A couple of years ago Donny wrote about the portokalopita from Uncle Gussy’s food truck. Although I never tasted it, I started thinking about it. It sounded so good, but I hardly ever went to Midtown and anyway it’s not something they always have. Made by the owner’s aunt, the cake made of orange zest, cream, syrup, and filo is an occasional special on the menu. Cut to last month, when I was briefly working in Midtown. Donny texted me to let me know that Uncle Gussy’s had portokalopita, so finally my chance had come! Unfortunately Donny was wrong, they were going to have the dessert the following day. So I had to wait another whole day. Anyway, it was worth the wait. The portokalopita manages to feature every fragrant flavor of an orange — sweet, sour, and bitter — and pack them into a delicious cake. So go follow them on Twitter and if you see they have the dessert, go and get it.
Uncle Gussy’s Food Truck
It’s Vendy Awards 2013! Once again, we showed our support and appreciation to the hard working street food vendors by over stuffing ourselves. This year the Vendy Awards took place at Industry City in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. It may had been one of the coolest and weirdest place I’ve been to for an event. Though compare to Governors Island, Industry City had more space and didn’t require taking the ferry across (I walked home afterwards, so close!).
So it seems the Red Hook vendors are on a roll. For the 3rd year in a row, the top prize went to a Red Hook vendor. The El Olomega (@elolomega), one of the more popular Red Hook trucks, won the judges over with their delicious pupusas. Hm…..pupusas.
Luke’s Lobster took People’s Choice, Nuchas took Rookie of the Year, Home by the Range took the Tide award for Most Messy Yet Tasty plus the award for Best Jersey vendor, Best of Market Vendor went to Khao Man Gai NY and Best Dessert went to Itizy Ice Cream.
Check out some photos from this year’s Vendy Awards.
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Way back when Culture first opened in Park Slope I interviewed the owners for Nona Brooklyn, and since then I’ve remained friendly with owners Jenny and Gino. It helps that their yogurt is incredible, and the frozen yogurt is even better. This past weekend they opened their second location, this one in the West Village in Manhattan, and they invited me to join them for the pre-opening party the night before the grand opening. Jenny gave me a brief tour of the new shop, which showcases the yogurt making machine in full view of the customers. But of course the real test is the yogurt — is it as good as the original shop? They gave me a cup of the original flavor (still my favorite) with the strawberry-rhubarb pie toppings, made with the last of this season’s rhubarb. I’m happy to say the frozen yogurt is as delicious as ever; not too sweet, with that perfect yogurt tang. You may not be able to get any more rhubarb, but I recommend any of their seasonal toppings, or the Vermont maple topping. I’m not just saying this because they gave me free yogurt, or because I’m friends with them — the yogurt really is that good. Hopefully their new location will be an even bigger success than their original store.
West Village — 60 W. 8th St, Manhattan
Park Slope — 331 5th Ave, Brooklyn
One of my favorite food events I attended last year was Village Voice’s Choice Streets. Obviously one of the thing I liked about it was the location. It was held at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. It was also one of the most causal food events I’ve been to. So of course this year I had to go back. While the format was the same, there were few things that were different from last year that, in a way, made this year a little less fun (just a little) but overall I still had a good time.
For some unknown reasons, few of the trucks didn’t show up and they may had sold more tickets than last year because the lines! There were few times where I just stood in a line for half an hour. And by 8:30p some of the trucks had ran out of food already which then added extra pressure on other trucks to continue.
Here are some bites I managed to get….
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The weather warmed up just in time for the start of a new season of Smorgasburg, an outdoor food vendor market. Every new season, there are always new vendors popping up. This past Saturday, I tried two of the new vendors and visited a Smorgasburg/Brooklyn Flea regular.
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Last night a bunch of us attended City Grit: Brunch Village dinner. Yes! Brunch food for dinner, my kind of dinner. It was Sarah’s homage to the show Portlandia. I’ve only seen the pilot but judging from the awesome tasty food Sarah cooked up last night, I may have to at least watch the episode “Brunch Village”.
The dinner started off with Collin’s chicken and waffle. Hello bite sized goodness. I ate 4 and totally forgot to snap a photo. Next up (picture above) was “Craig’s crazy guac tacos” with pulled brisket, guac, queso, and scrambled eggs.
Click to see what else was on the menu last night
The local food people here are an amazing bunch. When one needs help, everyone will jump in and help. Just like my friends over at Lonestar Taco. When Fany Gerson’s, aka La Newyorkina, kitchen in Red Hook was ruined by hurricane Sandy, they decided to help out by making and selling Besitos Picantes using her recipe from her book, My Sweet Mexico. All proceeds go to help Fany rebuild her kitchen.
Though if Besitos Picantes aren’t your thing, you may want to check out the holiday market at Columbus Circle. La Newyorkina has a booth there selling loads and loads of Mexican sweets like spicy candied orange peels, Mexican hot chocolate, brownies with Mexican chocolate, pumpkin seed brittle and so many more tasty treats.
Buy delicious goods to help someone get back on their feet and at the same time make your tummy happy! Wins all around.
Also, keep buying locally this holiday season.