It was a beautiful afternoon on Saturday, made even more beautiful by 3,500 people gathered at City Hall Plaza to eat tacos from nearly 40 local taquerias. A mariachi band wandered the grounds as people sampled tacos, sipped Topo Chico and took photos with a luchador.
There were a lot of taco offerings to pick from, but there were definitely some standouts. Taco Heads' bloody mary taco paired sweet, juicy mango with crispy fried chicken for a flavorful bite, and though Luck may be a beer bar, the Trinity Groves spot impressed with its chicken tinga tacos. On the Border served up memorable barbecue brisket tacos, but the event's most memorable tacos by far came out of the VIP section: Resident's duck carnitas and cauliflower kale earned it Most Interesting Taco from this year's judges, and Revolver's duck carnitas with escabeche was widely regarded as one of the festival's best bites.
"Overall, the taquerias that went to the trouble of making homemade tortillas really shined," says Kelly Dean Yandell, a Tacolandia judge and Foodways Texas board member.
Jon Daniel, another judge, said the taco selection did a good job mirroring the Dallas taco scene at large.
"Just like tacos in Dallas — a classic bell curve," Daniel says. "Some terrible. Some amazing. I did see though, especially from the dudes from Gas Monkey and On the Border, a real effort to do good stuff. Great filling, hand-made tortillas. But there was some killer shit and some meh."
If you missed the fest — or if you just want to relive all those delicious memories — check out this slideshow and video from the event. Here are the big winners this year, as determined by this year's judges.
Best Traditional Taco
La Nueva Puntada
Best New-School Taco
Revolver Taco Lounge
Most Interesting Taco
Chiloso Mexican Bistro