Look, anyone can do a review and show off how much and the variety they ate, but that would only add to the food pornosphere. And I could show you pictures of fatty hocks and cheesy plantain buns but what good is making you salivate in jealiousity? At this Choice Eats event, I asked every restaurant booth “Where do you eat on your day off?”
One of the best ways to find somewhere new is to ask the owners of your favorite restaurant where they eat. A couple of reasons why this is a good question:
1) These restaurateurs usually have limited time to go out so their choices are important to them.
2) They usually pay attention to what is inside and how their food is prepared.
3) This gives us a better view of who they are and what they care about.
4) Restaurateurs know where to eat, I’m bound to get some killer recommendations.
Answers ranged from 24-hour delis to Mario Batali, so let’s get on with it, huh?
Where do you eat on your day off?
El Almacen – Walter Foods
Fort Defiance – Cafe Steinhoff, Al di La, The Good Fork
Mama’s Food Shop – Veselka
Café Steinhof – We cook at home
Lucy’s Whey – The Green Table
Luke’s Lobster – This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef
Zuzu Ramen – Penang, New Broadway Seafood Restaurant (HK style)
Jimmy No. 43 – Chipotle, 24-hour deli on Nassau in Greenpoint
Krik Krak – Mama Mexico (2672 Broadway)
No. 7 – Luigi’s in Ft Greene (326 Dekalb Ave)
Highlands – Jing Fong Restaurant
Bep – Sripraphai, Ippudo, Spicy & Tasty, Hand Pulled Noodle ( I believe this is “Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles Inc.”)
Rajbhog – Zabb Zabb, Sripraphai
Txikito – Txikito, Franny’s
Juliette – Congee Village, Cibao, Yerba Buena
Am Thai – “our own place”
Peppa’s Jerk Chicken – CJ’s in Brooklyn (no idea, help)
Baohaus – Sushi UO, Cheeky Sandwiches
Dumont – Fettee Sau, Motorino
Mustang Thikali – Spicy Shallot
Madiba – Dok Suni’s
Patacon Pisao – Boca Juniors on Monday nights.
Cafe Glechik – our restaurant
Del Posto – BCD Tofu House
Egg – Bocca Lupo
Sigmund Pretzelshop – I cook for myself
Despana – I cook myself
Spot Dessert Bar – Cafe Empanada, OBao, DOB 111
Hummus Place – Bread in SoHo, Saigon ( I believe they meant the one on 37th st.)
Dirt Candy – Tiffin Wallah
Tiffin Wallah – Nirvana, Villa Vittoria (NJ)
Purple Yam – The Grocery in Brooklyn
Toloache – Otto Enoteca Pizzeria, Babbo
Sheep Station – Lot 2, Good Fork, a ribeye at Convivium Osteria, Stone Park Café
Del Posto – “we stay in”
Motorino – Fette Sau
Salumeria Rosi – Happy Beef Noodle House
Resto – The Vanderbilt, Fatty Crab
The Vanderbilt – Joe’s Shanghai
Kuma Inn – Sripraphai
Fette Sau – Sripraphai
Fatty Crab – Franny’s, Al di La, Fatty Que, Marlow and Sons, 15 East
Porchetta – Xi’an, Chao Thai, Num Pang
Smorgas Chef – Terroir Wine Bar, Gramercy Tavern
Mooncake – Washington Square Diner, Peter’s Since 1969 in Bklyn, Nyonya
Mantao Chinese Sandwiches – “I don’t want to leave my apartment, so it’s whatever I have, like instant noodles.”
Pinche – ourselves
An Choi – Kun Jip
Mercadito – Dos Caminos
Max – Travertine, Spicy Bampia (?), Wong San Wan (?? Wong Sau Man? Wang Sin Quan?)
Agnanti – Phillipe Chow, Griffon Restaurant (?)
Bunny Chow – An Choi, Les Enfants Terribles, Jaiya Thai
Xi’an Famous Foods – Fatty Crab, Gu-Shine Taiwanese Restaurant
Sheep Station, Purple Yam, Mama’s, Lucy Whey, and Baohaus (cheeky sandwiches) were especially passionate about their recommendations; this makes me want to go back to their place and also visit their recs.
Many people selected restaurants near where they live/work. Fatty Crab and Sripraphai were each mentioned a few times. I’m not sure what I learned, but at least I got some good recs (The Grocery, The Green Table, and what the heck is CJ’s in Brooklyn?). Some people were enthusiastic, some didn’t know how to start, some didn’t want to start, and some didn’t know where to end. For me, it was fun because it gave me an excuse to talk to everyone.
And if you want my review, here it is:
Village Voice’s Choice Eats continues to be the Only event in NYC focused on eaters like me. Every year a new find pops up or a new flavor in my mouthal solar system is exposed. This year, the standouts were: carnitas tacos at Pinche Taqueria, Napolean cake at Cafe Glechik (again), and Patacon Pisao. The BBQ I’m beginning to pass on, but that’s okay: I have even more faith in the NYC food scene that more crazes will happen and we will only become richer with culture as 2011 rolls around. I wonder what will happen next year.