Scenes From New York's 2012 Vendy Awards
The 8th annual Vendy Awards was held at Governors Island, for the third year in a row, this past Saturday. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day to celebrate the best of NYC street food. There were 22 vendors competing in four categories: Best Market Vendor, Rookie of the Year, Best Dessert, People's Choice Award, and the big Vendy Cup. Judges for the Vendy Cup included Food & Wine restaurant editor Kate Krader, chef and owner of BaoHaus Eddie Huang, Brooklyn-based musicians Das Racist, New York City Council Member Julissa Ferreras, and citizen judge Sara Lipton.
So let's meet all the finalists and see who won!
BEST OF MARKET VENDORS FINALISTS
Different types of Filipino-inspired spring rolls.
Where to find them: Smorgasburg; check their Twitter (@lumpiashack).
Mayhem & Stout
Slow braised meat sandwiches like short rib and brisket, pork shoulder and chicken which also come with your choice of relishes and sauces.
Where to find them: At various markets, check their Twitter (@mayhemandstout).
Baby Got Back Ribs
Ribs! Lots and lots of baby back ribs.
Where to find them: Smorgasburg, check their Twitter (@BabyGotBackRibs).
Paranthas, Indian flat breads, with fillings like chicken and cheese with red onion.
Where to find them: Smorgasburg.
Pestle & Mortar
Serves various types of ceviche and may win the best use of lobster heads.
Where to find them: Smorgasburg; check their Twitter (@PestleBK).
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
Authentic Philly cheesesteaks.
Where to find them: Location changes daily, check their Twitter (@PhilsSteaks).
Okonomiyaki (or Japanese styled pancakes), yakisoba and takoyaki.
Where to find them: Everyday at 47th Street and Park Avenue. Check their Twitter (@OkadamanNYC).
A fusion of Chinese and Indian food, specializing in Tibetan momos.
Where to find them: All over Manhattan, check their Twitter (@chinesemirch).
Serves Peruvian style foods like the lomo saltado taco and burger that comes with a fried egg and fried plantains.
Where to find them: At Union Square on most days, check their Twitter (@NYCmorocho).
Taiwanese-style buns stuffed with different kinds of meat like pork belly, chicken and beef.
Where to find them: All over Manhattan, check their Twitter (@funbunsnyc)
Cambodian Cuisine Torsu
Sadly they weren't able to make it to the Vendy Awards but you can find them at their regular spots for authentic Cambodian foods.
Where to find them: Weekdays on 5th Ave and 20th St and weeknights in front of NYU Stern, check their Twitter (@camcuisinetorsu).
BEST DESSERT FINALISTS
Andy's Italian Ices & Espresso Bar
Serves traditional Italian ices and creme ices.
Where to find them: All over the city, check their Twitter (@andysitalianices).
Serves ice cream sandwiches like The Elvis, peanut butter cookie with banana ice cream.
Where to find them: Everyday at the Highline for the summer, and at their new retail location at 132 Orchard Street. Check their Twitter (@meltbakery).
La Bella Torte Dessert Truck
Specializes in Italian desserts: think cannoli, chocolate salted caramel tart and tiramisu.
Where to find them: Mon-Wed on the West Prominade on Roosevelt Island, and Thurs-Sat on N 6th Street between Wythe Street & Berry Street in Brooklyn. Check their Twittter (@LaBellaTorte).
Monsieur Singh Lassi
Serves Indian lassi in drinkable and ice pop form!
Where to find them: All over the city, check their Twitter (@monsieursingh).
Serves architectural themed ice cream sandwiches that lets you mix and match any of their homemade ice creams and cookies.
Where to find them: All over Manhattan, check their Twitter (@CoolhausNY)
Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls
Serves refreshing New Orleans style sno-balls.
Where to find them: Everyday at 124 MacDougal Street; check their Twitter (@ImperialSno).
THE VENDY CUP FINALISTS
Traditional Greek food made with family recipes. Their tagline is "Grillin like a villain" and they sure did at the Vendys.
Where to find them: Everyday at the corner of 51st St and Park Avenue; check their (@UncleGussys).
Mexican food that specializes in oversized torta sandwiches; owner Galdino Molinero dyed his hair blue just for the Vendys!
Where to find them: 111th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, Queens.
The Cinnamon Snail
Serves sweet and savory vegan food that even meat lovers will enjoy.
Where to find them: All over Manhattan, check their Twitter (@VeganLunchTruck).
Xin Jiang Prosperity Kebabs
Meat on sticks cooked over flames and charcoal. The lamb kebab is their specialty.
Where to find them: At the corner of Forsyth Street & Division Street.
Hamza and Madina Halal Food
Middle Eastern food like chicken and lamb over rice with their famous homemade white sauce.
Where to find them: 254-05 Hillside Avenue, Queens.
Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food
Traditional Mexican foods like tacos, tortas and flautas.
Where to find them: Every weekend at the Red Hook Ballfields, Brooklyn, check their Twitter (@PiaztlanBK).
AND THE WINNERS ARE...
Most Heroic Vendor Award
This year's Vendy Hero Award went to Sammy Kassem, a 21 year old halal food cart vendor from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Sammy and his cart were being threatened by some brick-and-mortar restaurants in the area. Instead of moving to a different location, he stood his ground, because he believes that all businesses have the right to make a living. Sammy and his whole crew were recognized for their hard work standing up for the rights of street vendors everywhere.
Best Market Vendor
Lumpia Shack and their bite-size fried bites took the first ever Best Market Vendor Award.
Rookie of the Year
The gang from Phil's Steaks took the Rookie of the Year Award; we're totally justified to love Cheez Whiz with our steak sandwiches.
Best Dessert Award
Melt Bakery and their delicious ice cream sandwiches took the Best Dessert Award.
People's Choice Award
The people have spoken! The Cinnamon Snail took the People's Choice Award with their all-vegan menu.
And the Vendy Cup goes to...
Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food! For the second year in a row, a Red Hook Ballfield vendor has taken the big Vendy Cup.
More you say?
Be sure to check out the slideshow for more from the Vendy Awards 2012.