Margon Does Us Proud at Choice Eats (Again)


For the second year in a row Midtown lunching was woefully underrepresented at Choice Eats, but Margon-the Cuban/Dominican diner on 46th btw. 6+7th- did us proud with a huge spread of some of their best stuff.


A plate of my three favorites is after the jump…


Chicken chicharrones, octopus salad, and fried plantain. Awww yeah.

Beyond Margon, SmorgasChef was the only other place with a Midtown location (they took over the old AQ Cafe space on Park & 37th, when that place moved to 58th & Broadway.) Their Swedish meatball with lingonberries, and smoked salmon was fine.


Some of our favorite out of bounds spots were there though, like Baoguette (on Lex btw. 25+26th) which served mini versions of their sloppy bao and pork banh mi. Delicious! There was also chopped liver on toast from Eisenberg’s Sandwich shop (on 5th btw. 22+23rd), and Tiffin Wallah (on 28th & Lex) was there for a second year in a row.

Beyond the Midtown stuff, my favorites were probably the manty from Cheburechnaya in Rego Park and the chiles rellenos tacos from Tortilleria Nixtamal.

The place was packed, and a lot of the food ran out early (Momofuku Bakery I’m looking in your direction…) but nobody left hungry (or sober) and for $35 it’s kind of hard to complain! You can read more coverage on A Passion for Food or Serious Eats: New York.


  • Great time. Organized even better than last year. Momofuku, super-lame. I was third on the line to get into the armory. I hit the Momofuku table within the first 30 minutes — out of product. Later they had a sign that said they only brought 500 cookies.

  • Damn I need to remember this and the Vendy awards next year! Any other similar fiestas coming up? I’m hungry!

  • Zack- it was great to meet you. Don’t forget- Gala Manor for dim sum…

    Here is my run down:

    Fette Sau: fave! I am pretty sure either they ran out or the line was too long last year, but I made sure to wait for their dish this year. The pastramified beef cheek was absolutely outstanding. Bursting with the flavors of pastrami we all know and love but with the extra savoryness of the beef. They do say cheek is the new belly, right?

    Baoguette: They brought it. Both the sloppy joe and the pork banh mi were exceptionally flavorful. I will definitely be ordering from them soon.

    Porchetta: I was going to pass on this one because I was not impressed with the platter at their restaurant, but my parents started raving about their little sandwiches so I had to steal a bit. They were on tonight, the porchetta was really fabulous. Maybe I owe them another chance.

    Cafe Glechik: Shockingly awesome desserts of sour cherry dumpling and napoleon, I couldn’t stop eating them. They also had a savory dish with sausage that was good as well.

    Bar Bao: Spicy beef salad that rocked

    Margon: They may have had the biggest selection. The little cubanos packed a lot of flavor. The octopus salad and fried chicken were also nice.

    AM Thai Chili Basil Kitchen: The chicken salad thing was a memorable dish, with typical strong thai flavors one would expect at a place that knows what they are doing

    No 7: The dessert they were offering was delicious as well as inventive- vanilla pudding with miso glazed bananas.

    Motorino: Awesome jelly bombolini, messy too- my bib came in handy

    Momofuku Milk Bar: I was pretty sure that they were going to half ass it, and they did. Oh well, I stashed a cornflake cookie in my bag and look forward to eating it later.

    Kuma Inn: They went with a tofu dish that was very well done, but I was really hoping they would bring some lechon instead.

    Fatty Crab: The chicken coconut curryish thing was good and the little crunchy things were even great. But I don’t understand why the don’t chose to bring something more impressive- the watermelon pork belly salad would be the perfect crowd pleaser.

    Smoke Joint: Well what doesn’t taste good when cooked for hours and smothered in bbq sauce. Thought the pulled pork itself lacked flavor.

    Kampuchea: Brought some ok chicken wings, kinda disappointing since last year they were my favorite with a spectacular rib dish

    Upset that Dirt Candy and Pinche Taqueria ran out before I got to them. Pinche tried serving quesadillas to make up for it- no thanks.

    Alcohol including a crap load of wine, beer (hennepin, framboise, smutty nose, alagash, chimay, magic hat), booze (gin, vodkas, mixed drinks, organics, bourbon, tequilla) Way more impressive than the options of beer+ jaegermeister+fragioli (eww) of last year

    Village Voice did a fab job, providing much needed bibs and even silly putty. Worth the $35 fo sho.

    Get your tickets next year as soon as they go up, or you will miss out!

  • Oh I see how it is, Kathy was your date. Well, be that way! PFT!

  • Here’s my rundown as well. I tried more places than I listed, but I started forgetting what I tasted where (you can thank Victory Brewing Co for that)

    Back Forty – lamb meatball was decent, but certainly not something that would persuade me to go back there after a previously poor dining experience.

    Baoguette – One of my top 5 favorite dishes of the night, the “Sloppy Bao”, their take on the bahn mi. The booth was absolutely mobbed, but they did a good job of anticipating the crowd, and brought on some serious manpower (like 8 people in their booth) to keep up with the demand.

    Delta Grill – One of my least favorite dishes of the night, the pulled pork was overwhelmingly sweet. I’ve always disliked this restaurant, and I dislike them even more after this event.

    Eisenburg’s Sandwich Shop – Generous shmear of chopped liver on rye bread. Hard to screw up that.

    Krispy Pizza – In the Village Voice guide book, they described this as DiFara’s primary competition. One word: “Really?!?” It reminded me of St Louis style pizza with its cracker crust, but it’s certainly doesn’t belong in the big leagues of pizza.

    Mama’s Food Shop – Another favorite of the night. The sage and pork belly mac and cheese was off the hook. I went back for seconds.

    Max – Their generous slice of lasagna was unfortunately starchy, gummy and really dry. Two bites and it went into the bin.

    Mercadito – I think they ran out of food early, because they were serving chips and salsa by 8:00pm. Overpriced faux Mexican at its worst.

    Momofuku Milk Bar – Grievously underestimated demand. Apparently they brought 1500 cookies to the party, but didn’t have quite enough to share with the rest of the class. They were done-ski by 7:15pm flat.

    Mooncake Foods – I’ve always liked this place, but they seriously dropped the ball on this one. Their tongue-searing noodle salad could have been great, but they killed their customer’s taste buds with too heavy of a hand on the spice.

    Nomad – Lemon chicken tagine was tender but forgettable. Kind of like every Hugh Grant chick flick movie ever made. Oh the Hugh Grantity!

    Peppa’s Jerk Chicken – Perfectly kicked up in the spice category and tender. I’d eat this stuff more often if they weren’t in Brooklyn.

    Queen of Sheba – Reminded me why I hate injerra bread.

    Salumeria Rossi – Can’t screw up charcuterie, right? Definitely worth a visit next year.

    Sheep Station – My #1 pick of the night. I’d never heard of this place, but it’s getting my foot traffic if i’m ever in their hood. Beautifully made lamb sandwiches. Definitely worth the fairly long wait.

    Xunta Tapas Bar – In my top 3 list of the night. They kept it simple with spread of one bite offerings, such as chorizo sausage, an egg and potato quiche type dish, and what I believe to be a bacon wrapped fig.

    Booze – Village Voice did a nice job procuring a good variety of purveyors of wine, beer and spirits. It was amusing to see that the line for a bahn mi at Baoguette was 5 times longer than a comped cocktail or glass of beer.

    Apparently Whole Foods was handing out free groceries and re-usable bags. Totally pissed that I missed those!

  • Who won the contest? Did I miss this?

  • dang. I wish I could have made it. My friend DJ’ed and said he loved the Porchetta sandwich. I gotta try that shiz.

  • Great event! Except for the line cutters! I’m looking at you blond woman and Asian dudes!

    Lost of food porn to follow on my blog:

  • Great pics. The chicken chich, octopus salad and maduros looked great, and were good. Thanks for posting the pics, Im gonna link you so I don’t have to.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.