus root, the only thing left when i got there)
      Pacificana (some kind of chip w/chicken)
      Queen of Sheba (injera-wrapped lentils)
      Schnitzel Haus (shepard's pie, goulash stew)

      Lowlights
      Bajan Cafe (OK chicken stew and rice)
      Cantina (really bad Cuban sandwich)
      Nirvana (fish ball)
      Vanessa's Dumplings (bad vegetable dumpling)

      In Between
      Petite Abeille (beef stew)
      Culpepper's (OK fish, tamale, corn meal)
      Maremma (pork cold cut and beans)

      At the end of the night, I emerged from the scene full, tired, a little tipsy, very stressed, and with a huge sugar craving. Next year I hope they have some dessert to counterbalance all the salt!

      6 Replies
      1. re: Lucia

        talk about a rush for food! the guy in front of me in the queen of sheba line was balancing 3 plates in one hand, and after being given one of each of their injera wraps asked for an extra portion. there really was an "on your marks!" atmosphere, but it was fun, too.

        my favorites:
        deshi biryani (goat biryani)
        rawal ravail (chicken biryani)
        fatty crab (stewed short ribs with coconut rice)
        krik krak (veggie stew with corn cake)
        albert's mofongo house (fried chicken/pork)
        fette sau (pastrami)
        peppa's (jerk chicken)
        hummus place (hummus foul)
        jimmy's no. 43 (candied walnuts - not really cooked, but they were so tasty)

        also, really enjoyed the nice beer selection. we assumed that there would be a cash bar and were pleasantly surprised to find a free selection of sam smith's, hennepin, sierra nevada, blue point, etc etc.

        1. re: wleatherette

          oh, i should add that there were a bunch of places that we didn't even try because the lines were long, we were full, or we were already familiar with them: tiffin wallah, petite abeille, schnitzel house, chiyono, sunburnt cow, philoxenia, bajan cafe, maison du cous cous, culpepper's, cantina, vanessa's... there was quite a selection.

          1. re: wleatherette

            I think I may have missed 2 or 3 places. the hummus being one of them.
            I am still full though, nearly 12 hours later. how long can this last??
            I decided not to take pictures and just enjoy it without having to report on everything. I am hoping someone will have a comprehensive flickr slideshow so I can see everything I ate.

          2. re: Lucia

            I had a great time as well but was shocked that there was no dessert anywhere. Apparently Petite Abeille put out some sort of crumb thing but I missed it. I ran into the Duane reade as soon as I got home and grabbed some malt balls! Hows that for a huge sugar craving!

            1. re: roze

              My whole group did too--I hit the chocolate when I got home. I heard Petite Abeille also had mousse, but they didn't have it when I went by (just beef stew and meatballs in containers that looked like little dessert cups).

              1. re: Lucia

                Lol!!! I thought the beeef stew was dessert at first because of those cups! I was so excited for about 2 seconds when I realized my mistake!

          3. Thanks for the reports! I am living vicariously through you, since there's no way in hell I was going to dive into that madhouse. Even though I was really interested in the food.

            2 Replies
            1. re: small h

              You all rock! Thank you so much for reporting back. Maybe a bunch of us chowhounders can meet up next year (and get there around 7:30!) - I'd definitely be game.

              1. re: megphd

                eater has a photo of the line *outside* waiting to get in: http://eater.com/archives/2008/03/lis...