Lobster Display by Pestle & Mortar
It was another glorious day on Governor’s Island. The weather was perfect. I made it just in time for the 11am ferry and I was headed to one of my favorite events in New York City, the Street Vendor Project’s Vendy Awards. It’s hard not to get excited about the Vendy’s. They gather some of the best food trucks and street vendors in New York City and it’s an all-day eating and drinking extravaganza in the park. I volunteered yet again this year and I won’t lie, one of the best benefits of volunteering (other than helping a great cause) is that you get to eat a little bit before the event is opened up.
Although some of the vendors were familiar, there were many vendors that I had only heard about or hadn’t heard about at all, so I was super excited to try them. As usual, I didn’t pace myself really well (or at all, really), so I didn’t get to try as many vendors as I would have liked. I did try all but one of the dessert vendors though, so I can’t complain too much.
Here are some of my favorites…
Melt Bakery – the winner of the Dessert category. I will be honest, I almost passed this up as I figured it was just another ice cream vendor, but wow, was I surprised. They made these super sweet mini ice cream sandwiches with unique combinations. I’m a sucker for green tea ice cream, so I chose the Zen, a snickerdoodle-esque cookie with green tea ice cream. The cookie was soft, yet strong enough to hold up to the ice cream and the ice cream wasn’t too sweet. I will DEFINITELY be seeking these guys out again.
Andy’s Italian Ices. Italian ice? I had no idea what to expect. Unlike the limited menus you’re usually offered, they had their entire menu of water and creme ices. Since I was so overwhelmed with the options, I decided to ask the guy what he recommended. A lot of people get annoyed by this question (probably because if the person doesn’t like the choice, then they get all cranky, but in my experience I’ve been encouraged to try things I would never have chosen myself – and I’m not too picky), anyhow, the first thing he suggested was the coconut creme ice. Again, something I would have never chosen. WOW, am I glad I asked. It was creamy in a way I would have never expected and it had a nice coconut flavor, not too heavy. Although I would usually never seek out coconut-flavored ice cream, I think this is an exception and I’d gladly have it again.
Phil’s Steaks – the winner of the Rookie category. I planned badly and didn’t try one of their sandwiches. By the time I got to them (I sort of went in reverse order, ending at the entrance), I was so full, I couldn’t even think of eating another thing. I regret this, as they went to win the Rookie award, so obviously, they make some mean sandwiches! Why am I mentioning them? I loved their attitude. As they left the event, you could feel (and hear) how proud they were to have won and even when they got stuck waiting for the ferry to come, I caught them in their impromptu dance party. Granted they were celebrating, so perhaps they were more high-energy than usual, but I found their attitude infectious and I couldn’t help but smile. I love supporting good people so I’ll be seeking them out to try their sandwiches!
Again, these are just my favorites from the day – check out more pictures here.