Photo: Carl MiKoy, Flickr
While the James Beard Awards may be the Oscars of the food world, the Vendy Awards are a bit closer to the people -- think Daytime Emmys. It's not just a glorious, all-you-can-eat showdown of NYC street food's finest, it's a marker for where fast food is going, for what parts of haute cuisine will translate to everyday food, or at least, for what the public prefers to eat on the go, which we tend to cover -- and taste test -- a whole helluva lot here at Slashfood.
This Saturday the 25th, we'll be live-tweeting from the event on Governors Island (follow us @slashfood for all the bite-by-bite details). Then, we're bringing back the results (with interviews, photos, video and all) on Monday. But first, meet the last, perhaps most exciting category of finalists -- the rookies -- and check back here for previously announced finalists in the general and dessert categories. This last group is all brand new -- before this week, only serious street grub scavengers even knew they existed.
The Cinnamon Snail
A cinnamon snail is a swirling pastry panacea, which you can get here for $3. But Adam Sobel's all-organic vegan haven offers many more delights like vegan donuts, "live entrees" (like raw pizza) and cooked entrees like spicy jalapeño red quinoa fritters with tomatillo salsa, mashed avocado and cilantro roasted garlic cream. The poetry-like menu continues into sandwiches and breakfast, like the breakfast burrito (scrambled tofu, refried beans, pico de gallo) and blue corn pancakes with piñon butter and Vermont syrup. The Snail currently parks in Hoboken and Red Bank, NJ, but it'll soon hit the streets of Brooklyn. The seasonal menu and parking spots switch up often, so stay tuned via @veganLunchTruck on Twitter.
Okay, we know you're thinking, "I could get lamb on any corner in this town," but try finding a Bifteki sandwich. That's a traditional Greek burger: charcoal-grilled ground beef inside a pita filled with feta, tomato, red onion and homemade tzatziki sauce. Add hand-cut fries for the incredibly low total of $5. Find also, souvlaki sticks and pitas with chicken or pork. The truck stops in midtown weekdays for lunch (11 am - 4 pm), Union Square weekdays for dinner (6 pm - 11 pm), and in Soho weekends from 11 am to 7 pm. Follow them @souvlakitruck on Twitter.
Wen Pin's A-Pou's Taste truck specializes in Taiwanese pot stickers from a family recipe, and also serves Chinese spaghetti, soups (like corn chowder) and milk teas (like taro and green apple). Like food that "sticks to your ribs," the pot sticker is a perfect name for what it does: It's a thick, grilled dumpling filled with meat or vegetables. Find the truck through its Twitter account, @Apouspotsticker, as it bounces between the East Village (between Astor Place and Lafayette Street) and the corner of Broadway and Liberty in the Financial District from 11am to 10pm.
The only non-vegetarian thing on this truck is the chicken sandwich, perhaps for carnivorous tag-along friends. Brothers Michael and Sergio Susano serve up fresh, veg-friendly platters and a kick-ass hot sauce weekdays from 7:30 am - 3:30 pm on the corner of Liberty and Broadway in Manhattan.
As you'd expect, there's Mexican barbecue on this truck, and it's darn near perfect. We like the sound of the "ever-changing" menu using food that's fresh and locally available, and the potential for flavorful combinations like oak-smoked short ribs with green chili sauce, pulled pork with pickled red onions, and smoked chicken with chipotle rub and charred poblanos. And did we mention the house-made chorizo? The truck's all over Manhattan and Brooklyn throughout the week, so check their website (mexicueny.com) or Twitter account, @Mexicue.
The 2010 Vendy Awards have already sold out, but Midtown Lunch reports there'll be a roundup of past winners there to dish out food for walk-ins -- including the Treats Truck and Thiru the Dosa Man. But we've got you covered -- follow us on Twitter during the event this Saturday and come back here for the results on Monday.