This Saturday, for $15, you can relive the finest hours of my college career: stumbling around drinking tequila while heavily subsidized food appears. Only in the case of your lucky trouser-seat, the chefs are four of Portland’s best, and not a team of disgruntled hair-netters just as suited to tamping down fresh asphalt. Today’s announcement will serve as a small reminder of what is special about each. Get your tickets here, now!

Tommy Habetz, center, illimitable and gently profound godfather of Portland.
  • Image courtesy of
  • Tommy Habetz, center, illimitable and gently profound godfather of Portland.

It is quietly known that Tommy Habetz, of Bunk Sandwich fame, cut some of his teeth alongside Mario Batali. That Falstaffian call to pleasure-driven food carries over into Tommy’s border-blind approach to tacos: wild boar, queso, six-chili salsa.

Nick Zukin, of Mi Mero Mole, may be best known for either helping found Kenny & Zuke’s, or driving people insane with his objective, unflinching, and unsweetened defenses of food tradition. Like it or lump it, it’s that mentality that brings you authentic Mexican food without a lot of channel noise: in this case, duck in tomato-chipotle sauce with guacamole, sour cream, and pickled onions.

Kelly Myers ran the kitchen at Nostrana hard and steady before helming Xico (pronounced “chico”). Nobody in this lineup is a stranger to a high-end kitchen line, but imagine the same lightness-of-hand that went into your feathery gnocchi and springy pappardelle designing your red chorizo, grilled pineapple, and crema Oaxaqueña taco.

My mother learned to cook at her New Mexican grandmother’s elbow, and I can proclaim that the Tex Mex textures, ingredients, and sabor of Ryan Day’s (La Taq) food ring strong and true. The only vegetarian entry in the mix, his rajas poblanas get a luxurious coating of a Oaxacan cream sauce.

Tacos ‘n’ Tequila, Saturday, June 28, 11am-6pm. 21+, $15/advance, $25/door, 3-tequila-floor. Price includes (4) taco tastings and (4) tequila drink tastings. Brought to you by Nicky USA, Tecate, and Sauza Spirits.