The Vendy Awards have finally arrived! This weekend 5 street food vendors and 4 dessert trucks will converge on Tobacco Warehouse in Dumbo to battle it out for the most coveted prize in street food vending: the Vendy Cup. Tickets are $80 in advance, and $100 at the door, and all the money goes to a great cause—plus it's tax deductible. In true Eater fashion we thought we'd handicap each vendor's chance of taking home the coveted Vendy Cup. Every vendor nominated puts out delicious food, and they all have a chance of winning—but we think some may have a better chance than others.
So here it is...
10:1 The Calexico Cart (aka "The Hipsters"): Hipster carts rule the streets of New York City right now, and the carne asada these guys make is mighty tasty. But up against the world cuisines and the heartwarming stories represented by the other 4 nominees, we don't think California-style Mexican food stands a chance—as good a version as it is.
5:1 Fauzia's Delights (aka "The Wild Card"): Admittedly we know the least about this vendor, and she could be the true darkhorse in the competition. Joe DiStefano said "it’s the healthiest thing I’ve ever eaten from a street cart," which could be a plus or minus depending on the mindset of the judges. Ignore Fauzia at your own peril!
4:1 Biryani Cart (aka "The Darkhorse"): Of all the dishes being served at the Vendy's the Biryani cart will probably be serving up the spiciest and most complex food. If they're firing on all cylinders, their three dishes are good enough to win this thing. Unfortunately, they can be a little inconsistent, and may get bogged down in the crush of the crowd.
3:1 Soler Dominican (aka "Mr. Popularity"): If this was a popularity contest, you'd have to give the upper hand to the only contestant representing the enormously popular Red Hook ball field vendors. Just as dosas took home the prize last year, pupusas may be just the thing to separate this vendor from the pack. He also knows how to turn out food for large crowds. If the ball fields' fans come out in full force, Rafael should be in a good position to pick up the People's Choice Award... and maybe, just maybe, could pull off winning the whole shebang.
2:1 Kwik Meal (aka "The Safe Bet"): This is the second year in a row that Kwik Meal has been nominated for the Vendy Awards, and despite being Ed Levine's overwhelming favorite at last year's event, Mohammed Rahman lost the cup but took home the People's Choice Award. There has been some talk about the quality at the cart slipping since Rahman left to focus on his new pizza parlor in Harlem, but that should be moot since you know Muhammed will be there on Saturday and he'll be bringing his "A" game. With last year as a guide, Muhammad knows exactly what he's in for—and we think that experience could be the difference.
Good luck to all the vendors... you're all worthy of the prize. And we'll see everybody at the event!
For more information or to buy your tickets go to http://streetvendor.org/vendys/
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