First up we stopped at Phil’s Cheesesteaks which claimed to be authentic Philly cheesesteaks. I’ve never had an authentic Philly cheesesteak, but I thought this was pretty damn good. This was the provolone and mushroom one. We also tried the Wit Whiz which was good, but I liked this one better. Ultimately they won for rookie of the year, which I was more than ok with.
My problem this year was my beer consumption. I had three of these boys and that was just way too much heavy beer. I haven’t made that mistake at the Vendy’s in a while (and usually I’m not a big drinker), I don’t know what got into me.
Next was the most heroic vendor, a Halal cart from Bay Ridge.
It was pretty phenomenal Halal food.
Next was Baby Got Back Ribs. Best name ever. And pretty good ribs, apple coleslaw, and jalepeno cornbread.
The Kelvin Slush truck which won best dessert finalist two years ago, was serving special slushie belinnis and slushie sangria. We didn’t get to try the bellini but the sangria was very good.
Next was Chinese Mirch, the veggie and pork dumplings were good, but the black sesame noodles were really great.
Next were Melt ice cream sandwiches. These were one of my favorite things that we tried. We had the regular chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream, a chocolate cookie with rum chocolate malt ice cream, and red velvet with cream cheese ice cream. The chocolate one was fantastic and the cream cheese ice cream was really different and really good. And they won for best dessert!
These lassi pops were fine, nothing really special, in my opinion. They did have very funny signage though.
Next came a vegan truck. The savory dishes didn’t taste bad, but they were so heavy. And the desserts kind of tasted bad and were so heavy. I don’t understand how they won the people’s choice award.
Next was Pestle and Mortar which serves lobster ceviche. It was good, but you’re not going to win with ceviche.
Next came these kebabs which were really well seasoned, but the meat was just so, so, so fatty.
These Italian ices were great. Less creamy than some of the fancier Italian ices, they were super traditional.
Next were these tacos which ended up winning the Vendy Cup (the third Red Hook vendor in five years to win). They were pork, goat, and carne asada. I thought the carne asada was great, but they were all pretty good.
Next were these New Orleans-style sno-balls. I had the king cake, which was great, and we also tried the tiger’s blood and the blackberry. Plus they were serving those delicious dill and ranch oyster crackers I loved as a kid.
This was a really good prime rib sandwich from Mayhem and Stout.
This was an ok chicken and egg dish from Morocho, I also had one of the tacos, but I guess I didn’t get a picture of it.
Next was Uncle Gussy’s Greek food. This guy was really funny and the food was good, but it didn’t really distinguish itself from the other similar food. The french fries were pretty great.
Cannoli and chocolate cookie from a La Bella Torte Dessert Truck.
These Lumpia springrolls were good, especially the mushroom one.
More Halal food. I felt bad for this guy because no one was waiting on line for his food, but it wasn’t very good. The falafel had a very odd consistency and the Halal food from the heroic vendor (who was at the front so probably where most people stopped first) blew this stuff out of the water.
The only thing we got from this Japanese cart was this piece of fried chicken. It was good, sweet, which isn’t my favorite, but still good.
Next was a torta place where we got this fried sandwich thing. It was ok.
I guess I didn’t get a picture of this Indian food? It was good. The chicken roti was definitely better. I also liked that they had hand sanitizer.
Next was Coolhaus, I had had their ice cream sandwiches before, but it was nice to end on a sweet note.
And finally there was the awards ceremony. I noted who won above. The only bad thing about the awards cermony was the MC, he was so annoying. He dragged everything out and made lots of stupid jokes. I kept yelling for him to get on with it.
Pretty ferry ride back to Brooklyn.
This was my fifth year attending the Vendy’s. I really love the event. I’ve watched it grow so much, the first year I went there were only five finalists and then three dessert people. It was also like half the price it is now. It’s great how much it’s grown, but it’s a daunting event. There is a lot of food (obviously) and a lot of pressure to try everything. If you go to the NY one, or the ones that have started up in cities like Philly and LA, I recommend going with people you’re comfortable sharing food with. We just one plate between the three of us I was with and all took pretty much one or two bites of everything. I was still really full, but I didn’t feel sick and it was manageable. I don’t feel so great today, but I think that has to do more with the beer.