Astoria, Event, Food and Drink, Street Food
Jul 24, 2013

Mysttik Masaala Nominated for a 2013 Vendy Award!

Mysttik Masaala, a wonderful food cart in Astoria, has been nominated for a Vendy Award in the Rookie category. Also, look for information on how to buy a ticket to the Vendys on September 7, 2013.

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One of my favorite Astoria street carts is Mysttik Masaala—they make delicious plates of Indian food, samosas, and momos, and even have bottles of lassi for sale! They’re Astoria each weekend, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., corner of Broadway and Steinway (and in Manhattan on weekdays). I’ve eaten their food a number of times and always enjoyed it.

So imagine how happy I was to hear that they have been nominated for a Vendy Award! They are a finalist in the Rookie category, along with a Mamak, Malaysian cart in Manhattan/BK; Neapolitan Express, a pizza truck in Manhattan; Nuchas, and empanada truck in Manhattan; Sweet Chili a “Thaietnamese” cart in Manhattan; and Toum, a Lebanese food truck in Manhattan/BK.

Additional Queens vendors include Khao Man Gai, who set up shop a the LIC Flea & Food. They serve Thai street food and are nominated in the Markets category. In the Dessert category, we have Cholita Cuencana, who serves up espumilla—that fluffy pink creamy stuff, which is a traditional Ecuadorian dessert made with with egg whites, sugar, and fruit. It’s one of the most colorful things you’ll run into when it comes to street food—love the bright colors!

All of the finalists were chosen from thousands of vendors nominated by regular folks who love street food. The next step in the process is on Saturday, September 7, where finalists will face off in an intense grill-to-grill cook-off. This will happen at Industry City in Sunset Park, Brooklyn (this is the first time the Vendys will be  held here). It will be exciting to see who will be the winner in each category (Rookie, Market, Dessert, and New Jersey).

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If you want to get in on the action—and eat and eat and eat—you can attend the festivities yourself. Here’s more info from the press release:

As the event gets closer, the Vendy Awards will announce the finalists in the remaining three categories: the coveted Vendy Cup (the top prize awarded by a panel of esteemed judges), The People’s Taste Award (voted on by the crowd at this year’s awards), as well as the winner of this year’s Most Heroic Vendor Award (an inspirational vendor who has gone above and beyond for the community).

This year, the Vendys have included new perks for early ticket buyers. For those who purchase tickets before midnight on Friday, July 26th:

  • You will be entered to win a spot as the citizen judge! One judge will be selected.
  • You will win a chance to be upgraded to Early Entry VIP level! 5 buyers will get upgrades for all tickets in their order.
  • If you buy VIP tickets, you will be entered to win free tickets! 5 VIP ticket buyers will get their orders doubled (meaning if you buy 4 tickets, you will get 4 additional tickets).

In addition, a limited number of Early Entry VIP tickets are available. For street food lovers who want to access the Vendy Awards an hour early, VIP tickets ensure the ultimate street eating experience, with shorter lines and access to a whole lot more. Exclusive perks will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets are available at: http://nycvendys2013-eorg.eventbrite.com/

Did you also know that The Vendys, the first and largest street food event series in the country, is an annual event to benefit the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center? It’s a membership-based organization that provides advocacy and legal services for more than 1,500 vendor members. It’s nice to know this bit of the backstory—and vendors in this city can use all the help they can get to navigate the system.

So how about you? Are you going to attend? We’d love to know—leave us a comment with your thoughts.

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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