09/06/18 8:33am

Fish cakes from Bronx-based Vendy finalist CaSpanish.

Back in 2009, when the Vendy Awards were held in the shadow of the Unisphere, there was only one food market game in town: Smorgasburg. LIC Flea & Food came along in 2012 and a few years later Queens got its very own night market. Well these days it does and so does the Bronx. The finalists for this years Vendy Awards are a lineup of vendors from the street and from the markets that is almost as diverse as Queens itself. Puerto Rico, the Domican Republic,Trinidad, Italy, China, Indonesia, Japan, El Salvador, India, and Romania are all represented. What’s more, six of the nine finalists have a connection to Queens.This year’s Vendy Awards will be held on Governors Island on September 22. Click here to get tickets. Ladies and gentlemen, we present your 2018 Vendy Awards Finalists for Best Market Vendor and Best Dessert Vendor.

CaSpanish
These Bronx Night Market stalwarts take their name from a blend of Caribbean and Spanish cuisines as reflected in a menu that features straight up Dominican fare like mangu—a trifecta of salami fried cheese, and eggs—and fusion specialties like jerk chicken empanadas. Husband and wife duo Keith and Judy were in the middle of planning their wedding in 2015 when they could not find a caterer that offered the varied menu they were looking for. Keith is Trinidadian-American and Judy is Puerto Rican and Dominican. They wanted a reception spread that included each of their favorite foods reflecting their Caribbean-American backgrounds. Unhappy with what they found they decided to cater their own wedding reception, and thus was born CaSpanish.

D’Abruzzo NYC took top honors at this spring’s World’s Fare.

D’Abruzzo NYC
Tommaso Conte started D’Abruzzo NYC in August 2017, and now sells his arrosticini, succulent roasted lamb skewers, at Smorgasburg and other markets. While growing up on Long Island, Tommaso’s family, in particular his nonno, or grandfather, instilled in him the values, traditions, and work ethic that he learned in Abruzzo a rugged mountainous region is southern Italy. Early on Tommaso grew tomatoes, helped make wine in his Cantina, and turned the soil in his nonno’s garden. This connection to the land at an early age has inspired Tommaso to pay homage to his roots with D’Abruzzo NYC.

Hometown Spring Pancakes
Founder Annie Ye hails from Wenzhou, China and got started in the food market game with CBao Asian Buns, which can still be found at Queens Night Market, beside her new venture, Hometown Spring Pancake, which showcases a lesser known Northern Chinese snack. Each flaky pancake is made fresh to order and then filled with such meats as stewed beef or roast pork. (more…)

08/27/14 10:10am
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The ice cream sandwich gets a modern makeover.

Ken Lo and Paul Kim, the boys behind Vendy Award finalist Ice & Vice aren’t kidding when they say their ice cream is experimental. Flavor creations include Movie Night: buttered popcorn, toasted raisin, and dark chocolate flakes; Burning Love: cocoa, milk chocolate, hickory smoke, and Sichuan peppercorn; and Three Little Pigs: salted caramel, bacon butter, and bacon praline. It was only a matter of time before they turned their attention to the ice cream sandwich. (more…)

09/10/13 12:45pm
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The hordes hungered for award-winning street food.

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. (more…)