Stop what you are doing right now, and put up a calendar reminder. At noon today, tickets to the Village Voice’s Choice Eats go on sale, an event that will be held on Tuesday, March 13. For $50 – and yes, it is TOTALLY worth it – you’ll enjoy samples from 50 different restaurants, complimentary alcoholic beverages (beer and wine) and a dessert sampling. The event is hosted at the 69th Armory on Lexington Avenue on 25th Street from 6:30 – 9:30 pm. Â I guess in a nutshell, the way I describe this event is free samples from Costco, on crack.
If you’d like to get a head start on the snacking – as some samples do run out – we recommend buying the VIP ticket, for $80. Â This gives you an additional hour of snacking, access to a different room filled with samples from different restaurants, and a goody bag. If eating events are your favorite thing in the whole world, consider this. Â For the first time ever, Village Voice will also be selling combo tickets to get you access to Choice Eats and the 1st Annual Village Voice Choice Streets Food Truck Tasting Event on April 24. Â These tickets are $70 for a general admission combo, and $110 for VIP.
Caryn and I are veterans – in fact, we’ve been the last few years. Â Here are a few tips on getting the most out of the tasty event:
- Pair off: Try to do it with more people and youâ€™ll get lost and have disagreements on where to go next. Keep it simple and have just one partner in crime. Â With this partner in crime, you’ll want to split every sample with them. Â I’m not kidding – usually I take a bite, and then Caryn takes a bite. Â If you don’t do the one bite method, you will be stuffed rather quickly and need a cab to take you home, like I did in 2009.
- Two bites max: Unless it is likely to be one of your 5 top favorite dishes of the whole night, keep it to two bites only. Either share the rest (see above) or throw it out. Iâ€™m sorry to say this, I hate wasting food but you simply wonâ€™t make it if you eat most of each sample.
- Plan ahead: Know whichÂ restaurantsÂ are â€œmust trysâ€ so that you can prioritize correctly. Â Sometimes you’ll notice the same restaurants year after year, so here are our favorites from last year.
- Arrive early: Even as someone who is always 10 minutes late, I recommend getting in line early. And there will be a line. Getting there early ensures that youâ€™ll get to sample your â€œmust trysâ€ before they run out. Most stations (especially the popular ones) run out of food early, some within the first hour, so going in right at the start is just a smart idea (this is also where a VIP ticket comes in handy).
- Loose clothing: Donâ€™t wear anything form fitting. You wonâ€™t fit into it by the end of the night! Â Leggings that go under your stomach are preferably and a flowy top. Â Elastic waist is a safe bet.
- Come hungry: Need we even say that?
- Tackle the Food First: Free beer is always tempting to us ladies, but not when we’re comparing it to lobster roll samples or tres leches cake. Â Therefore, our strategy is hit up the food first, and then go for the drinks at the end. Â Then you won’t have to worry about spilling anything while you’re managing plates!
- Take Time to Enjoy It: At Choice Eats, I’m so busy stuffing my face with food that I often forget to enjoy my bite, as I’m so concerned where to next. Â Take a moment, breathe and enjoy what’s in your mouth before rushing over to that next table.
- Spring for a Cab Home: We know $50 can be a lot, and for some of our readers, that’s what you’d normally spend on 4 meals or so. Â Go all out though and take that cab home. Â You’re full, you are in a food coma, and the last thing you want is a long, delaying ride on the R train to ruin your night. Â While you may be 89th and Broke, you deserve to be 89th and Fabulous(ly Full) this evening.