The self-appointed judge’s take on Wine and Food Week’s Sips, Suds and Tacos event

By: Woodlands Online | Published 06/08/2019

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THE WOODLANDS, TX -- The Sips, Suds and Tacos event was held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center for Wine and Food Week on Friday, June 7. It was an excellent decision to arrive hungry since tacos and drink choices were plentiful.

With restaurants from all over the Houston area and beyond competing in the Taco Takedown, guests filled their bellies one taco at a time. If you stumbled onto a soft-shelled dish prepared a bit spicier than your liking, vendors scattered throughout the facility had spirited beverages ready to wash the heat down.

The lineup of judges included Hank Lewis, John Moeller, Ara Malekian, Carlos Ramos and Almendra Callirgos. They tried each restaurant’s entry, savored the flavors, and took notes on the tastings over the course of the evening.

John Cleese, in the film “Wine for the Confused,” reveals the truth that good or bad wine is really a matter of personal taste. Therefore, I set out to explore the food and beverage offerings of the evening with the goal of determining who the winners would be in my book. Setting this task before myself gave the evening an added element of fun and purpose. I strongly recommend attending the event during next year’s Wine and Food Week and giving yourself a judge’s assignment.

With the weighty undertaking of judging impartially, it’s critical to bite into each taco with no prejudgements in mind. One taco presented by the Questro resorts in Los Cabos Mexico was presented with a tri-colored tortilla of chipotle, coconut and cilantro, and it boasted a 27-ingredient mole sauce. Upon tasting it, I immediately knew, despite sounding amazing and indeed being flavorful, it wouldn’t be my pick.

The Bigotes Street Tacos had the longest line, though it moved quickly, of attendees waiting to sample their fare. Seeing the crowd caused my expectations of what was in store for my taste buds to heighten. The taco with pineapple Bigotes served, however, led to disappointment, and I would never order it. The second offering from Bigotes was a very tasty beef taco, which I did enjoy.

Thankfully most of the tacos readily given to all who desired a bite were small (and in some cases miniature) in size. So although I sampled more tacos than I want to admit, I am still clear of falling into gluttony. The tacos ranged from quite unimpressive to a few with a wow factor attached. The same can be said of the tremendous variety of drinks available from hard ciders, fruited sours, beer and wine.

The evening passed quickly as I sipped and chewed my way through all the contenders in my own personal taste contest. Live music filled the room, keeping the mood lively and upbeat. Somewhere around 8 p.m. Wine and Food Week staff awarded Bigotes Street Tacos with the official Taco Takedown win.

As the night concluded, the winners for my unofficial Taco Takedown and Beverage Battle came into clear view. Now I announce to all reading this blog article to its conclusion which these deserved ones are.

Congratulations to 19 Crimes for creating a spectacular wine which now tops my favorites list. The 19 Crimes Red Blend blew me away. The vintage of the bottle poured at the event was 2017. I will be looking to uncork this wine in the near future.

Imagine a fajita beef street taco, cooked to perfection, sealing in both flavor and moisture, drizzled with a creamy and delicious Mexican style green salsa delivering the ideal amount of heat to compliment, not drown, the tasty experience. This description of the taco served by Alicia’s Mexican Grille is completely accurate. Alicia’s earned the win in my unofficial Taco Takedown for the evening. The family-owned restaurant was named after the wife of owner David Herrera. David and Alicia have three sons, Marvin, Ubaldo and Dario, who all are part of the family business. Together this family mastered the art of the taco. You can taste it for yourself at the location in Spring at 20920 Kuykendahl Rd, Spring, TX 77379.

Sips, Suds and Tacos offered something for everyone, or at least everyone over the age of 21. Whether you choose to appoint yourself a judge in your own right or simply experience it in any way you desire, I encourage you to attend tonight’s The Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting and Chef Showcase as well as the future Wine and Food Week events in years to come.

 
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