Best Market Vendor is a new Vendy Awards category this year, and was the one we were least familiar with. We know just about all of the vendors in the Vendy cup, Best Dessert and Rookie categories, but we haven’t spent a lot of time at the various markets popping up around town.
That said, we did get to try all the Finalists, and Lumpia Shack was a very worthy winner.
Lumpia are Filipino versions of spring rolls, and they had several types, with duck, chicken, pork and I believe one vegetarian option. The toppings and sauces were great, and the lumpia were perfect two bites snacks, making them quintessential street food.
Pestle & Mortar put out an impressive display of lobster and shrimp shells, from which sweet lobster and shrimp ceviche were served.
Marinated lobster, shrimp, mango, herbs and a tortilla chip made for a delicious few bites.
Baby Got Back Ribs put together an excellent sampler with two different types of ribs (one with a 21 spice rub), cornbread and slaw. Very tasty selection.
Mayhem & Stout served 2 different kinds of sandwiches, and we got the Asian bbq and cabbage sandwich.
The meat had a nice shredded bbq taste, but it was a bit too small for the bread.
The last Best Market Vendor Finalist was Parantha Alley, an Indian stand with several types of parantha, a stuffed Indian bread.
We got to try two paranthas, potato & pea and ground chicken. The potato and pea was very spicy and enjoyable. This parantha and the halal food from Hamza & Madina were the two spiciest dishes of the day.
The ground chicken didn’t do much for us. It’s rare that we have a ground chicken dish that blows us away, and this was no exception.
The Best Market Vendor category had some of the best variety of the day. Each finalist featured a totally different cuisine.
With the growth of artisanal markets exploding over the past year, there could easily be a competition just for market vendors alone. They’re not exactly on the street, but vending outdoors is a tough business no matter where you do it.
Congratulations to all the Best Market Vendor Finalists.