Tacos from Tacolicious / La Palma Mexicatessen
A tender tangle of carnitas from Tacolicious crowned thick corn tortillas made on the spot by the experts from La Palma Mexicatessen. A second filling of oyster mushrooms, potatoes, asparagus, and green garlic proved that a great taco doesn't actually need meat.
Tortillas from La Palma Mexicatessen
All day long, these ladies rolled, slapped, and griddled white and blue corn tortillas.
Ceviche from Nopalito
Owner of Nopa and Nopalito, chef Laurence Jossel dished a refreshing ceviche of wild-caught red snapper with minced carrots and cucumber in the style of the Mexican state Nayarit. Coarse tortilla chips made from the restaurant’s homemade organic corn masa subdued the fire from the ceviche's piquin pepper salsa.
Sopes de Nopal from El Pípila
Pasilla chiles gave a smoky taste to a stew of nopales, tomatillos, and cilantro served on fried masa rounds called sopes. This dish represents the state of Guanajuato where owner of El Pípila, Guadalupe Guerrero, learned to cook. She also served a mild beef picadillo, sometimes referred to as "beef hash."
Posole Salad from Rancho Gordo
Heirloom midnight black beans, posole (hominy treated with lime and skinned) and carrots mashed together in an earthy salad with cilantro lime dressing.
Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas
Alicia learned a trick for how to make tender tamales from her grandmother. She beats the dough until fluffy and then plops a lump in a cup of water. If it floats, it’s ready.
Tostadas de Mole from La Torta Gorda
Any chocolate in this mole? Nope. Owner Armando Macuil swears that real mole poblano doesn’t need chocolate. "The sweetness comes from the raisins, peanuts, bananas, fried galletas marías [a type of biscuit cookie] and pumpkin seeds."
Tostadas de Tinga from El Buen Comer
A little sweet, this shredded chicken cooked in a chipotle sauce was one of several versions of tinga served on Sunday. On the side, a green salsa loaded with serranos and a red one full of chiles de arbol made these two of the day’s hottest accompaniments.
Guests blended their own salsas by mixing various pepper purees, guacamole, strawberries and other produce that was picked at the previous day’s Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. It took me a few tries before finally creating a winning blend of tomatillos, heirlooms tomatoes, kumquats, and salt.
Next to the salsa station, you could make your own tortillas from three kinds of dough: corn, flour, or a combination of cactus and corn.
Several different types of margaritas kept spirits high. A “Tommy’s Style” from Don Julio made from two parts tequila, one part agave, and one part lime juice was the most classic while the Earth Fire (pictured) was the most unusual. Darren Crawford, bar manager at Bourbon & Branch, used Casa Noble tequila, pineapple, lime, and homemade “hellfire bitters” made from every pepper he could find. Cinnamon and fresh nutmeg garnished each cocktail.
Shake Shake Shake
Silver tequila's light sweetness and affinity for citrus made it the favorite liquor for margaritas.
Tequila Gelatin Bites from Sweets Collection
Classy Jell-O shots? Absolutely. These iridescent beauties composed of layers of different-colored gelatin tasted mainly of tequila balanced by lemon, grapefruit, and 7 Up.
Casa Noble Margarita Sundae from Frozen Kuhsterd
Vanillla frozen custard spiked with tequila received a margarita makeover via some drizzles of lime agave syrup and Himalayan pink salt.
Vanilla Ice Cream with Toffee Mealworms from Don Bugito
Not your ordinary backyard worms, these critters were raised on a farm in Southern California on a diet of bran and carrots. So much better than actual toffee, the worms made a crunchy, sort of salty, caramelly topping for Straus vanilla bean ice cream.