If I had to recap this weekend’s Vendy Awards in just one word it would be: EPIC. Saturday’s gathering of 21 carts and trucks representing the best in street food in New York (and NJ!) was a day filled with more good food than you can imagine. As much as the Vendys is "the Oscars of street food," being there in the center of all that deliciousness was a tangible reminder of the simple truth: if you love what you do, it shows...
Korilla’s line started when the early bird ticket holders hit the gates and didn’t slow ‘til the votes were being tallied. Little B enjoyed his first taste of daeji bulgogi and bulgogi tacos as well as Killa Sauce. His reaction? MOAHR! That’s my boy. Note to the Korilla boys, you need to make those “I Korilla NY” t-shirts in baby sizes!
Our second stop was Solber Pupusas where we narrowly missed their massive line. They put out a real spread (tamales, pupusas, and sweet maduros).
Little B loved the falafal from Taim...
...especially their curried goat.I was impressed by the little taste of fruitcake--it's co-owner Tara Graham's mom's secret recipe. Fruitcake doesn't have the best of reps here in the States, but I assure you this one would inspire hoarding (as opposed to regifting).
Little B is a huge Souvlaki GR fan, so naturally we hit them up for pork pitas.
We loved their Loukaniko Platter, perfectly charred homemade Greek sausage with fries.
And their Horiatiki, a traditional Greek salad (no lettuce here!) was intensely refreshing.
To cap it off they had a wandering bouzouki player. Impressive. Very impressive.
While I tried to pass on dishes that I've already tried, there was no way that I could say no to Eggstravaganza's Mexican Grilled Cheese (chorizo and bacon FTW).
Comme Ci Comme Ça dished out Chef Samir’s fluffy couscous with tender chicken, beef or veggies and topped with an array of delicious sauces--I can’t resist the spicy mint sauce. Chef Samir’s mom came all the way from Morocco to see her son compete!
Sam’s Falafel prepared generous combo plates with freshly fried falafel balls, smoky baba ganoush, fried eggplant, salad and plenty of tahini dressing.
Last year I fell in love with the vegan donuts from The Cinnamon Snail. This year they didn’t disappoint, returning with a Vanilla Bourbon Crème Brulee Donut, their entry in the Maker’s Mark Challenge (spoiler, alert: they won!).
They also made a terrific roasted red pepper and bean tart and a seitan wrap. Word is they’re getting a permit for the city so they’ll be crossing the river with those awesome donuts soonish. We’ll keep you posted.
Chef Fany Gershon's paletas from the La Newyorkina Cart were a must. I had the roasted plum and regretted not making it back in time for seconds.
Blondie was very pleased with her pick: Cajeta with Pecans.
Miss Softee spread sprinkles and lots of glitter.
While we loved her creative cone flights (hello, who would say no to multiple ice cream cones?!), her entry in the Maker's Mark Challenge was to die for: crumb cake with a bourbon glaze, topped with vanilla soft serve, drizzled with bourbon dulce de leche and capped with bourbon soaked raisins. Wowsa. Another dessert I'm sad I didn't get seconds of.
Speaking of desserts that I could use a lot more of...Woolys Ice, oh Woolys Ice. Your Green Man (green tea ice, mango, mochi and sweetened condensed milk) rocked my world.
Eat Here Now Now Eat Here had little egg burrito "sushi bites" which proved to the perfect size for sampling.
Just when I thought I couldn't eat another morsel I was waylaid by a tiny Maple Bacon cupcake from the Cupcake Crew. So small. So tasty. I liked how there was candied bacon both on top and inside.
Silly me, I didn't read the Vendys flier so I had no idea that Gayle King was one of the judges. So naturally I freaked out when I randomly found myself behind her. (OMG. Gayle King! My childhood newscaster! Love her!)
Host Sunny Anderson got the festivities under way.
Drum roll please...
Woolys for Dessert!
The Taco Truck won for NJ
Korilla took the crown for the Rookies!
Souvlaki GR was the People's Choice!
The King of Falafel was on hand to pass the Vendy Cup to...
Two-time Vendy Finalist, Solber Pupusas!
Special thanks to the Street Vendor Project team at the Urban Justice Center, the volunteers and of course the vendor finalists, many of whom enlisted family and friends to serve up great food. Each and EVERY participating cart and truck put their heart into making fantastic food and ensuring a great day for everyone. Marking my calendar now for Vendys 2012!