What a day! At all started at Pike Place Market - the Gum Wall, fish being thrown, market samples (apples and smoked salmon), and of course coffee! What journey to Seattle would be complete without the coffee?! (And yes, I added my own gum to the wall.)
Once we had seen some of the sights, we headed off to the Freemont neighborhood of Seattle for the Tequila & Taco Fest. Looking back on the event, I'm glad I purchased the Premium ticket. We got in 2 hours before the general crowd and had room to roam as we pleased. There were so many tequilas represented; Jose Cuervo, Sparkling Donkey, Maestro Dobel, Hornitos, Mexican Moonshine Tequila, 1800, Papa Bueno, Gran Centanario, El Tesoro, Sauza 901, Tres Generaciones, Aha Yeto Tequila, Alipus Mezcal, Deleon Tequila, El Tesoro de Mi Tierra, Milagro, Montelobos Mezcal, Oredain Ollitas, Puerto Vallarta, and Scorpion Mezcal. I enjoyed them all but I would say my favorites would be the Puerto Vallarta, the Mexican Moonshine, and the Tres Generaciones. I tried the Reposado of every brand except the Puerto Vallarta (it is brand new as of June on the US market, it was an Anejo) and the Deleon Tequila (it was only offered in the Blanco). This Tequila and Taco Fest benefited the Motley Zoo Animal Rescue (www.motleyzoo.org).
Along with the tequila, many local restaurants brought their version of a taco. The tastes were provided by Seattle restaurants; Agave Cocina, Barrio, Cantina Lena, Dilettante Chocolates, Evolve Chocolate, Famous Northwest Catering Company, Flat Iron Grill, Poquitos, Mr. Villa, Red Star Taco Bar, Seasoned in Seattle Catering, South Seattle College, Sullivan's Steakhouse, and Torero's Mexican Restaurants. Surprisingly enough, there was no ground beef used. Steak tartare, chicken, shrimp, shredded beef, Korean ribs, pork, and Ahi Tuna were all represented. There was even tequila/chile infused chocolates and chocolate tacos! My two favorite food offerings were the steak tartare taco from Barrio (not associated with the one in Minnesota that I love so much) and the shredded beef taco. I can honestly say that none of the food was bad, but there has to be favorites.
(The steak tartare from Barrio)
(The shredded beef.)
(There was even a chocolate taco!)
Adding to the ambiance of the location, a mariachi band was brought in from a local restaurant. Not only were they excellent but they played to the crowd (nobody missed shouting "Tequila").
Once the general admission crowd was allowed to come in things got very loud and crowded. I would recommend if you attend the Seattle Tequila and Taco Fest next year to purchase a premium ticket, its worth the extra $40 to have the room and time without all the other people. There were quite a few people in the general admission crowd who got way too drunk, way too fast and caused scenes. Not only can you avoid the drama that way but the money benefits a great cause and all the swag was free instead of for purchase!
I'm hoping to make this first Tequila Fest a regular event for myself! I had a lot of fun, ate a lot of great food, and drank a lot of really great tequila!