Everything went smoothly at the Vendy Awards this past Saturday, with 21 vendors, fast moving lines and fair weather. The event had a great crowd, featured lively music, and had great sponsors ensuring the day would be a blast, like Maker’s Mark and Brooklyn Brewery. For the first few hours guests sampled as many cuisines as possible, strategically choosing between the most sought-after trucks and those with the most manageable lines. Korilla BBQ, Souvlaki GR and Solber Pupusas seemed to have the longest lines throughout, but eventually they winded down so I could have a taste.
Some exceptional offerings came from The Cinnamon Snail, which made a spicy red bean tart, seitan wrap and a Maker’s Mark jelly-filled donut, alongside their funky costumes. Taim’s green falafel was one of the best falafels I’ve ever tasted, and Sunrise Grill’s oxtail was unique and delicious. Taco Truck made light and refreshing tacos, and Two Pitas in a Pod had a great sample platter complete with pulled pork, falafel and hummus. La Bella Torte had extravagant and filling cannolis and desserts, and Wooly’s shaved ice made delicious Maker’s Mark infused shaved ice. One of the toughest challenges of the day was trying to juggle multiple drinks and plates while looking for a place to sit, but I suppose my own gluttony is to blame for that. As the trucks started to close up, I got a last minute chance for beef taco from Korilla, with kimchi and a delicious sauce, and a chicken pita from Souvlaki GR, complete with Greek fries inside.
When the time came for the awards to be announced, the trucks all closed and the owners gathered around the podium, while the judges were introduced, the concept of the Street Vendor project was discussed, and thanks given to all the sponsors and participants. The Most Heroic Vendor Award was presented to Patty’s Taco for standing up to the multiple violations she received and fighting back with a lawsuit against the city of New York. Best dessert went to Wooly’s shaved ice, which served up the perfect light dessert for this challenge, and they came with their very own Green Man. The Cinnamon Snail won the Maker’s Mark challenge for their donuts, and undoubtedly their colorful costumes as well. Taco Truck won the Best of New Jersey category; Korilla won Rookie of the Year, storming the stage with the most enthusiasm of any of the vendors present, and Souvlaki GR won People’s Taste. The Vendy Cup was at last presented to Solber Pupusas, which had lines as long as anyone’s today, and served delicious, authentic corn patties.
With the final award given out, the 7th Annual Vendy’s came to a close and everyone shuffled towards the ferry, vendors included. With delicious food, great weather and an even greater turnout, this year’s Vendy Awards picked a stellar group of food vendors and gave recognition to some unique trucks that until now were largely unknown.