Queens food vendors dish out some of the best meals in the borough, and this year’s Vendy Awards confirmed that by awarding two popular food trucks.
The annual street food competition began in 2005 and attendees are treated to bites from 25 food trucks. The proceeds benefit the Street Vendor Project, a nonprofit that advocates for the rights of vendors, many of whom are immigrants.
On Sept. 16, street food vendors gathered at Governors Island to cook everything from tamales to Chinese-style barbecue skewers and Russian dumplings. The winners for the five categories — Vendy Cup, Bad Hombre, Best Rookie Vendor, Best Market Vendor and Best Dessert Vendor — were chosen by attendees and a panel of celebrity judges. Attendees also awarded the People’s Choice vendor.
Husband-and-wife duo Jesse Vasquez and Marilyn Hernandez, who were both born and raised in Long Island City, won the Best Market Vendor for their shop What’s the Dillaz. Though they have day jobs — Vasquez is a chef at Mom’s Kitchen & Bar in Astoria and Hernandez is a paralegal — their take on quesadillas got them the top prize.
If you’re in the mood for a burger or Reuben or Cuban sandwich in quesadilla form, visit What’s the Dillaz at LIC Flea at 5-25 46th Ave. every Saturday and Sunday.
The Best Rookie Vendor award also went to a Queens-based food truck. Momo Bros, which serves Himalayan-style dumplings at 73rd Street and Broadway in Jackson Heights was founded in 2016. Pasang Thinlay, a Tibetan refugee who emigrated to America from Nepal when he was 15, opened the food truck after gaining cooking experience at a number of restaurants.
Momo Bros’ specialty is the jhol momo, a Nepalese soup dumpling that is not commonly found in New York City.