The Red Hood Ball Fields boast some kick-butt cuisine. Just like last year, the 2012 Vendy Cup -- awarded to honor the best in street cart cookery -- went a Red Hook truck.
Eleazar Perez is the mastermind behind Piaztlan Authentic Mexican, which serves Central Mexican cuisine. Metro caught up with Eleazar's son, Fabian, after the family was crowned Vendy Cup winners at the annual festival held on Governor's Island.
How did the business begin?
We started in 1989 selling food in [an outdoor setting] in the Red Hook Ball Fields. A couple of years back we started getting in a lot of issues with the Department of Health and Parks Department: They didn't want us there anymore. We fought for, like, two years to stay there until they agreed to let us stay. That's when we started the food truck, in 2008.
The food truck was a whole new thing to us. We were learning how to really operate a truck. Our working space got reduced and so did our staff. We had to accommodate to our needs with the limited space we have.
Tell us about your experience at the Vendy Awards
The night before, I couldn't sleep. I had a lot of nerves and a lot of prepping to do. We didn't know what to expect when we got there. I was in charge of being in front of the truck. I got in a car accident three weeks ago so I could only pass out flyers and talk to people about the food. I met a lot of great people. I never met so many people with such a big appetite for food.
When they announced we won the Vendy Cup, it was unreal. I was speechless. My mother broke out into tears. We went to the Vendy's this year because we wanted to expand, and see where our business can go in the future.
Catch them while you can
Piazlan Authentic Mexican food truck will be at the Red Hook Ball Fields until the last weekend of October.
Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant