Within minutes of the 10 p.m. opening, Urbo’s second floor was packed with eager guests and super star chefs. The classic New York City Wine & Food Festival event, Tacos & Tequila lived up to its late night timeslot with a party full of dancing, tequila-based cocktails and walk-up tastings of tacos from around the country. This year’s event was presented by Mexico, which was named the culinary destination of the year, and hosted by celebrity chef Aarón Sánchez, who spent the night taking photos and having fun on the dancefloor.
We caught up with Sánchez to ask him the question on every New Yorker’s mind—what’s the best taco in New York City? The best of the best, according to Sánchez is not found on the island of Manhattan, but instead in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. His favorite dish: tacos al pastor from Tacos El Bronco.
But the event featured tacos and sides from around the country and there were several stand-outs. Sánchez’s New Orleans-based restaurant, Johnny Sánchez, offered up a smoked tuna taco with queso Chihuahua, poblano peppers and avocado that was inspired by fish taco food trucks of the west coast. Atlanta-based Bartaco served up duck in a tamarind spice sauce with onion and cilantro—a seemingly simple combination that was incredibly flavorful. And Taquitoria, set in the lower east side of Manhattan, set themselves apart by featuring black bean taquitos chronic style with a slew of toppings and a satisfying crunch.
Tequila-based cocktails and Corona flowed from several bars around the venue and the DJ kept the crowd dancing through the night. Sánchez said it best, “we’re just kicking back having a good time.”