I attended this food festival last night and I must say that it was certainly worth the $25 (or $35 at the door)
Since the festival started at 6:30 I arrived at 6pm, meeting my friends who had been there since 5:30. There was already a line which grew steadily until the doors opened.
The event was on the first floor of the Puck building (Lafayette and Houston) and we began by checking our coats after our IDs were given a very thorough exam (no one under 21 is allowed).
We proceeded into one of the two large rooms that were filled with stations from all of the different restaurants. In addition, there were a couple of Jager and promotional liquor stands, several beer stands and a wine and non-alcoholic station.
Overall, the food was excellent and plentiful. However, if I were to give one piece of advice, it would be to GET THERE EARLY. Around 8pm, many of the restaurant stands had given away all of their food and had to close down.
As far as the crowd, I was a bit concerned that we would be packed in like sardines but, while it was crowded, it was manageable.
Now for the food. I took notes on everything I ate, but alas, I did not write down most of the restaurants! (What was I thinking?) If anyone wants to chime in, please feel free to do so:
- Short ribs with toasted coconut shavings and coconut rice (probably my fave thing of the whole night) - Fatty Crab
-Lentils wrapped in a sponge-like pancake -Ethiopian
-Spicy shrimp taco with avocado - Mercadito
-Hiziki Croquette with Lotus Root (I didnt like this - it had clearly been sitting out for awhile -it was soggy and lacked flavor) - Chimayo
-Sheppard's pie with sauerkraut and kielbasa sausage, instead of ground beef - German
-Stewed chicken, polenta, cod
-Cuban sandwich - great bread, but the filling was some boring chicken with mayonnaise
-Pancake-like tortillas filled with chicken, burami (rice, spices, chicken), some crunchy fried dish that was REALLY good - indian
-Pulled pork atop of grits - Smoke House
-Lamb, peas and mashed potatoes - Sunburnt Cow
-Dumpling with potato, fried fishball, rice with chicken
- Kielbasa sausage with a pastry puff (this was awful. Cold and flavorless) - Xunta
-Meat wrapped in a grape leaf, veal and pork in a red sauce
-Mashed potato stuffed with Tuna (awful. Why would anyone serve this?)
-Fried Chicken tongue (which was REALLY good), rice, potato salad
-Meatball in red sauce, mystery meat in brown sauce, really good chocolate mousse - La Petite Abeille
-Hummus with AMAZING pita bread (very warm and fluffy) - Hummus Place
-A Carving station
-Cellophane noodles with sesame oil
-Cous cous with spinach and eggplant (not very good)
-Ribs with a tamarind glaze (cambodian) - my 2nd favorite dish - Kampuchea
-Bread pudding with apricots and caramel - 3rd favorite dish
Apologies again for the lack of restaurant names, but I hope you may have enjoyed reading about the food. I believe this will be an annual event, so please try to go next year. I doubt you'll regret it, but be sure to wear elastic pants :)