Eighth-Annual Vendy Awards
by Julie Besonen, 09/18/2012
(From left) The Vendy Cup on display at the Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food truck and an Al Pastor taco. Photos by Alexander Thompson
The eighth-annual Vendy Awards were held on September 15 on Governors Island, honoring the best of the best from thousands of street vendors that ply their trade in New York City. This year's overall winner was Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food, a family-run food truck in Red Hook. Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food took home the coveted Vendy Cup, but each of the finalists, many of them immigrants, have gained a hold of our appetites by feeding us the most delicious food they know how to make. Sponsored by The Street Vendor Project, part of the nonprofit Urban Justice Center, the Vendys pit pushcarts against food trucks. This year's master of ceremonies was James Cunningham, host of Food Network Canada's Eat St.; judges included Food & Wine magazine's Kate Krader, chef/writer/TV celebrity Eddie Huang, Top Chef Masters host Kelly Choi and hip-hop satirists Das Racist. As befits any awards ceremony, there were different categories. The dessert division favorite was Melt Bakery, purveyor of artisanal ice cream sandwiches; best rookie honors went to Phil's Steaks, maker of authentic Philly cheesesteaks; the first-ever Market Vendor Award winner was Lumpia-Shack, provider of Filipino-inspired spring rolls; and The Cinnamon Snail, which dishes out organic vegan foods, won the People's Taste Award. See our slideshow for more info on the Vendy Cup finalists.