Texas Tacos & Turkish Meatballs Put Lower Manhattan on the Vendy Map

By: Caroline De Tino

Next Saturday, the city’s best food truck vendors face off on Governors Island at the 14th annual Vendy Awards.

Lower Manhattan’s Mannahatta Park has not one, but two finalists in the running this year. King David’s Taco is nominated for Best Breakfast, a new category this year, and Basri Hakan’s Mannahatta Mediterranean is up for Best Rookie!

Mannahatta Mediterranean has quickly built a following in the neighborhood since Basri and his brother opened in November.  Locals line up daily to devour the pair’s authentic Turkish meatballs and unparalleled gozleme — dough stuffed with mozzarella, potato, spinach and onion.  

King David Tacos, up for Best Breakfast, is the passion project of native Austinite Liz Solomon Dwyer. Unable to find breakfast tacos that were on par with those in her hometown, Liz and her husband, Nate, opened a cart in Prospect Park before setting up shop in Mannahatta Park. They offer four types of tacos: the “BPEC” (bacon, potato, egg, and cheese), the “Queen Bean” (refried beans, eggs, potato and cheese), the “Ori’izo” (Mexican chorizo, egg, potato, and cheese) and “Mom’s Migas” (eggs, tortilla chips, salsa, jalapenos, and cheese).  The cart has quickly become a morning destination and the locals know you’ve got to arrive early before all the tacos sell out.

King David Tacos and Mannahatta Mediterranean will be competing at The Vendy Awards on Sept 22 from 12:30-5p.  The event will feature 25 food trucks vying for the title of best of the best in the city. Other categories include best dessert and best market. Winners will be selected by attendees and a panel of celebrity judges.