2005_11_Rolf.jpgGothamist Food editor Laren Spirer was one of the judges last night at the Vendys-- but she seems to have overdosed on street meat, and hasn't yet reported in! If you see her wandering around downtown, dazed and smelling like sausage, please let us know so we can come pick her up. Until then, we'll just have to rely on the mainstream media for accounts of the fierocious vender battle that ended with Rolf Babiel crowned as the winner. The Times gives us his reaction:

"I've never won an award like this," Mr. Babiel said as the crowd chanted "Vendor Power!" in English, Spanish and French.

Inside the garage, Mr. Babiel and his brother Wolfgang tended rows of Schaller & Weber sausages from the menu-plastered cart, usually parked on the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue and 54th Street. He has also now has a beer garden, Hallo Berlin, on the West Side.

From the Daily News, we get a little more background on Babiel:

Babiel had only $500 in his pocket when he arrived in this country and made only $14 on his first day on the job.

But his mouthwatering menu of bratwursts, knockwursts, kielbasa, red and white cabbages and "German fries" — a mixture of French fries and hash browns — has allowed him to build a small empire.

He now owns two sit-down restaurants in the city, but he still finds the time to work at the cart.

The line outside Babiel's cart must be pretty insane today-- check it out and email us a picture if you're in the area.

Update: Laren has turned up-- Thank god. And Adam Kuban sent in this picture of her at the Vendies-- looking surprisingly happy, given all the pork had just eaten: