• Street style: Six top-notch NYC food vendors compete to impress the judges — including Food & Wine restaurant editor Kate Krader, Zach Brooks of Midtown Lunch, Ed Levine from Serious Eats, and hip-hop duo Das Racist — at the Vendy Awards to win the title of 2012’s best vendor. Before laying into an ecumenical lineup of Mexican tortas and tacos, Greek pork chops, Halal gyros, vegan ancho-chili seitan burgers, and Chinese lamb kebabs, VIP ticket holders will have a meet-and-eat with the judges and owners, hear stories of NYC’s street food culture, learn how to make a Kelvin Slush cocktail, and start eating an hour before the crowds arrive. Saturday, September 15 from 12:30 to 5 p.m. at Governor’s Island. Tickets here.
• Less food cart, more freak show? Head to the fifth annual FREAKTOBERFEST Boutique Beer and Music Festival to sip from over 25 different breweries while you watch burlesque dancers, sideshows, D.J.’s, and indie bands. Leave the kids
at home. Saturday, September 15 at Greenwood Park Beer Garden. 555 7th Avenue, Brooklyn. Tickets here.
• Those in search of exotic and imported foods will find Gourmet Garage at its new Soho location, 489 Broome Street at Wooster.
• Bushwick’s Life Cafe 983 is reopening simply as 983, and thus puts to rest the brand that started in Alphabet City with the Life Cafe that inspired Jonathan Larson’s Rent. Despite new ownership, a new-ish name, and a “refreshed” menu, co-owners David Rubel and Mark Truzpek along with chef David Rotter plan to retain the overall character of the place.
• Eighteen. That’s the number of duck fetuses Wayne Aleginio ate to win New York City’s first-ever balut-eating contest, held by Filipino restaurant Maharlika. Aleginio had never tried the delicacy before the August 25 contest. [Grub Street; Village Voice]
• No tickets to the U.S. Open? The Sanctuary Hotel offers HDTVs, signature Open-themed cocktails, and dining options both outdoors (at Haven rooftop) or indoors (at Satori lobby bar and lounge).