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The Tucson 23

Good food and good drinks for a great cause — this year’s SAACA Tucson 23 event was worth braving the 115° temperatures.

June 23, 2016

When your evening starts with a Tequila toast, then you know you’re in for a good time. And such was the case on Saturday, June 18, at The Tucson 23: Mexican Food Festival at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa, presented by SAACA. Devouring (that couldn’t have just been me right?) the best Mexican food and Tequila drinks that Tucson has to offer whilst in the air conditioning was one heck of a way to escape the mercury-shattering temperatures last Saturday.  

Agave-based spirits were on display...

Agave-based spirits were on display…

This was a great occasion to bring out the stretchy pants. Just imagine tacos as far as the eye could see, chimichangas, chips and salsa, snow cones, juices, Tequila-inspired drinks, and most importantly, desserts! Mariachi and folklorico filled the hall with harmony and joy and the plates being scraped clean added an ambient noise that reminded me of being home and enjoying Mom’s cooking. Seriously, everyone brought their A-game. Blanco made some of the best Mexican chocolate cake I had ever had the pleasure of tasting (though to be perfectly fair this was after a shot or two of Luna Malvada Tequila).

Along with bite-sized food samples (and more agave-based spirits).

… along with bite-sized food samples (and more agave-based spirits).

I found myself cleansing my palate at Pure Love Juice and Dish for Dosha quite often; I told myself that all the nutrients in the tasty Cucumber Pineapple Basil juice at Pure Love was counteracting all the calories I was consuming (the jury is still out on that one). Molina’s Midway Restaurant served some incredibly tasty tostadas, Boca Tacos changed things up with their micro greens salad (trust me, it was great) and their coctel de elote (corn cocktail) served in a cone.

The local wildlife made an appearance — but only figuratively.

Calle Tepa and La Parilla Suiza served mouthwatering tacos that had me visiting them for more and the chile colorado from Rigo’s Restaurant had the perfect hint of spices. Of course, these are just honorable mentions in a sea full of talent. Do yourself a favor and don’t miss the next Mexican Food Festival.

Rigo's brought some little helpers for their table.

Rigo’s brought some little helpers for their table.

Now I’ll probably have to run 23 miles to work off all the food I ate!

Stay tuned for SAACA’s next event: the Salsa & Tequila Challenge on August 20th.

See more pictures from The Tucson 23 event:

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