It’s been quite a hectic few days of filming, but all in the name of keeping my work for the 2010 NYC Vendy Award Finalists videos hush-hush…until now. Below, please meet the street food vendors who’s food delivers flavors and experiences on a whole other level. This past week, I spent a few hours with each of them to capture the passion for what they create in their tiny street-side kitchens. I get you SO intimate with the food that you’ll be drooling for a taste by the end. Enjoy! And hit those NYC streets!

1. King of Falafel & Shwarma

Freddy, what can I say about Freddy. He was a dose of infectious happiness. “Yeah, baby!” Hanging out with him, you’d think he was the mayor of Astoria! His food was moist and juicy, and so full of great Middle Eastern spices and secrets that you don’t even question the lines and crowds in front of his food cart. It just makes sense, all of it. And Queens couldn’t have anyone better to represent them at the Vendys. Hopefully for him, 3rd time’s a charm…

2. Bistro Truck

Yassir’s whole concept behind his Bistro Truck is to serve gourmet, restaurant style food in a casual setting. And he’s totally achieved it. I love the ever-changing daily specials menu inspired by what’s in season at the Union Square Farmer’s Market just a few blocks away. Funny story, he didn’t have any time to test his recipes for his permanent menu! The menu was driven by the pressure from his printer to get something up and done in time for his food truck launch, and those were the dishes he came up with from the top of his head. But not to worry, the menu is a masterpiece of flavors and personality. Seriously, don’t leave without trying the saucy dijon chicken over rice. Yassir dredges his food with his love for Moroccan spices, and the most inspiring part is that he is true food talent, he taught himself how to cook!

3. El Rey del Sabor

Rosa is just plain adorable. When I shot with her, I thought she’d be shy and nervous, but she was a ball of energy and excitement all ready to throw down and share why she believes her food is the best! She comes to work with a smile everyday, and loves showing New Yorkers what she believes authentic Mexican cuisine should taste like. Customers love her. And the close up meat shots speak for themselves. Just try to resist going there. Just try!

4. Patacon Pisao

Well, I’ve never been past 135th street on the Upper West Side to eat, so hiking up to 202nd street in Inwood better be worth it…and it was…and then some. I always delight in trying something truly original, and eating a patacon with heavily shredded, dripping with flavor spiced meats sandwiched with special sauces between two pounded and deep fried plantains was the NYC experience I’ve been searching for this summer. Liliana and Adolfo are quite famous in the neighborhood, serving up typical Venezuelan street food to night owls and club goers. They tell me sometimes their lines are longer then the lines for the clubs! Honestly, it’s such a great NYC moment to go eat here. You experience the whole neighborhood just standing and eating in front of their gated food truck. It’s just one of those filming experiences I’ll not soon forget.

5. Schnitzel & Things

And as for Oleg Voss of Schnitzel & Things. All I have to tell you is that his “schnitz” is so good, he coined the word “Schnombies”. It’s Schnitzel + Zombies. Basically what he calls his customers who have eaten so many of his schnitzels that they are meat-thirsty for it on a regular basis. You gotta love Oleg in this piece. He’s a riot. Even just for his enthusiastic cheers… And someone, anyone, please tell me what a deep-fried burger tastes like. I wanna know!

Thanks for watching food. curated. Get your tickets to the Vendy Awards before they sell out. And happy street food eating!