RTT On The Road: Vernalicious (Philadelphia)

Vernalicious Serving Up It's Delicious Cuisine Source: http://media.philly.com

Vernalicious Serving Up It’s Delicious Cuisine
Source: philly.com

Highlights: Powerful and fresh flavors that had me floored.

Lowlights: It’s in Philadelphia!

A recent trip to Philadelphia for the Made in America Festival inadvertently led me to the middle of the Philly food truck scene. Thousands of music aficionados can work up quite an appetite after a day of dancing, so the trucks were there in full force to keep concert goers well fed and ready to rage.

To be honest, I wasn’t really thinking about RTT after a full day of festivities. But with such a wealth of amazing food trucks outside of NYC, we’ll be profiling some of the best out-of-town trucks from time to time. We’ll call it: RTT on the Road. Although these articles might be few and far between, other cities around the US (and the world, for that matter) have rich mobile cuisine that is just waiting to be cataloged, reviewed, and of course, eaten.
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Andy’s Italian Ices

Andy's Van Turned Ice Shoppe

Andy’s Van Turned Ice Shoppe

Highlights: Refreshing and tasty; a solid Italian Ice

Lowlights: It’s good, but it’s still not Ralph’s.

As a native Staten Islander, I can count the points of pride I have about my hometown. Three of them are food related; one of them is of course, Italian Ices. Ralph’s Ices are a staple in my small corner of NYC, and anyone from St. George to Tottenville can tell you their favorite water and creme ice flavor. Not to mention almost everyone (including myself) has worked in a Ralph’s storefront at one point or another, serving up hearty scoops of ice from five gallon tubs.
So naturally, I was a little skeptical when I saw there was another Italian Ice truck roaming around the streets of New York City. They had some big shoes to fill.

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Miami Food Machine

As cool as the truck looks, the food is even better

As cool as the truck looks, the food is even better

Highlights: The sides may be the best I’ve had on a food truck

Lowlights: Very few, but the meat was slightly dry without sauce

The old Bongo Brothers truck re-branded earlier this year to the sleeker Miami Food Machine. While I sadly never had a chance to try this Cuban truck as Bongo Bros, I have been back to Miami Food Machine several times. There are not an abundance of places to get Cuban food in my area, so whenever Miami Food Machine rolls around I consider it a treat. The amazing Cuban dishes keep me coming back.

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Madison Square Eats Set to Return

The best vendors are all in one place at Madison Square Eats

Flatiron’s favorite pop-up food market is set to return next Friday, September 27.  Madison Square Eats, the bi-annual outdoor food market that takes place in Madison Square Park and brings together some of the best chefs and most original dishes New York has to offer. Now in its 5th year, MS Eats attracts diners from across the city to sample the creative dishes. Many top food trucks and market vendors are sure to be there.

Be warned though – it tends to get pretty crowded during the lunch rush. If you want to try to get around and sample as much as possible, dinner time would be preferable. It will be much less crowded.

Madison Square Eats is located between 24th and 25th Streets at the intersection of 5th Ave and Broadway. The market will be open daily from 11am-9pm from September 27th until October 25th.

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Go Burger

The Mobile Burger Joint

The Mobile Burger Joint

Highlights: The Go Burger Sauce was delicious

Lowlights: Burger was on the smaller side

While we love all the interesting and original options on food trucks across the city, sometimes you just want your standard All-American Burger and Fries for lunch. Luckily, Go Burger was lurking around the corner to satisfy my craving. I had never been too enthused about getting a standard dish I can get anywhere from a truck, but it was about time I gave this burger truck a shot.

 

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Toast Monster

A Cart with an Attitude. Rawr!

A Cart with an Attitude. Rawr!

Highlights: Sloppy joe was rich, meaty, and flavorful

Lowlights: Slow line, improper ingredient allocation, and infuriatingly small side portions.

On my first return trip to self-proclaimed uptown food truck oasis (50th between 6th and 7th), I had my sites set on one cart in particular. I had been reading up on this one for a couple of weeks, anxious to try several of its tantalizing food items. It seemed they had put together a great menu with tons of delicious offerings for its customers to choose from.

Did the cart live up to my [self-induced] hype? Unfortunately not.
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The Vendy Awards 2013: A Photo Narrative

13vendys051There was a lot to behold at this year’s Vendy Awards, So we compiled a narrative/slideshow highlighting the day’s events. Enjoy!

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Nominees Shine as the Vendy Awards Take Brooklyn

El Olomega's Owners Proudly Display the Coveted Vendy Cup

El Olomega’s Owners Proudly Display the Coveted Vendy Cup

They say good things come to those who wait, and after 23 years in the business Janet and Marcos Lainez of El Olomega waited long enough. The competition was stiff for the Vendy Cup at this weekend’s “Oscars of Street Food”, but El Olomega and their El Salvadorian Pupusas left the Vendy’s as the champion.

In addition to El Olomega winning the Vendy Cup, the other winners included Nuchas (Rookie of the Year), Home By The Range (New Jersey), Khao Man Ghai NY (Market Vendor) and Itizy (Dessert Truck). The Tide “Messy Yet Tasty” Award went to Home By The Range and Luke’s Lobster took down the coveted People’s Taste Award.

We had the opportunity to sample each of the Vendy Cup finalists, and were blown away by the amount of amazing original food that is served on the streets of New York. As for El Olomega and their fellow nominees, here is a quick review for each:

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Vendy Awards are Tomorrow!

2013 Vendy Awards - Tomorrow!

2013 Vendy Awards – Tomorrow!

Hold on to your seats people, the day has finally arrived — the NYC Vendys are tomorrow! Many of the major players from the New York Street Food scene will be there, slinging their dishes as they vie to take home an “Oscar of Street Food”. There are several different categories and awards for the vendors to win, including some new ones this year.

Finalists were chosen via public vote over the summer. The winners will be selected by a panel of esteemed restaurateurs and food aficionados in a ceremony at the end of the day.

The event is open to the public – tickets can be found here. It takes place at Industry City in Brooklyn, and is accessible via N or R train. A ticket entitles you to all you can eat and drink, a say in the people’s choice winner, and all the live music and raffles you can handle. Hurry up though, space is limited and time is running out!

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Big D’s Grub

Good Truck, Horrible Name

Good Truck, Horrible Name

Highlights: Fresh flavors, some of the best prices around.

Lowlights: Tacos were a little too straight-forward

I’ve been meaning to get to Big D’s since the early days of mobile munchies. Unfortunately, the truck is usually a little bit too far from me to squeeze the trip into my lunch hour. Luckily, my former boss just started a job on 50th and 7th, and my team went for a field trip to visit him for a informal food truck meal. This was my first time visiting the uptown food truck oasis, but it will definitely not be my last. My jaw nearly hit the floor when I saw about a dozen different new trucks lined up directly outside his building. Needless to say you’ll be seeing a lot more reviews from me as I dive into this cavalcade of cuisines.

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