Timeout Chicago’s 1st Annual Taco Thursday Review – Taco ‘Bout A Fun Night!

What is better than a Taco Tuesday? According to Timeout Chicago, a Taco Thursday, of course! On Thursday, May 11, 2017, the magazine hosted its first-ever taco tasting, at Joe’s Bar on Weed (940 Weed Street). The $25 tickets included taco tasting from participating Chicago restaurants including Mercadito, Dos Urban Cantina, Taqueria El Asadero, Cemitas Puebla, Antique Taco, DeColores and Holy Taco!, two complimentary drinks and Joe’s DJ spinning. Live performers from a mariachi band and games for taco eating guests were there to enjoy. There were two session times: Session 1 from 6-7:30pm and Session 2 from 8-9:30pm.

 

Taco balloons-Strike a pose!

 

Taco balloons-Strike a pose!

 

 

Joe’s Bar on Weed, a large warehouse-like space that’s a top choice place to catch a drink, see a concert or watch a sports game, was a prime choice to hold the first annual Taco Thursday event. You can usually catch hip crowds and sports fans at this popular joint

 

As my guest and I joined the overcrowded lines, you were given a Taco Thursday card. As you sampled each taco, a volunteer left a punch hole on the logo-this way no one could sneak seconds! Popular tacos offered that evening were Mercadito’s camaron taco (shrimp, roasted garlic, chipotle mojo and avocado), and Rojo Gusano (slow-roasted pig marinated in achiote, yucatan-style, with roasted tomato-habenero relish called chitomate).

 

 

A volunteer preparing taco samples.

 

Roaming from kiosk to kiosk, I began to notice that not a single restaurant was offering a meatless taco sample.  As I had not had dinner yet that evening, I became hungry and frustrated. I have been a vegetarian since high school and simply love Latino food, especially tacos. I also have eaten at restaurants such as Marcadito, Antique Taco, Dos Urban Cantina, and they all have at least one or two vegetarian options on their menus. I was a bit surprised and disappointed that the participating restaurants did not have any meatless tacos at all to sample. I also thought that it would have helped to showcase the dining establishments and their menu offerings.

 

Volunteers giving out samples to guests.

 

Mercadito's camaron taco (shrimp, roasted garlic, chipotle mojo and avocado)

 

Rojo Gusano (slow-roasted pig marinated in achiote, yucatan-style, with roasted tomato-habenero relish called chitomate)

 

Aside from the fact that I was not able to sample any of the taco dishes, I did  enjoy the live music entertainment of the mariachi performers. There were singers and instrumentalists who sang classic music from the traditional band. They each wore bright, colorful suits of blue with gold trimming. On their heads sat decorated sombreros. The music and their singing were beautiful.

 

A mariachi band performed for the fest.

 

A mariachi band performed for the fest.

 

Overall, from what I observed that evening, Timeout Chicago’s 1st Taco Thursday was a huge success. Everyone loved the music, the tacos and the drinks. My guest was also very happy with the selection of tacos. On the other hand, I hope that Timeout will be able to better accommodate people who do not eat meat, but love to eat tacos. Maybe next year, Timeout Chicago!

 

 

 

Photos: Jennifer Lunz

 

 

For information on next year’s Taco Thursday, or other Timeout Chicago events, you can visit their website.

 

 

 

 

 

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