Austin Landing’s inaugural Taco & Nacho Fest a huge hit

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

The judges and people have spoken and when it comes to nachos and tacos the results are in.

The inaugural Taco & Nacho Fest, held Saturday, Aug. 27 at Austin Landing, assembled more than 15 restaurant and food truck vendors. The event explored the best offerings in the region for crunchy smothered satisfying nachos and hearty soft and hard stuffed tacos.

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Nachos provided by Mr. Boro’s Tavern in Springboro turned out to be the judges and fan favorite. The tavern’s smoked chicken nachos were topped with a house black bean corn salsa, lettuce, tender smoked chicken, shredded cheddar cheese, and drizzled with homemade ranch. It nabbed Best Nachos from the judges and the People’s Choice Awards from hungry diners.

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Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

The judges, which included this writer, gave Best Taco to JA’s & Sweet-umms for their excellent Basa Fish Taco called “The Catch” which was ultimately worth reeling in with wonderful light crunchy breading housing thick tender flavorful moist fish inside.

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

The People’s Choice Award for Best Taco went to Smokin’ Inferno BBQ & Catering. Throughout the event Smokin’ Inferno offered Hawaiian street tacos featuring smoked pork and homemade pineapple slaw topped with sweet habanero sauce as well as brisket street tacos consisting of chopped smoked brisket topped with homemade slaw and homemade chipotle sauce.

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

What The Taco? won Most Creative Taco from the judges for their Korean Beef Taco. JA’s & Sweet-umms won their second award of the night in the form of Best Dessert for their “Best Damn Tres Leche” which was some really fantastic tres leche.

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Food vendors included Chuy’s, El Meson, Condado Tacos, Rolling Indulgence, Mickey’s Salsa Mexican Food, Lil Tiki Weenies LLC, Totally Awesome Kettle Corn, Kona Ice, Sophia & Mak’s Caribbean Cuisine and Batter Up Funnel Cakes.

Amy Zahora, executive director of the Miami Valley Restaurant Association, estimates the crowd for the day at over 10,000.

“Taco and Nacho Fest was a huge success,” said Zahora. “Many vendors had to call their restaurants to bring more food as they sold out throughout the event. Some as many as three trips.”

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Contact this contributing writer at alexis.e.larsen@hotmail.com.

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