Taco Libre – Montgomery,Alabama
Tasty Tuesday post.
Happened to stumble upon this fun event in Montgomery this past weekend. Not only did I find great music, beverages, and some mighty fine tacos; this event benefited “E.A.T. South, a cause dear to my heart.
Since I have moved to Alabama, I have been on a quest to learn everything about Alabama including the food. I was especially interested because there were a few restaurants/chefs that have secured a spot on “100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die.” (see link above to follow my quest.) I was curious to see what these folks would create and meet new food trucks and restaurants.
Taco Libre was held on June 18th , 2016, in the historic Union Station Train Shed of downtown Montgomery, Alabama. This beautiful spot along the Alabama River is a great spot for an outdoor event with a cover in the event of rain or on this day, sunshine.
This event was the very first taco celebration in the state, or so I read. It was hosted and organized by Lighting Line, an event production company in Montgomery “whose goal is to create community-driven and unique events in the Capital City.” The goal of the event was to get people together, celebrate some of Alabama’s finest tacos, beer, and music. I had never heard of this group, but I like them.
The event was also to benefit E.A.T. South, which is a Montgomery-based organization that promotes the principles of food justice through community education and sustainable farming. This group serves to empower, lead community programs, and act to transform our local food system. Educate Act Transform. I love everything about this organization.
Buying tickets on-line was a snap. At the entry to the train shed, I was given a cup and a booklet. The booklet held 5 pesos, each peso earned me a taco, drink, tea or dessert. In the booklet, there was a list of vendors.
The music Venue consisted of; Black Jagg’s from Nashville, Tennessee and two Alabama bands, Lady Legs of Auburn and Eleven Year Old of Birmingham. Great tunes!
There were scheduled to be 12 vendors including local Railyard. Here is a list of the vendors.
- Avondale of Birmingham, AL
- Blue Pants of Madison, AL
- Good People of Birmingham, AL
- Straight to Ale of Huntsville, AL
- Yellowhammer of Huntsville, AL
- Back Forty of Gadsden, AL
- Black Warrior of Tuscaloosa, AL
- Rocket Republic of Madison, AL
- Fairhope Brewing Company of Fairhope, AL
- Trim Tab of Birmingham, AL
- Railyard of Montgomery, AL
- Folklore of Dothan, AL
Pictured below is Railyard Brewery, Black Warrior Brewery, and Bud Light. Corona and Corona Light was also available de Mexico.
I can attest that Trimtab Brewery stood out to my group. I tasted the Rye and Rasberry Berliner Weiss, they were delicious. Others that tried the IPA really liked it. Other honorable mentions from my group were Belgium White Ale from Yellowhammer and Front Porch Ale from Folklore. There was also sweet tea from Alabama Sweet Tea and free water available. I was happy to find the water. Thanks!
There were 19 vendors scheduled. I understand that there were a few no-shows. Their bad because this event was a huge success. Scheduled to take place from 4-8 p.m., the tickets rapidly sold out, the sellout was announced on Facebook at 6:02 P.M. Here is a list in order of major deliciousness as voted upon by Meg and her pals. sure hope that I did not leave anyone out.
- Ariccia Trattoria A*T of Auburn is my MEGapick of the taco night goes to Chef Leo for that bang up Shrimp Ceviche Taco. This taco was made from shrimp, sriracha, wasabi, aioli, charred cabbage slaw, cilantro,burn hot @ss sauce on a delicious handmade taco. That was a lot of delicious freshness in my mouth. LOVED IT! I have written about this restaurant in a prior blog, click 100 Dishes Link above.
- Kowaliga of Alexander City won the close runner-up #2 spot for their Sprouted Catfish Tacos made of; ALABAMA catfish, Kowaliga slaw, chipotle tartar, cilantro, roasted jalapenos, hand-made sprouted-grain purple tortilla. This vendor also gets my vote for the most friendly and interactive people. Super delicious and super nice. I have written about this restaurant in a prior blog, click 100 Dishes Link above. BTW, as of this writing, this restaurant serves my favorite fried shrimp in Alabama. I could start a war, fresh-fried Alabama shrimp is outstanding. I’m totally into local sprouted grains. If the boys at MPD come back, it is good. Thanks to the folks at MPD for keeping us safe! I later read that they wrote; “4 strong arms, 1 broken cast iron tortilla press, and a lot of man hours = 356 Sprouted Purple Corn Tortillas for Taco Libre.” Way to go!
- On A Roll of Montgomery was the pick from 2 members of my group for the Caribbean Jerk Chicken with mango salsa. The two loved how these tasted. Runner up for longest lines of the day.
- Taqueria El Campesino of Montgomery was voted first place delicious taco by two members of my group. Serving tacos made of; carnitas, Pollo, Asada, pastor, barbacoa and chorizo. This food truck also wins for longest lines of the event. Can’t wait to chow their food again.
- A&P Social of Montgomery for coffee-rubbed BBQ butt, (No, I’m not touching that one,) mole sauce, slaw, house hot sauce crema. I’m usually meh on mole but this was a tasty combo. One of the members in my group loved this dish.
- Central of Montgomery for those Mojo Pork Tacos with that fresh green and purple slaw and that great shell! Meg loves a crunch.
- El Rey Burrito Lounge of Montgomery, and one of my personal favorite restaurants for some of their Mexican-inspired tacos, locally sourced fare.no pic today.
Here are the places that I did not get to;
- Dreamland-Hey guys they looked really great and I heard that they were delicious. LOVED your tent. Funky signs for next year showcasing your talent?
- D’road Cafe– Southern cooking with Venezuelan Flair-Can’t wait to try your food!
- New York City Gyro – Your food looked great, super nice folks and I also can’t wait to visit your restaurant!
- That’s My Dog-Dude you have great moves!
- Salsaritas Looked fantastic!
- Cheesecake Empori-um for (I think) fried cheese cake and fruit empanadas? NOM by the time I wanted to try dessert, you were sold out. Super nice folks over there!
- Frios handmade pops– Did not try.
- Alabama Sweet Tea Company-Did not try.
- Cantina On Wheels – ? No Show
- Los Cabos? No show? No show
- Taqueria Vallarta ? no show
There was also a V.I.P ticket area, an adorable photo booth inside a restored VW Bus. Everyone in my group enjoyed tasting great food and drink, visiting friend, listening to tunes and making memories. Everyone involved in this effort did a great job putting on this event. As with any first event, there will be glitches. I for one, look forward to a return fiesta.
This event was presented by Kress On Dexter. sponsored by Cotton & Pine, Fllet Feet Sports, and AIRR. Raymond James, and Max Credit Union.
MEGastars: 4.85 **** +