When I first heard about these "awards" a couple years ago, I thought it was a little nutty. But then again we live in NYC; where people walk two miles to work to save $2.25, then when they get there spend $3.52 on a coffee. So I guess I can't be too surprised about anything anymore, especially when it comes to this. Street food has become so rampant (and in some cases so GOOD), with carts and trucks of all different cuisines popping up everywhere, maybe they should be giving out awards. When I was a kid growing up, street food consisted of very limited options: "steak on a stick" (which is what my dad calls it – and I'm pretty sure that's his term for it, not the real term), pretzels, and hot dogs. That was it. Now, street food has expanded so much that if I even tried to list all of them, I probably couldnt.
However, among this mobile smorgasbord, some trucks have gained so much of a following that they will be competing against each other this Saturday at the Vendy Awards. According to their site, the Vendy Awards are like the Oscars of the street food world. Below from the press release:
Organized by the Street Vendor Project, a non profit organization that advocates for vendors, The Vendys feature 5 nominated vendors in a street food cook-off. The dessert category, now in its second year, recognizes some of the sweetest treats in the city. (In fact, the Treats Truck won the coveted 2008 People’s Choice Award.)
When I think of dessert and street food, I can only think of one thing: Wafels & Dinges. The bright yellow truck is hard to miss, and the delicious Belgian waffles are hard to resist! This year, Thomas DeGeest, creator of Wafels & Dinges, will be squaring off against the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, and the Cupcake Stop. Wafels & Dinges is one of the original "different" street vendors, and since 2007 has been cranking out authentic Belgian waffles with all the trimmings, and then some. Classics like whipped cream, butter and syrup are a no-fail option, but dulce de leche, nutella and even Speculoos spread (just Google it) make for a sweet surprise. For me, Wafels & Dinges is not so much about the toppings, but more about the quality of the wafels, and they are delicious any way you order them.
Now in all fairness, newcomer Big Gay Ice Cream Truck is also a solid competitor, and a must for ice cream lovers who think that ice cream in general has gotten too, well, vanilla. With toppings like sea salt and Nutella, banana-cocoa puree, and even caramelized bacon - it should be an interesting battle. In fact, I just read that the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck has come up with a new "Monday Sundae" consisting of vanilla/chocolate twist soft serve in a nutella-lined cone, with dulce de leche, sea salt and whipped cream. Below is a pic from their site:
Who will you pick?? Unfortunately I will be out of town for the Vendy's, so I can't vote, but I plan on hitting up Wafels & Dinges tomorrow, and maybe the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck on Friday. Be still my beating tastebuds!
To get your tickets for the Vendy's this weekend at Flushing Meadow Park in Queens, click here.