The San Diego Reader recently held their Tacotopia event once again – this time at the Del Mar Racetrack! Jake, his friend Jovan, and I all attended the event one hot afternoon and stuffed ourselves with tacos! Here’s a recap of what went down at Tacotopia at the Track.
Our tickets to Tacotopia included admission to the track. Since we had media passes, we were able to get in one hour before the general public.
The track was already open – a few people were wandering around like us. The event was held to the right of the grandstand area.
We waited patiently and were one of the first ones to get in. We saw Lynn and Dennis of oh-so yummy as well – they were early birds like us!
The very first booth we came across was Lupes Taco Shop. Their spit of adobada was sizzling and turning away. They actually weren’t ready right off the bat so we had to wait a few minutes for a taco, but we eventually got one.
The delicious adobada was a great way to kick off Tactopia! The pork was hot, fresh, and tasty. Even the corn shell seemed to be extra fresh and extra tasty!
Next I hit up Blue Water Seafood for one of their scrumptious shrimp tacos. I loved that they put a big slice of avocado on top and the creamy sauce was a great accompaniment to the freshly grilled shrimp.
Over at Lolita’s Mexican Food you had the choice of carnitas or pollo asado tacos. I went with the carnitas. It was a fair offering for the day – the carnitas were nice and tender. I’ve had Lolita’s so many times over the years that this one seemed a little ho-hum, but it was still a tasty taco.
The folks at Henry’s Pub had piles of fish tacos prepared and ready for consuming at Tacotopia.
Sadly I didn’t care for this one. The fish was quite greasy.
I wandered over to the Tostadas/City Tacos booth after Henry’s Pub. Since we were there so early as media, a lot of places just weren’t open yet so we had to skip a few. Tostadas/City Tacos was ready though and even had a “this is what we have!” sample tacos out. Tostadas was offering their Sandia dish (watermelon and tuna) that I sampled when I visited them earlier in the summer. I went for the City Tacos offer instead.
I freaking loved the two toned taco shell on this one! Half blue corn and half regular corn! It was topped with carnitas and pieces of crunchy chicharron. There was also a sweet salsa on top with mango, green apples, toasted chillies, red onion, and cilantro – I loved the combination of flavors especially that chicharron!
I *think* this is Cali Comfort BBQ’s taco, but silly me didn’t take any other photos. I believe this was a pulled pork taco with coleslaw and BBQ sauce.
Seriously, I should have taken more photos of the menus but a lot of places didn’t have menus out. I believe this offering from The Taco Stand is another adobada taco with slices of pineapple in the taco.
This one I remember for the bright pink plates! It’s a taco from Puesto – a quesataco to be exact! The Quesataco was filled with HELLA SPICY chicken so I didn’t eat much of it but I loved how crispy and creamy the cheese was. Plus score for fresh avocado, always.
The Taco Man has some sweet little carne asada tacos up for grabs and grab them and stuff them into my mouth is exactly what I did.
I was taking generalized photos like “hey, look, booths and stuff” when this dude from Common Theory decided to photobomb it. Which actually makes for a much more amusing photo AND got me to wander over to their booth to try their tacos next! What a clever plan.
At Common Theory they had kick ass wooden serving trays that I wanted to steal and put into my own home. Also, they had tacos. What a surprise, eh? They called their tacos “Abuelita’s Chicken Mole Taco” and it had sesame seeds, crema fresca, cilantro, pickled red onions, cotija, avocado, plus chicken mole. I can’t say I’m a super huge fan of chicken mole, but it was a good effort.
In the next booth over, Meze Greek Fusion had some Greek Lamb Tacos for the people. This had braised lamb shank, feta cheese, cilantro, and a hot sauce on top of a corn tortilla. This was a little on the rich side and the feta cheese was a bit overpowering in this.
Next… the other lamb taco place! Aqui es Texcoco!
They had a simpler lamb taco that I really enjoyed. It was incredibly tender but it’s a bit on the gamey side. I don’t really mind that – but Jake does, so he didn’t try it. Jovan and I really enjoyed this one though! Really simple but also very tasty.
Next up – Lucha Libre Taco Shop! Rawwwwr!
The funny thing about Lucha Libre is that they didn’t serve tacos. Just chips. But chips paired up with a bunch of their delicious sauces. I got a little plate and covered in their yummy cilantro sauce. Cilantro sauce 4 lyfe!
There were a couple of food trucks at Tacotopia as well and one of them was Salt + Lime.
They also had a Quesitaco (I haven’t seen it spelled like that). This taco had that lovely crispy cheesy taco shell with slices of fresh avocado, creamy sauce and pickled onions that I threw off the taco. This was a superb taco!
At Saltbox, they had a very interesting taco: the Porkstrami! It was served on a rye tortilla with a bunch of pickled stuff on top. Jake let me try just the pork which was really tender and full of flavor. I didn’t wanna eat any other part of it though but the pork was quite good.
It got much more crowded after the general public got into Tacotopia. It was quite hot that day, too, and the lack of shady spots seemed like an oversight to me. For some reason I thought this would be held in a shaded area so I had no hat and sadly, no sunscreen. We all got pretty sunburned that day. Boo.
Here’s another taco! It’s from South Park Brewing. Sorry, I can’t remember anything about this. I was kind of up to my eyeballs in tacos that day.
Super Bronco served the only crunchy taco I tried that day!
Coasterra had a lovely take on a pork belly taco, but the kimchi on top kind of killed it for me. The pork belly part was tender and good and full of happiness though.
Salud also had a booth there! But it was only full of bags of chips. No one was even in the booth! I guess they didn’t want to stick around.
I was pretty stuffed at this point and I didn’t even try all the tacos. I also didn’t even fully eat all the tacos! I was only eat half tacos at one point. As media peeps, we got to cast our votes for the Best Traditional Taco and Most Innovative Taco. The general public got to vote for the overall favorite, too.
I cast my Most Innovative vote for City Tacos and Best Traditional for Lupe’s Tacos. Jake copied me. Jovan voted for the Porkstrami at Saltbox as most innovative and also Lupe’s for Best Traditional. We really enjoyed that adobada! The only thing was Jake went back at the end to get more of Lupe’s Tacos and said it didn’t taste as good as when we first had it. The meat was fresher and juicier earlier in the day then towards the end!
The winners of Tacotopia were Sepulveda for Most Innovative (I missed their booth??) and Salt + Lime for Best Traditional. The overall winner was Blue Water Seafood for their shrimp tacos with Puesto and City Tacos as the runner ups.
I ended the day on a sweet note with this big sprinkle covered cookie from Sammy’s Mexican Bakery. It was nice having a little sweet treat to end of a taco filled day!
Disclaimer: I received complimentary media passes to attend The Reader’s Tacotopia at the Track. I was not further compensated and all opinions stated here are my own.