9th Annual Choice Eats: Sample 65 NYC Restaurants Under One Roof

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We are completely finished with the 1st quarter of 2016 and unlike me, it seems like everyone around me is sticking to their 2016 diet (kudos to you all).  It’s super important to reward yourself for your hard work. Yes, that’s right. I am here to talk about the very important part of your diet: Cheat Day!

In March, Gabby and I attended the 9th annual Choice Eats event at the Metropolitan Pavilion, my fourth year of attending. The main distraction from the food was all the alcohol!  With that being said, there was an unlimited amount of good beer. Not to mention all the 13 craft brewers that were present. I’m more of a wine drinker myself but Gabby suggested I give Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer a try and it was a total win. I’m embarrassed to say that this was my first time drinking a full glass of Stella; I was also very happy to take home my exclusive Stella Artois chalice.

With 65 restaurants present, it seems physically impossible to get around to each restaurant’s presentation table or to save enough room in your belly to enjoy all the food that was available to you. Choice Eats is most definitely a foodie’s dream come true. You get the best of both worlds: to relive some of your favorite dishes and to experience some new dishes all in the same place. Not to mention all the culture exposure all at once, too! What better way to be introduced to a new culture than through it’s food? My sweet tooth was on a break during the lent season but Gabby was my taste tester for all pastries (no worries, you can trust her instincts). Gabby and I were able to make it around to enough tables for plenty of Cheat Day options (before all the food started running out). Here’s a few of our faves:

Belle Reve’s fish tacos were one of a kind! We waited around for a second batch after our first taste.

Sweet Generation Bakery was one of the few tables whose food didn’t run out; how long do you think it took for them to prepare these amazing treats?

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No. 7 Veggie offered their popular double layered broccoli taco that left me wanting more.

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Cabalito Pupuseria offered chicken, chorizo and vegan pupusas.

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Egg is an upscale all-day breakfast spot that offered us their homemade chicken sausage made from scratch.

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Black Ant offered the BEST taco of the night. Everyone knows that the trick to good mussels is a good sauce and this taco was a score of deliciousness.

Food and drinks were the main attraction at Choice Eats but I have to say that the photo booths stole the night! We had too much fun at the Jarritos red carpet photo booth and we ended the night with silly photos at the Village Voice Choice Eats Photobooth sponsored by Herradura. It’s always awesome to take home some memories from a great event.

This was Gabby’s first Choice Eats event and she ended her night with a satisfied palate and a full belly. We are both super excited for Brunch Eats coming up on May 11th and will be taking full advantage of Cheat Day and visiting some new places thanks to Choice Eats. Let’s see if I can get back into the dieting scene for the rest of 2016 (or not). After all, life is only as good as you eat.

By: Denise Pina

Jessica Tiare Bowen
Jessica Tiare Bowen lives in the juicy Big Apple with her adorable pink-nosed chihuahua, Gillman. He's the inspiration for her first published children's book, "Park Avenue Pound Puppy." The book is the combined result of her two greatest passions: pooches and penning stories.

Her passions include art, urban hikes through Manhattan, drinking coffee with 3 creams and 6 sugars, making extremely detailed itineraries and traveling to far away places, singing along to Broadway shows, Netflix movie nights, discovering incredible treasures at Goodwill and thrift stores, and listening to stories from little people under 7 and big people over 70.

She started her career as New York City Teaching Fellow, teaching elementary school and theater arts at a special education school in the South Bronx for 6 years. She is now a Special Education School Improvement Specialist working in public schools throughout New York City. She is the Editor-In-Chief of the online New York City travel magazine, Used York City. The magazine focuses on finding the best of New York...as used by New Yorkers. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and an ASPCA Ambassador.
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