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Food & Drink: Taco festivals to take over the Couve

This month features 2 new ways to satisfy your taste for tacos

The Columbian
Published:
2 Photos
Get your fill of chips, tacos, cocktails and beer at Tacos, Tequila & Cervezas on Sept. 6 and 7.
Get your fill of chips, tacos, cocktails and beer at Tacos, Tequila & Cervezas on Sept. 6 and 7. Contributed photo Photo Gallery

You’re not losing your mind: There really are two new taco festivals this month.

Tacos, Tequila & Cervezas is this weekend next to the Vancouver Public Library. Vancouver Taco Fest, a fundraiser for the Evergreen Public School District Foundation, happens at the end of September in Esther Short Park.

Jeff Angelo, the taco fanatic behind Taco Fest, has dreamed of having a taco festival in Vancouver for as long as he can remember. He’s so serious about tacos that he agreed to talk to me only if I could assure him that I’m not against tacos. I promised him that I was very pro-taco. (I have two pairs of taco socks and can talk endlessly about my favorite taco trucks on Fourth Plain.)

In his first meeting as president of the Evergreen School District Foundation, Angelo proposed holding a taco festival to raise money for the school district while spreading the pure joy of eating tacos.

“I just love tacos, man,” he said.

Everyone else at the foundation loved the idea and Taco Fest was born.

Offerings will include fish tacos from Woody’s Tacos, chopped brisket tacos from The Smokin’ Oak and buffalo cauliflower tacos from Heathen Brewing Feral Public House.

If You Go

What: Tacos, Tequila & Cervezas.

When: 3 to 10 p.m. Sept. 6 and noon to 10 p.m. Sept. 7.

Where: Eighth and C streets (in the vacant lot next to the Vancouver Public Library), Vancouver.

Admission: $15 for Sept. 6 and $18 for Sept. 7. Price includes glass and one beverage; $10 for kids 13 to 17 years old; kids 12 or younger are free with adult supervision.

Information: nwtacofest.com

• • •

What: Vancouver Taco Fest.

When: Noon to 10 p.m. Sept. 28; noon to 7 p.m. Sept. 29.

Where: Esther Short Park, Columbia and West Eighth streets, Vancouver.

Admission: $15 for ages 11 or older, which includes eight tickets for food and drink; $5 for kids ages 4 to 10; children 3 or younger are free; $25 gets you all that and a swag item; $75 for one day or $130 for two days of VIP admission, which includes swag and tequila tasting in the VIP booth.

Information: evergreenschooldistrict
foundation.org/tacofest

Kegs will flow with taco-friendly brews by Fortside Brewing and Heathen Brewing. Heathen will also be serving margaritas from a keg.

Tacos on tacos

Angelo and Tacos, Tequila & Cervezas event organizer Sean Guard of Metropolitan Productions are both well aware of the ill-fated taco festival in Portland in 2017. The festival ran out of tacos on the first day. This dark cloud hovers over all Portland-area taco festivals.

Angelo and Guard are both doing everything possible to run successful events with lots of food and short lines in hopes of making it to year two.

Tacos, Tequila & Cervezas is this weekend next to the Vancouver Public Library. Guard enlisted some caterers he has worked with in the past at the Portland Seafood & Wine Festival, including Alaska Weathervane Scallops. He also visited restaurants and food carts to recruit taco vendors.

General admission ($15 for Sept. 6 and $18 for Sept. 7) comes with a glass and one beverage. All other food and drinks are purchased directly from vendors. Most food and drink will sell for between $2 and $15. Every food booth will have at least one taco on the menu for $2.

Guard recommends the lengua tacos and ceviche from Vancouver Taco Company. Alligator tacos will be available from Le Bontemps Catering for those seeking a New Orleans-meets-Mexico experience.

Tequila brands will include Don Julio, El Jimador, Herradura and Maestro Dobel. Beer options will go beyond Dos Equis and Tecate to include Washougal-based 54?40′ Brewing Company’s Mexican lager and its highly coveted Kascadia Kolsch. A variety of alcoholic beverages and nonalcoholic beverages will be available, as well as nontaco food options.

“We want to give everyone a reason to be there and give them a reason not to leave,” Guard said.

If the festival does indeed make it to year two, Guard hopes to add a footlong hard taco to the menu.

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