The 2011 Philadelphia Vendy Awards took place this past weekend–and the top winner has soul.
And The Vendy Goes To…
Gigi and Big R Caribbean/American Soul Food was awarded with the top honor at this year’s Vendy Awards, winning the first ever Philadelphia Vendy Cup for best street food vendor. Located in University City at 38th and Locust Streets, Gigi and Big R have been serving up soul food for the past 10 years. The owners are Philadelphia’s own Thomas Bacon (Gigi) and Haiti native Elukene Rene (Big R). Their specialties include: BBQ Jerk from the Smoking Grill and the Fried Whiting Fish with Rene’s Special Spices
There was also a People’s Choice Vendy Award which went to another University City food truck – Cucina Zapata. This truck is new but is already making a name for itself. The Thai-Mexican fusion truck is located at 31st and Ludlow.
The Vendy Cup Judges
Mayor Michael A. Nutter
Jennifer Carroll, from Top Chef and chef de cuisine at 10 Arts Bistro & Lounge
Drew Lazo, food writer for City Paper’s Meal Ticket
Brian McManus, Philadelphia Weekly food and music editor
Chef Michael Solomonov , winner of James Beard “Best Chef, MidAtlantic 2011″ winner
Jamie Shanker, editor of Midtown Lunch Philadelphia
Lindsay Lidge, wife of Phillies pitcher Brad Lidge and healthy eating advocate
Cucina Zapata – winner of People’s Choice
Gigi and Big R Caribbean/American Soul Food – winner of the Vendy Cup
King of Falafel
Magic Carpet Foods