It’s been two years since I last attended the NYC Vendy Awards. Like years past, they were held on Governors Island but had several other vendors and some additional award categories.
In addition to the usual categories of Vendy Cup, People’s Choice, Rookie of the Year, Best Dessert, and Most Heroic, was the Best of Market. Best of Market would be going to a truckless vendor who sets up shop in local street fairs or festivals.
Most Heroic went to Sammy Kassem and his Bay Ridge Halal truck. Sammy was recognized for his courage and perseverance, as he has dealt with a lot of harassment regarding his truck.
Nominees for Rookie of the Year were: Cambodian Cuisine Torsu (Cambodian), Chinese Mirch (Indian-Chinese), Fun Buns (Taiwanese Buns), Morocho (Peruvian Fusion), Okadaman (Japanese), and Phil’s Steaks (Philly Cheesesteaks). My favorites from this group were the okonomiyaki from Okadaman and the “whiz wit” from Phil’s Steaks. Now being a Philly resident, I’ve gained an appreciation for what exactly a cheesesteak is and how it should be. The Philly Cheesesteak is often mislabeled and misinterpreted to be something that it isn’t. That being said, I’m glad that Phil’s Steaks is doing what they do. They’re serving their steaks on Amoroso rolls and even the name of their whiz wit is an homage to how you would order a steak down in Philly. Of course, just because they look legit doesn’t mean they are. Their steaks tasted better than some places here in Philly! They took the Rookie of the Year award!
Best Dessert nominees were: Andy’s Italian Ices (water & cream ice), Coolhaus (frozen desserts), Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls (New Orleans style sno-balls), La Bella Torte (Italian desserts), Melt Bakery (Ice Cream Sandwiches), and Monsieur Singh Lassi (Lassi drinks & pops). Several desserts were great from Andy’s chocolate pretzel ball ice (special for the day) to Monsieur Lassi’s mango lassi shots. I really enjoyed Imperial Woodpecker’s “Tiger Blood” sno-ball, which was a cherry shaved ice topped coconut and condensed milk, and Melt Bakery’s ice cream sandwiches. In the end, the people voted Melt Bakery for Best Dessert!
In the Best of Market category were: Baby Got Back Ribs (Ribs), Lumpia Shack (Filipino inspired spring rolls), Mayhem & Stout (Braised Meat Sandwiches), Parantha Alley (Paranthas), and Pestle & Mortar (Ceviche). Having been to Lumpia Shack previously at Smorgasburg, I really like what they’re doing. They’re making Filipino spring rolls fun! Lumpia Shack took the award for Best of Market!
The nominees for the Vendy Cup & People’s Choice were: The Cinnamon Snail (Organic Vegan), Hamza and Madina (Halal), Piaztlan Authenic Mexican Food (Mexican), Tortas Nezas (Mexican Tortas), Uncle Gussy’s (Greek), and Xinjiang Prosperity Kebabs (Chinese kebabs). All of these trucks put out some fantastic food. I’m sure the judges had a tough time choosing a winner for this. I’m somewhat obsessed with Chinese kebabs. There aren’t many places I’ve found here that do it right, let alone serve Chinese kebabs. Xinjiang recreates the taste and experience of the lamb kebabs I had in China almost, if not, spot on. Obviously, Xinjiang was my favorite to win. The winner of the People’s Choice was The Cinnamon Snail and the winner for the Vendy Cup was Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food!
Check out more photos from the Vendys after the jump: