Sept. 24, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
A Long Island City food vendor emerged victorious at this year’s Vendy Awards, which celebrates the best of New York City street food.
Burmese Bites, the green cart stationed just outside the Long Island City Courthouse that offers foods from the South East Asian country, was awarded the “People’s Choice” award during the Vendy’s competition on Sept. 22.
The award is given to the best overall vendor during the cookout competition on Governor’s Island, where Burmese Bites was one of five finalists for the big prize—the Vendy Cup.
The award marks the first Vendy for Myo Lin Thway, owner of Burmese Bites, after being nominated for “Best of Market” in 2015.
Thway took to Instagram to spread the news about his win, and gave a shout out to other finalists from the Queens Night Market, where Burmese Bites got its start five years ago.
“Burmese Bites is bringing home a trophy,” Thway wrote yesterday. “For other night market family members who are nominated for the finalists, I know it is easy for me to say, it’s an honor just being nominated. Our good jobs is being recognized.”
Thway opened up his food cart at Court Square Park just last year after achieving massive success at the night market. His cart, open five days a week, offers the popular keema palata–made with a type of flatbread and served with minced chicken– along with other dishes like chicken and potato curry palata, coconut chicken noodle soup, and Burmese Bites rolls.
The Burma native, who came to the U.S. in 1994, has a degree in mechanical engineering and previously worked as an operations manager in Manhattan.
While Thway was among several Queens vendors vying for the Vendy Cup, like Franky’s Souvlaki in Astoria and El Sabroso de Aracataca in Jackson Heights, the coveted award went to the Manhattan-based Royal Grill Halal Food.
Apart from the Vendy Cup award, 20 more vendors battled it out in categories like Best Dessert Vendor and Best Rookie.
The Vendy Awards is in its 14th year, and draws thousands of street food aficionados to raise money for the Street Vendor Project, a membership based non-profit that advocates for vendors rights and offers small business services.