Philly Vendy Awards: 2014 Food Truck Winners

By Danya Henninger  |  June 16, 2014
Credit: Mark Henninger

Above (L to R): Felicia D'Ambrosio (Federal Donuts, judge), Lily Fischer (Cake Life Bake Shop, judge), Nabil and Hined Akkeh (King of Falafel, Vendy Cup 2013 winners), Danya Henninger (Zagat, judge), Shannon Wyffels and Brendan O’Guinn (Pie Stand), Ann Karlen (Fair Food, judge), Nicole Woon (Penn Appetit, judge)

On Saturday, June 14, under breezy blue skies, the fourth annual Vendy Awards in Philadelphia took over Penn Treaty Park on the Delaware River. After several hours of eating and tasting and enjoying food, a panel of judges and hundreds of attendees voted and four winners were selected from the field of 13 food trucks.

Pie Stand took the top honor by winning the Vendy Cup when judges deemed Brendan O’Guinn and Shannon Wyffels’ pan-fried handpies best out of four entries in the category (the fifth entry, Prime Stache, pulled out at the last minute).

Cow and the Curd took people’s choice winner in that general category, a prize it also scored last year. Out of five other trucks, Oink and Moo BBQ was deemed rookie of the year by the vote of the people, and Bonjour Creperie came out on top in the field of five dessert trucks.

All in all, it was a gorgeous day, with beer from Sam Adams, live music and fun. Organized by NYC’s Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center, the event was a successful fundraiser for The Food Trust.

Flip through for a look at the participating trucks and what was served.

  • Pie Stand — Vendy Cup Winner

    The winning truck is very humble — not much more than an electric skillet, four walls and a mini kitchen built from recycled materials. But the handpies are top-notch, with extremely light and flaky pie dough hand rolled around various stuffings. Only savory pies were served at the Vendys, but sweet fillings are also on the menu when the truck is on the street (currently only Friday and Saturday nights at Frankford and Girard in Fishtown).

  • Cow and the Curd — People's Choice Winner

    Along with the classic Wisconsin cheddar curds, Rob Mitchell and Laura Windham-Mitchell's trucks now serve "billy curds" make from goat's milk, and though they don't stretch when you bite in like the original, they're much richer in flavor. Poutine is new on the menu, with fries, bits of curds too small to fry, Hatfield bacon and rich gravy.

  • Bonjour Creperie — Dessert Winner

    Jean-Pierre & Rebecca Bisilliat usually serve both sweet and savory crepes made with local and seasonal ingredients, but it was sugary only to compete in this Vendys category.

  • Oink and Moo BBQ — Rookie of the Year Winner

    Though they've been in business for three years in NJ, the partners at this BBQ truck just recently launched in Philadelphia. Along with tacos, the truck served brisket sliders topped with slaw on soft potato rolls.

  • Samosa Deb

    Debbie Dasani served vegetarian and fish samosas, but the chicken tikka masala and saag paneer were both better than her namesake dish.

  • Local 215

    Pork belly mac 'n' cheese (on tiny, tiny shells) is one of the best-sellers at this three-year-old truck, but the crispy, juicy pulled pork fritter with capers was the standout offering.

  • Heart Food Truck

    Michael Falcone and Tonda Woodling closed nine-year-old BYO Funky Li'l Kitchen and launched this mobile kitchen, which served dishes fitting for a sit-down restaurant: savory strawberry soup (it was actually very sweet) and escargot.

  • Smokin' Tacos

    Steven Way makes a different sauce for each of his tacos, and if all the combos work as well as the crema and pico de gallo that top his brisket tacos, that's a very positive thing.

  • Jimmies Cupcake Co.

    Most cupcakes are baked right in the certified kitchen on board the striped van. For the Vendys, offerings included raspberry cupcakes adorned with fresh berries, banana caramel cakes that also happened to be vegan and mini ice cream sandwiches on red velvet cake.

  • Curbside Creamery

    Lancaster County ice cream is served in cups or cones from this newcomer truck, but don't miss the chance for a made-to-order ice cream sandwich, like this one with coffee ice cream between oatmeal biscoff cookies.

  • Cheese E. Wagon

    Mike Sullivan chose cheese as the theme of the truck he built himself because it's so variable. For his cheese-laden tacos, he takes the unusual step of seasoning the tortilla, so the first thing to hit your mouth is packed with flavor.

  • Milk + Sugar

    Nostalgia for childhood treats is the driving force behind the sweets sibling-partners Brittany, Marcy & Shannon Maldonado serve from their dessert truck.

  • The Whirly Pig

    In addition to hearty pork dishes, this truck also does more gourmet fare, like this chilled cucumber-avocado soup garnished with pineapple salsa (and bacon, of course).