Last Saturday, 20 New York food carts and trucks gathered on Governors Island to compete in the Vendy Awards, an annual competition that decides the best of local street food.
Solber Pupusas, which serves traditional Salvadoran corn patties and other Central American and Carribean dishes, won the Vendy Cup. Owners Reina Bermudez-Soler and Rafael Soler have been serving street food for 12 years.
Souvlaki GR won the People’s Taste award, not surprising since they won Rookie of the Year in 2010 with their pork souvlaki and Greek fries. Best Dessert went to Wooly’s Ice, with Taiwanese- and Hawaiian-inspired shaved ice.
What we loved while we were there:
• Pork and Chicken Souvlakis, From Souvlaki GR: "One thing that people don't realize is that we dunk [the meat] in lemon juice, because lemon juice cuts the grease, just after it comes off the grill. It removes the grease and also gives it a lemon flavor. So you've got striations there." — Abby Sierros, Co-Owner
• Maker's Mark Chocolate Panna Cotta, From La Bella Torte: "The key to making a good panna cotta is fresh vanilla bean. Gotta use a nice vanilla bean. Some recipes call for half a vanilla bean. You know what? I use a whole vanilla bean." — Joe Glaser, Co-Owner
• Oxtail and Ginger Beer, From Sunrise Grill (left, photo by Will Budiaman): "Our seasoning is straight from Jamaica, natural spices. The oxtail is very tender. We cook it for a very long time, maybe an hour, an hour and a half." — Gregory White, Owner
The Vendys were started in 2005 by the Street Vendor Project, which works to provide legal representation for street carts and food trucks. Although the Vendys is a New York-based event, it has also taken place in Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
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