I was unable to attend the Vendy Awards this past weekend, but my good friend Siobhan Wallace was kind enough to provide this dispatch and some lovely photographs. The non-Blondie half of Blondie & Brownie, literally co-wrote the book on street food in New York City: New York à la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple’s Best Food Trucks. Take it away Siobhan!
This past weekend, myself and over 999 other street food fans found ourselves in the shadows of Industry City’s factory buildings in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, devouring the best New York City cart and food truck offerings at the ninth annual Vendy Awards. Most of it was a win, a few things were off the mark, and there were ice cream cones full of frosting.
This was one of those Vendys were about half of the vendors served to a decent sized line all day meaning that I did not have the time or patience to try everything. I did wait for what would end up winning the People’s Choice Award, Luke’s Lobster. Personally, the buttered rolls and succulent claw meat leads me to always chose Luke’s lobster rolls over everyone else. They paired their mini rolls with slices of lobster grilled cheese and spicy mayo. Not having had the grilled cheese before—it was only available for a short while over the winter—I enjoyed the sandwich, but it wasn’t going to trump lobster rolls in my book.
Another vendor up for the Vendy Cup was Woodlawn’s The Chipper Truck. Usually found open in the middle of the night, The Chipper Truck serves up traditional Irish and American fare. For the Vendys, they brought their A game with taco chips. Yes, piping hot French fries covered with American taco fillings aka the best hangover food on the planet.
As for the Best of New Jersey and Rookie contestants, I would like to refer you to the line situation that occurred. Most had long waits all day, though I did manage to get bites from Neapolitan Express, The French Quarter, and Molly’s Milk Truck—which was handing out delicious little glasses of iced coffee with almond milk. The day’s awards would end up going to Home by the Range (NJ) and Nuchas (Rookie).
But anyone who knows me, knows that I’m all about dessert. I made a point of trying an (apparent good choice) hibiscus popsicle from Popitbaby, multiple ice cream flavors from the category’s winner itizy (mint stracciatella needs to be in my life more), and probably two too many piping hot apple cider doughnuts from Carpe Donut. Though I could have easily gone for another cone full of espumilla, an Ecuadorian confection of egg whites, sugar, and fruit. It’s like a pink cloud of frosting and sugar and my childhood dreams of being a princess.
Yet, at the end, the day belonged to Red Hook. El Olomega’s pupusas charmed the judges and for the third year in a row, a Ball Field vendor is taking home the glory. Viva la Red Hook.