Sunday, October 19, 2008

Jamming The Vendys

4th annual vendys. definitely my favorite NY food/anything event.
walked to DUMBO to work up an appetite. stopped for momentary MB pre-party but couldn't relax enough to even sit down so kept on running to the gates. line was already there, short wait, and then they let us in to the awesome...

kind of a thunderdome of food, it was a giant brick enclosure with no roof, and a vendor in each corner. lines formed too quickly, and it was pretty much a madhouse:

we formed a battle plan on the way over, deciding that the soul food cart would be our first stop. Got jerk chicken, rice and peas, and lentils:

pretty delicious. real spicy sauce on the chicken that mixed well with the rice. small portions, but they obviously were being careful so as not to run out of foods.

next stop was the Biryani cart, which ultimately walked away with the people's choice award for the day. Great Biryani, and the real highlight was the chicken tikka with spicy green chutney. definitely the ultimate morsel of the day and probably the best plate of food served there. The people voting clearly agreed. The judges... faulty.

while we waited on the biryani line, other members of the team got on the line for the Calexico Mexican food truck. They seemed to have the longest line all day, but they were making a pretty hearty sampler platter with steak and pork tacos, chicken mole tamales, and shrimp quesadillas. It was probably the most attractive plate, but it got cold fast, and just wasn't as wildly flavorful as we hoped it would be. The judges ultimately awarded the vendy here, and it was a touch of a bummer. Not sure if they were wowed by the grandeur of the plating or something, but it just didn't come off as street food in too many ways....

at this point i went and got Kwik Meal - lamb kabob sandwich and falafel sandwiches (and i later went back for a second lamb as well as a chicken!) - these were so good that i ate them before i remember to take a picture. the falafel were tiny and fried to perfection, but the lamb was the highlight. Kwik Meal took the first runner up prize, but it would have made alot more sense if biryani cart took first....

last stop was an old favorite, the papusa guy from the red hook ball fields. perfect crispy pork papusa, great plantains, and they served up some amazing horchata while we waited on line, but ultimately, it just wasn't as great as a few others. still wonderful though:

Outside the gate were 3 dessert trucks (there was supposed to be a fourth with waffles, and they didn't show. weak.):

to the far right was treats truck, which had amazing homemade oreos and caramel brownies. they won the desert category. they also served the PB Jammer:


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Defonte's Red Hook Sandwich Jam

I've been planning for a long time of writing out a list of the top 10 sandwiches I have ever eaten, but it has recently become clear to me that there are more than 10 top sandwiches in the universe and rather than sleep on ever making this list, I should start telling the world of these spectacular sandwiches with the dream of compiling them all at a later date:

Today we went to Defonte's in Red Hook, which I was not previously aware existed.

it's at 379 Columbia St. near where "the hook" used to be - you just take Van Brunt into Red Hook and make a left on Commerce St. you can see it as soon as you turn onto Commerce, straight ahead of you:

So the jam here is totally the fried eggplant, BUT that doesn't mean you get just the eggplant. I went with the roast beef, fresh mozzarella, and eggplant:

now this sandwich comes in two sizes - 1/3 and 1/2.
i went with 1/2...
which begged the question 1/2 of what, as it was pretty much a whole in just about any category and actually took me about 3 hours of on and off eating to fully consume. the pictures here are actually only of 1/2 OF the 1/2.

Here is why this sandwich was awesome:
1. The eggplant was fried almost zeppole style, so it was big and crusty and delicious.
2. the roast beef was warm
3. the took a ladle of roast beef juices from the vat full of roast beef and poured it on the inside of the top piece of bread.
4. gigantic.

Please go here, eat more sandwiches (they have tons of other stuff and you can totally invent your own sandwiches too) and tell me what else to try.