THE TIME HAS COME for Portland's only celebration of the most natural pairing since Justin Bieber and neck tattoos: Tacos 'n' Tequila.
Honestly, the idea sells itself: A sunny bar patio with tasty-as-fuck tequila drinks AND fancy tacos from four premiere Portland restaurants! But just in case you need more information on this year's Tacos 'n' Tequila... here we go!
On Saturday June 18, from noon to 4 pm, you'll be ushered into Bar Bar on N Mississippi for a day of tortillas, meats, and icy cold booze. Not only will you get to sample four tacos from the geniuses behind Mae, La Taq, Stella Taco, and Taqueria Nueve, you'll also get to taste four creative cocktails from Bar Bar's mixmasters (SPOILER: There's a SLUSHIE MACHINE involved.)
All drinks and tacos will be available for sampling throughout the event, but come early to guarantee a bite—and then stick around and enjoy more tequila. The full bar menu will also be available, and if you take a fancy to any of the featured tequila drinks, they'll be available for $7 each.
The Portland Mercury, Mississippi Studios, Hornitos Tequila, and Nicky Farms are the high-class sponsors, so you know this ish will be proper. Oh, and all of this goodness is one of the best food event deals in town—tickets are just $15. Admission gets you four taco tastings and four tequila cocktail tastings!
Inspired by taco carts in Oaxaca, Taqueria Nueve's chefs have put their own twist on a succulent carnitas taco. They're putting that fatty, crispy pork on a corn tortilla, then adding their signature Caesar salad (seriously, this is the best garlicky salad in town). And on top of that, there's the pickled white onion and house made chicharrons—the ultimate decadent finisher.
Hold on to your hats—this one's an early summer stunner. A house made flour tortilla provides a food quilt for braised and crisped beef tongue that's oh-so-tender. The taco is then topped with a quick-pickled strawberry rhubarb "pico" and mint for a result that's zingy and fresh, not sweet. It's gonna go great with the watermelon tequila drink.
New rockstar chef Maya Lovelace is taking her Southern flair over the border—and the results transcend both genres. Her taco is a twist on the Southern Country Captain dish: Seared chicken thighs are then braised down into a bold sauce with smoky Benton bacon, two curry blends from Bollywood Theater, celery, bell pepper, onion, and currants. That's going with a handmade heirloom benne seed tortilla and a dollop of cabbage slaw with quick-pickled currants, sumac-toasted pecans, and pickled red onion.
Oh you naughty cantina, La Taq. They're sneaking in even more tequila into this whole Tacos 'n' Tequila challenge by braising Nicky Farms' wild boar with tequila and tomatillos. The result is deeply porky, with a peppery, bright finish to the meat. They'll be making the corn tortillas on site, then polishing it off with pickled carrot and jalapeño slaw.
Abuelo's Dark Secret
Snag this Old Fashioned with Hornitos Black Barrel tequila and Aztec chocolate bitters first to get a good buzz going. This one's strong, dark, and slightly sweet, with the smooth, triple-aged tequila providing some serious whiskey-like notes. It's like putting a sombrero on Don Draper.
Hell Froze Over
SLUSHY ALERT! Just about every Portland bar has a slushy machine these days—and we're not mad about it. Bar Bar's new frozen beverage maker will deliver frozen Hornitos Plata, Giffard Creme de Cassis, and lime and ginger beer for a tart, refreshing drink. Normally, Bar Bar only plans to run its slushy machine on Sundays, so order a few extra during this Saturday event.
Día de las Sandías - Tres Generaciones
If you're looking for the drink equivalent of a summer jam, this is it. From its soft pink hue to its intensely drinkable qualities, it evokes front porches, feet in the river, and a good old-fashioned day drunk. It's Hornitos 100 percent agave Plata with fresh watermelon, lime, and mint. Ahhhhh.
This one's got a real slow burn: A three-chili-infused Sauza 901 with Bar Bar's secret recipe house bloody mix and pickled garnish. It's the traditional Bloody Maria with a savory and spicy kick. It'll kick off your tequila drinking right.