2009 Vendy Finalists, Here I Come!

Ladies and Gentlemen, the finalists for this year’s Vendy Awards have been announced and as a proud New Yorker, I feel the need to check them out personally.  What’s that? No, not Wendy’s. I said the Vendys.

vendy You must have heard of it – it’s been going on for years (well four – but that’s years).  It’s a cook-off to find the best sidewalks chefs in New York City. Yes, I said sidewalk.  That’s right – street food.  Those carts on the corner? Those. Though many are now actually trucks but never mind – they set up shop and serve customers right there on he street so they remain street food. No, these are not dirty water dogs (not that there’s anything wrong with dirty water dogs). The world of New York Street Food is a vast landscape, covering a world of cuisine – including everything from the South American grilled chicken to Sri-Lankan style vegan to dessert.

This year’s finalists include:

  • Traditional Indian offerings from Meru Sikder and his Biryani Cart
  • Middle Eastern fare from Falafel King, Fares “Freddy” Zeidaies
  • Dumplings courtesy of Kenny Lao at Rickshaw Dumpling
  • Jamaican food from Jamaican Dutchy’s O’Neill Reid
  • Mexican from Country Boys/Martinez Taco Truck run by Fernando & Jolanda Martinez*

My goal is to try something from each finalist before THE BIG DAY. I always say that of course and somehow always miss one. But this year – I’m gonna do it!  I must say that the Vendy Awards people have made it easier than ever to find and get to know the finalists. I love the maps and the interviews. – looking forward to it all.

That said, I have already experienced the joy of Rickshaw Dumpling.   All I have to say about that is — pardon my French – FAN. F*CKING. TASTIC!


* somehow I’ve never tried their stuff despite having been out to the Red Hook Ball Fields a number of times – the Red Hook Ball Fields are worth a post all on their own and will get one shortly. In the meantime, check out Serious Eat’s Red Hook Vendors: A Quick Guide for the Uninitiated. Mouth-wateringly informative.

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