Where to start? That was the only dilemma that faced the large crowds that attended Thursday night's "Taste of Hoboken" event in the Pierce Ballroom on the campus of the Stevens Institute of Technology.
A smorgasbord of food from Hoboken's top restaurants awaited guests as they decided where to begin their journey of culinary delight.
"This is one of those yearly events that you circle you calendar for," said Park Avenue resident Martian Vaughn. "The food is fantastic. At each table I ask myself if what they are serving is on my diet. Most of the time it wasn't, but to be honest, everything is so good, tonight is one of those nights that the diet goes out the window."
The 14th annual event drew well in excess of 600 people and featured the foods of more than 30 establishments, ranging from restaurants and bakeries to wine stores to cafes.
This year's event was sponsored by The Hoboken Reporter, Hudson United Bank, the Applied Development Company, Fresh Ideas Kings, and Haven Savings Bank.
Some of the participating establishments included: Ganache at 1300 Clinton St., Gaslight at 400 Adams St., Frankie and Johnny On the Waterfront at 163 14th St., Ali Baba at 912 Washington St., Vale Restaurant at 832 Washington St., Margarita's Café at 740 Washington St., Maxwell's Bar and Restaurant at 1039 Washington St., Sparrow Wine and Liquor at 126 Washington St. and 1224 Shipyard Lane, La Isla at 104 Washington St., Amanda's at 908 Washington St., The Brass Rail at 135 Washington St., Three A's Bar and Grill at 500 Grand St., Lepore's Homemade Chocolate at 537 Garden St., Zafra at 301 Willow Ave., Madison Bar and Grill at 1316 Washington St., Park Pastries at 517 Washington St., Anthony David's Gourmet Specialties at 953 Bloomfield St., City Bistro on 56 14th St., Starbucks at 1205 Hudson St., Puerto Spain at 116 14th St., Le Jardin Dessert Café at 343 Garden St., Liberty Bar and Grill at 61-63 14th St., and Kings Fresh Ideas Supermarket at 1212 Shipyard Lane.
Whether it was the Cuban sandwiches and plantains from La Isla or the chicken Biryani at Karma Café, or the petit crab cakes with a lemon caper aioli from Anthony David's or the eggplant rollatine from the Gaslight, this year's event drew rave reviews.
For desert, two tables stood out. Lepore's Chocolates offered a whole table with only chocolate-covered treats, including strawberries, grapes and pretzels. They were dipped in white, milk or dark chocolate, and in some cases all three. On the Park Pastries table was a great selection of tarts and bite-sized cakes.
All of the proceeds from the evening will go towards maintaining the YMCA's mission of providing services to the community. The funds will pay for children's programs and other activities that the Hoboken-North Hudson YMCA on Washington Street offers. This year's event raised in excess of $20,000 for the YMCA.
GOOD FOOD - Always one of the most attractive tables, Park Pastries has the goods to satisfy just about any sweet tooth.