Vendy Award Finalists Announced

The 2009 nominees span the map

It's an intense street fight as five worthy contenders battle it out to be named the best sidewalks chef in the city.

The 2009 nominees for the Vendy Award span the map -- from tacos in Red Hook to Indian in Midtown.

This year's nominees include two former contenders and three newbies.

"This year is the comeback of the king," Astoria's King of Falafel, Freddy Zeidaies told the Daily News.

"I'm going to win," he said of his falafel King cart at 30th St. and Broadway in Queens.

But he is facing stiff competition from Meru Sikder, a native Bangladeshi who won the People's Taste Award at last year's Vendys.

Sikder's specialty is the cati roll, a thin Indian flatbread wrapped around fillings which he sells from his Biryani Cart at 46th St. and Sixth Ave.

Newcomer Kenny Lao and his Rickshaw Dumplings have a loyal band of followers who find his cart via Twitter and Facebook.

Jamaican Dutchy run by O'Neill Reid dishes up jerk chicken that one follower calls "the best chicken dish in Manhattan."  His cart sits at 7th Ave. and 51st Street.

Country Boys/Martinez Taco Truck in Red Hook serves a "huge plate of deliciousness," a supporter said. Owners Fernando and Jolanda Martinez operate at Red Hook Ball Fields and outside the Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene on Saturdays.

The prestigious award will be presented on Sept. 26 at the Queens Museum of Art.

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