Last night, Tacos & Tequila — another event where 30 or so restaurants spit out a variation on a theme so that hundreds of people can pay hundreds of dollars (or not!) to gorge themselves —premiered at the New York Wine & Food Festival. But actually, this event almost worked out better than the festival standby Burger Bash, and the two year-old Meatball Madness, because the chefs here had the chance to be much more creative. There are only so many ways to make a burger or a meatball and still have it taste good. But think of how many things you can stuff into a hard or soft corn or tortilla taco shell!
Thus, there were a lot of great standouts including Abe & Arthur's raw tuna taco, Sue Torres' bbq beef taco, George Mendes' taco translation of his popular shrimp appetizer at Aldea, and about 20 different kinds of Mexican corn. Sam Talbot kind of previewed his upcoming restaurant at the new Mondrian Hotel in Soho with a big, sloppy (not in a great way) fish taco.
The Food Network's Claire Robinson admitted to us that her "Five Ingredient Fix" taco had oh, about 30 or 40 ingredients (she made her own barbecue sauce). Guy Fieri was of course mobbed, as was the host Bobby Flay, Anne Burrell (who seems to be at every event) made a cameo, the bartenders were all on quaaludes, making the whole tequila part of the evening rather difficult, and the DJ was rockin it hard. Tacos. Tequila.
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