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Vendy Awards: 2005 Finalists
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2005 Vendy Award Winner

Rolf “Hallo Berlin” Babiel
54th Street and Fifth Avenue


"Forget your standard pushcart hotdogs, nothing beats this guy's brats. The food is cheap and fantastic. He offers his wares with a really crusty bun, two types of kraut, the BEST sauteed onions and homemade mustards and curry sauces. The line for the food is long, because it's THAT good. Plus the added fact of his great sense of humor, he knows his customers and chats with us and I always leave with a smile on my face. Five stars all the way."
 
"Rolf Babiel's cart is extraordinary. There is a reason that every day he's there, a line of people at least 10 deep forms. New York is well known for it's hotdog carts -- but Rolf's German sausages are to ordinary hotdogs what Rembrandt's paintings are to Dogs Playing Poker. In one tiny cart, he offers a huge variety of sausages (pork, beef, veal, chicken) as well as generous helpings of german potato salad and fried potatoes, spaetzel, soup, red cabbage, sauerkraut and other delicacies. Add in a terrific wurst-slicing device that turns service into street theater and a playful attitude toward his customers and you have an outstanding dining experience. And all for just a few dollars! Rolf's wurst is one of the best things about New York."

 

Runner-Up

Thiru “Dosa Man” Kumar
Washington Square South at Sullivan Street

“The food is the best damn street food in town. The fresh made dosas are healthy, still relatively cheap, delicious, and just filling enough for a good sized lunch or light dinner. Thanks to this man, I have given up on cooking altogether during the school year (when I take classes around Washington Square Park). The vendor, himself, is a friendly, good human being. I heart him.”

“He's the nicest vendor I've ever met. He'll make everything exactly how you want it. If you're cashless he'll even give you food on the house. He only uses olive oil to make the food. He's supportive of vegan diets (since he only sells vegan food). He works rain or shine and always has a smile on his face. He isn't just a vendor -- he is a role model for us all.”

 

Runner-Up

Tony “the Dragon” Dragonas
 62nd Street and Madison Avenue

“How can you beat the ambience? Nestled on the ritziest corner in town, Tony is a true NY treasure. For $5.50 I get a large plate of charcoal grilled chicken with an excellent Tzatziki sauce, salad and rice. No doubt, this is a volume = value scenario. The 3-guys working the stand move like choreographed dancers. Eastern guy scoops the salad and chars the chicken, center guy (master of the chow) takes the orders (with a smile) and builds the plates, western guy packages the goods and collects the money. It works so well. Don't believe me? Just ask the 20-30 people in line at all times.”
 
“There are many chicken men, but only this chicken man has a line running the whole block - practically all the way to Central Park. The smoke from his grill draws crowds, and if you've never been before, and if you're smart, you'll ask the person in front of you in line what to order. I'm that person. Chicken Salad is my personal order of choice. Fresh crunchy greens with tangy vinagrette, tomatoes, and, on top, a clean, crispy, perfectly flame-grilled breast of chicken, sliced to a generous bite size, and shaken over with addictive secret spices. $5.”

 

Runner-Up

"The Best Halal" Team (Mustafa, Mohammed, Islam, Sam)
53rd Street and 6th Avenue

"This vendor not only sells high quality food, but he also unites the Muslim community from the tri-state area and beyond in their search for halal food. Good prices, good portions, good taste. Fast, friendly and efficient vendor personnel. The corner and area is kept noticeably clean. Convenient location via subway - areas nearby to sit and eat, i.e., near Central Park. They even cater!"

"The tastiest food in the city! The line always borders on epic, and people are fanatical about the food. Five dollars for the choice of chicken and rice or lamb and rice. The white sauce has an almost cult following. I've talked to people in line there who had driven from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Only food stand I've been to with such a loyal and intense fanbase. The stand is open from 8pm to 5am every night."

 

 

 


Last Updated Tuesday, August 15 2006 View Printable Version