Vendy Award Best Market Vendor Finalists Announced

The finalists have been announced for Best Market Vendor category of the 2012 Vendy Awards.

We haven’t done a lot of coverage of the various markets that have popped up around town, so we are not familiar with most of the finalists. That just means we have some new vendors to try at the Vendy awards this weekend.

Click through to find out the market vendors who have been recognized for their delicious food.

The five finalists who will compete for the title of Best Market Vendor, a new category honoring a latest breed of mobile vendors popping up at local street fairs and outdoor markets, are: Pestle & Mortar, Mayhem & Stout, Baby Got Back Ribs, Parantha Alley, and Lumpia Shack.

Vendors from local hotspots such as Smorgasburg, Hester Street Fair, and New Amsterdam Market have been pushing the envelope of traditional street-food,often utilizing locally sourced ingredients and classic techniques to create new and exciting dishes.

Here’s more info on this year’s five finalists, and why they think they should win the Vendy Award for Best Market Vendor:

Pestle & Mortar

Chef/Owner(s): William Edwards
Years in business: 
Two years
Where they’re from: 
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Saturdays at Smorgasburg, catering and private chef services available 24/7
Languages spoken: 
English, Spanish
We sell ceviche at the Smorgasburg market, but offer a broad menu for catered events, with a focus on providing new perspectives on classic culinary techniques. Our ceviche is a recipe we devised after countless tastings andtestings, and even more heated debates. While we hold traditional Peruvian- and Ecuadorian-style ceviches in high regard, ours is, we believe, a rather unusual and surprising take on this superb dish.
Our ceviche and gnocchi have received particular praise.
Tell us something about you or your business that you want the world to know: 
We are a very small, boutique food business formed by four childhood friends. We are fiercely dedicated to crafting clever, stimulating dishes out of local,seasonal ingredients. Our motto is “food for hire” because we are open to producing high-quality, memorable food under any circumstances and in any venue, no matter how unlikely or challenging. Our focus as a catering company is on providing our services to local non-profit ventures, working with them to create a unique and remarkable menu while keeping costs at a minimum.

Why do you deserve to win the Best Market Vendor Award?: With so many incredible food vendors throughout New York City, it is difficult to say that we deserve to win any more than any of countless other great outfits, but we are intensely passionate about our ceviche, and spent over 8 months testingrecipes before debuting it, and we sincerely believe it is a unique and uniquely delicious take on ceviche and a great eating experience.


Mayhem & Stout

Chef/Owner(s): Jason Brown & Steve Applegate

Years in business: One Year (opened in April)

Where they’re from: Hamilton, NJ

Schedule: Dekalb Market daily until September 30th

– UrbanSpace Meatpacking daily September 1st through December 24th

– Madison Square Eats daily September 21st through October 19th

– Union Square Holiday Market daily November 16th through December 24th

– Columbus Circle Holiday Market daily November 28th through December 24th

– Hester Nights on August 30th, September 6th and 13th, and October 25th

– Hester Street Fair on October 27th

Languages spoken: English

Food: Braised Meat Sandwiches

Specialties: Braised Short Rib/Brisket and Braised Pork Shoulder

Tell us something about you or your business that you want the world to know: We will be doing a lot of markets this fall and holiday season,  including Urbanspace Meatpacking, Madison Square Eats, Union Square Holiday Market, Columbus Circle Holiday Market, and Hester Nights.  And being that we are only a market vendor as of yet, we will be diligently searching for our next step throughout this process.

Why do you deserve to win the Best Market Vendor Award?  Although we do not yet have a permanent location or truck/cart, we have worked extremely hard to make the most flavorful sandwiches this city has to offer.  We make all sauces and add-ons in-house, and each one is unique to Mayhem & Stout.  In the short time we have been open, we have established an extremely loyal following and we hope to continue to increase this following.


Chef/Owner(s):  Robert Liano (415) 515-8423

Years in business: One

Where they’re from: New York City


Twitter: @babygotbackribs

Schedule:  Smorgasburg, Brooklyn (Summer) & Madison Square Eats (Fall)

Languages spoken: English, Spanish, Russian

Food: We make Baby Back Ribs. We are told they are the best around. That is all.  Our sweet ribs recipe is adapted from a 100-year old family recipe from Parsons, Kansas.  We also make a savory 21-spice dry rub for those who want to keep their fingers clean.

Specialties: Ribs!

Tell us something about you or your business that you want the world to know: I have produced television programs and documentary films for 20 years including winning 2 Emmy Awards. Last year, I decided nothing I have ever done has been as challenging or as rewarding as making food for the NYC community.   To have customers return each week to eat my ribs is such an honor.

Why do you deserve to win the Best Market Vendor Award?

We probably don’t deserve to win given that we are ‘noobs’ to the scene, but our Ribs are amazing. But more importantly, we  aim to put a smile on our customer’s face each and every time they come to us. (Make sure to check out or logo!) Life is too short to go unhappy or hungry and we are dedicated to doing our part to help out.  Vending is equal parts quality and excellent customer service and we strive for both, always.

Parantha Alley

Chef/Owner(s): Rajeev Yerneni, Retu Singla

Years in business: 6 months

Where they’re from: Delhi, Washington DC, New York City


Twitter: @paranthaalley

Schedule: Saturdays at Smorgasburg from 11-6

Languages spoken: Hindi, Telugu, Punjabi, Urdu, and English

Food: Paranthas made with a variety of traditional and not so traditional stuffings.

Specialties: Keema (minced chicken), Aloo & Mattar (Potato and Peas), Carrot & Coconut Vepudu (Andhran spiced), Dates with Honey flavored Goat Cheese & Pecans

Tell us something about you or your business that you want the world to know: This stall is inspired by the love we and our crew have for the seriously good street foods of the world. This is our homage to the original Parantha-walla Galli in Old New Delhi, the street version under the Moolchand Bridge and to the culinary fusion influenced by first/second/third generation South Asian Americans.

Why do you deserve to win the Vendy Award? We have already won by being nominated and feel it is an honor to serve good food to support a great cause. But if you insist on asking, we should win because we introduced a relatively new and delicious Indian street food (with many more to come) at a great price.

Lumpia Shack

Chef/Owner(s): Neil Syham
Years in business: 1st year
Where they’re from: Brooklyn, NY
Twitter: Lumpiashack
Schedule: Every Saturday @ Smorgasburg from 11am-6pm
Languages spoken: English
Food: Filipino-inspired spring rolls.

Specialties: Aside from our menu of fried spring rolls and the salad wrap, we offer a rotating fried spring roll special that plays off of our favorite traditional Filipino specialties– sisig, adobo, lechon paksiw, sinigang, and kare kare.

Tell us something about you or your business that you want the world to know: In the Philippines, the fried spring rolls are called ”lumpia shanghai,” denoting their Chinese origin. At Lumpia Shack, we offer our own versions with a selection of fried spring rolls as well as a vegetarian salad wrap. Most of our flavors are inspired by traditional Filipino dishes, but made by using the BEST handpicked seasonal ingredients available from the NYC’s greenmarkets. We hope by using the best ingredients we can help promote Filipino cuisine, putting it in the global spotlight we feel it truly deserves.

Why do you deserve to win the Best Market Vendor Award? I feel that it isn’t myself that deserves to win the Vendy Award, but I do feel that Filipino food deserves to win the award. The Vendy award would let  the folks at Lumpia Shack know that we are doing our job in helping to celebrate Filipino culture and food by bringing Filipino foods to the rest of the world. Making Lumpias (spring rolls) is a labor of love. The process starts weekly with shopping at the Union Square Farmer’s Market, where the menu and flavor profiles are determined by what is available at the market that week. We select seasonal ingredients which are then carefully chopped, prepped, and combined together. The majority of the time is spent meticulously filling and rolling each of the lumpias, so that they have the perfect balance of filling and flavor in each bite. We want to provide people with food that is fresh, healthy, and creative — yet also celebrates traditional Filipino dishes. In the end it’s what Filipino food does for us and how it makes us feel — we hope by tasting our lumpias you feel the same way too!