Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

Village Voice's CHOICE EATS 2015

Walking around the food tables at Village Voice’s Choice Eats, I begin to wonder how the represented restaurants and food businesses decided on the dishes they brought to the table. Is it their most popular dish? Or the easiest to prepare? Or the cheapest? Some places even offer up multiple dishes and a drink. It’s a chance for them to introduce themselves to an audience that might not walk into their restaurant on their own. So they should choose wisely.

And most of them did. The annual event which took place last week at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea was once again a success. It’s always a fun time of making your way around New York’s culinary landscape all in one building. I finally got to taste the food from some restaurants I’ve been wanting to go to, like Huertas (who brought out a scrumptious Tortilla pie with garbanzo beans and morcilla sausage), Queens Comfort from my old stomping grounds in Astoria (they had an amazing mac and cheese with steak au poivre sauce), and Awadh (with a delectable chicken curry with cashew and saffron).

And there were old favorites too: I’ll never get tired of Los Tacos No. 1’s namesake tacos or Tabata’s garlicky noodles. And this was the event where I finally tasted the brilliant Robicelli’s mind-bending Nutellasagna (yes, lasagna for the Nutella lover!!)

Skewered Grilleed Beef Tongue from THE GORBALS at CHOICE EATSBut the one bite that was perfectly curated was the skewered grilled beef tongue from The Gorbals. This is a super-hipster restaurant inside an Urban Outfitters in Williamsburg. It has never been too high on my list despite the fact that its chef was the Season Two winner of Top Chef (Ilan Hall).

Chef Hall clearly has experience making lots of delicious little bites for a large group of people. That’s practically every challenge on Top Chef. And he nailed it with this perfect little bite. The tongue is incredibly tender and full of smoky, meaty flavors. Underneath is just enough romesco sauce and then giving the dish both its acidity and crunch are crumbled bits of lemon croutons.

I had three of these and considering there were more than fifty tastes to be tasted, that’s saying a lot. I asked the Chef if this is on their menu at the restaurant and he said “Yes, but it’s a larger portion.” I would hope so. Otherwise, I’d have to order three orders.

Thanks again to Village Voice for bringing all of this incredible food to one location.

THE GORBALS
98 North 6th Street (between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue),
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(718) 387-0195
thegorbalsbk.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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