Friday, September 27, 2013

Volunteering at the Vendy's involves mostly eating my heart out and loving every minute

The gang and I volunteered at the Vendys this year, the annual event celebrating both new and old New York food trucks in savory and sweet categories.  The event typically costs about $100, but in exchange for 5 hours of volunteering, you can have your free lot of all the food you can eat !  And with a good group of friends, the time goes by quickly (especially as people keep bringing you bites to eat throughout the day), and you get a chance to meet with all the gracious vendors.

My impossible regret is that I did not get to eat everything, but I managed a good bit !  Here's a few scenes of the food!

Cinnamon Snail - Long time Vegan favorite with super generous portions of everything.

The gang loved the BBQ seitan, grilled oyster mushrooms and lemongrass tempeh tacos.

I focused on their donuts of course: the Norberwieberberweiberhydrafab donut is indeed a mouthful to say and to eat: a white chocolate yeast glazed donut topped with bourbon hazelnut ganache.  It was a bit too sweet for my liking (the ganache an interesting texture),

but the real winner was the cranberry glazed cake donut.  Soft, spicy gingerbread wrapped in a tart cranberry glaze - oh, fall is upon us indeed !

Popsicles were offered by the adorably lime green Popitbaby.

Watermelon mint was a little icy, but crisp and refreshing.

Del's was servin' up small cups of their lemon slush.  It was cold and refreshing, but light on the lemon flavor.

King Souvlaki offered plates of rough cut fries, souvlaki, tomatoes and red onions.

The French Quarter had tastes of their gumbo and jambalaya - pretty good flavor, and made me miss New Orleans.

In addition to their delectable lobster rolls, Luke's Lobster was also offering grilled cheese lobster sandwiches.  Possibly weird, or maybe a beautiful duo that is meant to be together ! The bread was so crispy and not too buttery (but don't worry, there's definitely butter) since the warm cheese and lobster filling are plenty rich enough together.  Balanced goodness.

Since leaving Williamsburg, I haven't made it back yet to check out Oddfellow's eccentric ice cream flavors, so thank goodness they were at the Vendy's with two flavors: corn and peanut butter and jelly.  The latter was completely delicious.

Creamy smooth peanut butter flavor with speckles of sweet grape jelly.  So good !

Itizy is a new ice cream cart with a social mission: for every five scoops of ice cream it sells, it donates one school meal to a child in need.

I can get behind a mission like that.  The mint chocolate chip was very creamy with plenty of fine chocolate bits.

Here's a lady I saw while sitting at the merchandise table.  She does taxidermy.  She wore a chicken on her head, its claw at her throat and a fine scowl on her face.  I'm so out of touch with what's hip anymore.

Jamie brought us these delicious turkey pesto sandwiches from Molly's Milk Truck.  

The turkey is made in-house, and tastes SO good.  No salt is added to the turkey as its roasted, yet it has loads of flavor.  It's weird to say that this simple turkey sandwich might be one of my favorite bites of the whole day, but sometimes simplicity is all you need!

Like this donut truck that specializes in apple cider donuts that are fried fresh to order.  Yeah.  Your dreams just came true at Carpe Donut !!

The donut was so hot, it was burning in my hand as much as my patience was burning inside of me to eat it.  Luckily, a lifetime of eating piping hot pho has conditioned my mouth to eat extraordinarily hot things, and I absolutely inhaled this miracle of a donut within seconds - so light, fluffy and greaseless!  AND. I think their regular truck serves apple cider ice cream sandwiches.  Like. I seriously cannot deal with that right now (and I must eat it when I get back in town).

The Sweet Chili truck marries Vietnamese and Thai cuisine.  

We sampled the heavenly beef, a coriander marinated sirloin with Sriracha and Thai basil, as well as the sweet chili chicken.  The beef was pretty tasty with a nice, mild bit of heat.

My other favorite bite of the day came from a mustachioed New Jersey (!) truck called Tony Boloney's which is normally found around Atlantic City.

Atlantic City.  You know.  Where the debonair gentlemen look like this !

It was surprising to find that their Tikka Masala pizza, topped with squeaky paneer, was so delicious - sweet, creamy, and rich.  The pizza crust was thin but sturdy with a nice crisp base.  So delightful!

Their cheesesteaks were quite good also, with tender strips of beef enrobed in melted cheese on top of fluffy loaves.

Khao Man Gai served up their namesake dish which looked bland, but was deceivingly so!  The poached chicken was tender and moist and punched up with a beautiful, gingery fish sauce.  Unexpectedly good!

She wasn't expecting it either !

Bon Chovie was frying up plenty of head-on anchovies in a spiced aioli.  Yum!

I got my second slice of the day from Neapolitan Express, a beautiful truck with huge panes of glass showcasing the glossy pizza ovens inside.  The truck runs on compressed natural gas and serves only organic pizzas - so I guess you can reduce your carbon footprint by checking this baby out.

A slice of the di Parma was pretty solid - the sauce was bright and rich and I just love big toasted bubbles in Neapolitan pizza!

My last bite came from Liddabit Sweets, handing out little cups of butterscotch pudding topped with bourbon-bacon caramel corn.  The sweet and smoky popcorn was perfect, but the sandy texture of the pudding was a little off.

Looking at all this food in retrospect, I realize I look like an absolute slob, and I was!  A pleasantly (and maybe borderline uncomfortably) stuffed slob that discovered new favorite donuts in the city.  Carpe Donut might as well be my new life motto !

Han's Nonsensical Rating: Volunteering at the Vendy's is a unique and fully rewarding experience - I wish I could always be rewarded with endless amounts of tasty food for only a few hours of work.  


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. such a ridiculously awesome day!! i WANT that donut, i WANT that watermelon mint, and i WANT that pizza...

  3. I NEED ALL OF THIS!! I'm so jealous of so many things I can't even name them all. I think the lobster grilled cheese is #1, though.

  4. Awesome food! Nice review. I liked it very much. Thanks for sharing.

    Brooklyn restaurant