Around the World and Down the Gullet at Choice EatsLast night’s Village Voice Choice Eats tasting at the Puck Building would have been better called Sietsemapalooza — its far-flung outer-borough diversity was a testament to his dedication and mobility. The Puck Building also hosted Taste of New York last year, but this crowd was a different demographic. Piercings replaced pearls, and a young, scruffy, and hungry crowd overwhelmed the restaurants accustomed to serving only a few regulars at a time. Highlights: the extraordinary barbecued pastrami from Fette Sau; the fried rice and pork from Krik Krak; and the beef rendang, the best thing on Fatty Crab’s menu. Nearly everything we tried was good, especially the starches: couscous, grits, various exotic-bread puddings, and even some spongy Ethiopian bread from the Queen of Sheba. Sietsema, presiding over the event like a proud father, could be seen eating all of the above — and a lot more besides.
Related: Sietsema Previews His Own ‘Choice Eats’
Back of the House
Sietsema Previews His Own ‘Choice Eats’As a leadup to tonight’s Village Voice Choice Eats tasting event, Robert Sietsema gives Gothamist a lengthy interview and a barely disguised photo. Sietsema recalls his worst restaurant experience (cockroach) and explains how Frank Bruni maligned Katz’s by only giving it one star. His picks are after the jump.
Global Grub Abounds at ‘Voice’ Choice Eats
There’s a lot to recommend the Voice’s Choice Eats dinner, coming up on March 11 and taking rezzies now. For one thing, it’s cheap: These kind of events are usually a small fortune, whereas this one costs $25 in advance, and $35 at the door. But more important, the restaurants represented are all ones searched out by the paper’s xenophilic critic, Robert Sietsema. Sietsema’s various West African stew houses and Uzbek kebab palaces tend to be more read about than visited and are spread far throughout the five boroughs. The event — a chance to eat at 30 of them at the same time (including Albert’s Mofongo House, Yeti of Hieizan, and Peppa’s Jerk Chicken) — amounts to a global-cheap-eats summit. No self-respecting New York gastronaut should consider doing anything else that night. You can buy tickets here.
The Puck Building, 295 Lafayette St., nr. Houston St.; Mar. 11, 6:30–11:30 p.m.