Dining

2013 Vendy Award Winners

by Julie Besonen, 10/02/2013

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  • Rookie of the Year
    Nuchas
    Various locations
    This Argentine newcomer serves excellent empanadas. Owner Ariel Barbouth is from Buenos Aires and got to wondering why the hallowed Latin American pastry was so ubiquitous back home yet underrepresented in NYC—a city whose population thrives on handheld, on-the-go snacks. He decided to rectify this and give the crimp-edged, baked turnovers an upgrade, offering quality fillings like Pat LaFrieda's ground beef, slow-braised Creekstone Farm short ribs and a vegetarian medley of shiitake mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini and coconut milk encased in turmeric-hued dough. They're hot and flaky on the outside, juicy and flavorful within, and run $3–$4. The truck's whereabouts can be pinpointed via Twitter. Also, look for its kiosk in Times Square: a Nuchas empanada makes for an ideal bite before a show.

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