Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

VENDY PLAZA, 1607 Park Avenue (at 116th Street), at La Marqueta, East HarlemLast year I was unable to attend the Vendy Awards honoring the best street food vendors in the city. It’s my favorite day of the year, but unfortunately it also happened to coincide with a big family event in another state.

The event is coming back this Saturday, September 12 and I already have my tickets. Unfortunately, it is sold out so if you have not purchased tickets yet, I’m afraid it’s too late. But there is an alternative. On Sunday (and every Sunday through November), the Street Vendor Project will also be hosting Vendy Plaza.

It’s an amazing afternoon of music, art, and lots of food. It takes place in East Harlem at La Marqueta, an old public market that has been underused as of late. It’s the second best thing to the actual Vendy Awards.

You can also usually find many of this year’s nominees vending most Sundays at the market, like the inventive marshmallows from Squish Marshmallows and the homemade Mexican cuisine from Carnitas El Atoradero.

I finally got to taste the Puerto Rican food from last year’s nominee Lechonera La Piraña. Angel Jimenez vends in the Bronx every Saturday and has now also been making Vendy Plaza a regular rotation.

Lechon from LECHONERA LA PIRAÑA

His specialty is lechon asado, which is basically roasted pork – all parts of the pork (ribs, shoulder, back, etc.). He uses his machete to chop it up into a beautiful plate of crunchy skin and fatty, buttery meat. It’s paired with a helping of arroz con gandules (yellow rice with pigeon peas) and you truly get a taste of Puerto Rico.

It’s dishes like these that you discover at the Vendy Awards. So buy your tickets early next year and in the meantime, head up to Vendy Plaza.

Thank you to all my relatives for not getting married on September 12. And thank you to the Vendy Awards for offering another opportunity to experience the city’s great vibrant, diverse street food culture.

VENDY PLAZA
At La Marqueta,
1607 Park Avenue (between East 115th Street and East 116th Street),
East Harlem
(212) 534-4900
vendyawards.streetvendor.org/plaza
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

One Response to DISH OF THE WEEK: Lechon Asado from LECHONERA LA PIRAÑA at VENDY PLAZA

  1. Bobby DoTube says:

    I could not make it this year either! Vendy Plaza sounds like fun! ty

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