Food & Drink

EVENTBRITE NYC BLOGGER TOUR: The 2013 Vendy Awards!

by Lea Faminiano

food

This past Saturday, September 7, 27 food vendors from NYC/NJ converged upon the 2013 Vendy Awards to compete for an array of highly coveted prizes, and simultaneously turning Sunset Park’s Industry City into a playground for the overly indulgent.  As the first stop on Eventbrite’s NYC Blogger Tour, the Vendy Awards are no joke for big eaters – and I was up for the challenge to taste everything.

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The Vendy Awards are kind of like Thanksgiving in September, a holiday where you are thankful that food vendors were invented (in-vend-ed???) and it’s socially acceptable to eat until you’re on the verge of exploding.  It’s that ideal kind of event where all the vendors are at the top of their game (because they’re trying to impress everyone); people of all dietary preferences and restrictions can be catered to; lines, though long, are fast; and you can eat as much as you want… and then go back for seconds (or thirds).

Of all the food events I’ve ever been to, last year’s Vendy Awards is my all time favorite, and this year’s could have easily rivaled it.  I wasn’t familiar with the majority of the vendors this time around, which proved to be a good thing, as it’s a great excuse to stuff your face, because you can just say you’re doing it for “research.”  Only downside: I preferred last year’s lawns of Governor’s Island to the very much industrial Industry City (it’s more ideal for that food-baby nap).

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A watermelon mint ice pop from Pop it Baby, coming to the West Village soon!

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My first time trying espumilla (an Ecuadorian meringue treat) from Cholita Cuencana

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Liddabit Sweets’ butterscotch pudding with bacon bourbon popcorn + Oddfellows’ PB&J ice cream

So, the rundown (and tons of food porn, since I know that’s what you really want): Itizy took home a well-deserved win in the Dessert category, but my personal favorite went to Oddfellows’ Peanut Butter & Jelly ice cream.  As a girl who didn’t grow up eating PB&J (blame Asian parenting), I am set on making up for those lost years by gorging on this ice cream version as much as possible in the near future.

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Taco Chips, from The Chipper Truck – my favorite Vendy dish

My overall, savory favorite?  The Chipper Truck’s Taco Chips, which is exactly what would happen if french fries and a taco had a (beautiful) love-child, and also exactly what would happen if a crowd of ten hungry drunk college kids (or pregnant women, preferably not overlapping) got together and decided it would be a great time to make a meal.  No formal awards went to the native Bronx truck – but I’m pretty sure they won over a whole slew of new fans as well as everyone’s stomachs.  We definitely haven’t heard the last of these guys.

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The cutest little black bean & cheese taco from Lonestar Taco

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Rendang Chicken Curry – my first dish of the day, from Mamak

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More food than you can handle (in a good way) from The Cinnamon Snail

As if Cinnamon Snail didn’t already impress everyone last year with their portobello mushroom carpaccio, they turned it up full blast.  Certainly not snail-like, the truck pumped out a selection of five items for patrons to take all at once (as opposed to the “choose one item” deal everyone else had) including a selection of not one, but two different types of doughnuts.

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Straight outta Atlantic City, the Mustache Mobile served up cheesesteaks so good, they eventually ran out!

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You can barely see King Souvlaki – one of the longest lines at the Vendy’s

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Judges, judging

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So, who won?

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The winner – El Olomega Pupusas!

El Olomega Pupusas took the sacred Vendy Cup, proving for the third year in a row that Red Hook’s vendors are not to be rivaled (and further justifying my argument that everyone needs to go to Red Hook based on the vendors alone).  Other winners included Nuchas (Rookie of the Year – I didn’t try these but smuggled an empanada in my bag to take home), Home by the Range (Tide’s Messy Yet Tasty Award and the Best New Jersey vendor – represent!), Khao Man Gai (Best Market Vendor), and Luke’s Lobster (People’s Choice).

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All smiles from Carpe Donut!

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Overall?  A great success.  There’s honestly no way you can be upset at the Vendys (unless you don’t like food, but then why would you be there?).  Everyone left seeming like they were happy, despite the fact that each person left 10 pounds heavier than they were when they arrived.  Make sure you keep an eye out for all the amazing vendors and support them if you see them – and until next year’s Vendy Awards, you know that’s exactly what I’ll be doing.

***For the next stop on the Eventbrite NYC Blogger Tour, I’ll be attending Taste Talks in Brooklyn on September 14 & 15.  To get tickets for various Taste Talks events, head on over to Eventbrite!

 

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