(May 13, 2016)—The “ Tequila, Taco and Cerveza Festival ” was held on May 7, 2016 at the beautiful National Hispanic Cultural Center, located just South of downtown Albuquerque. According to the organizers (Partytenders LLC) the festival features a “HUGE selection of World Class Tequilas”, a variety of tacos from local restaurants as well as a selection of Mexican beers. As an added bonus, there was going to be Chihuahua Racing (whatever that is), water pong, cornhole games and the Tequila Olympics, the latter of which sounds like a great way to get a monster of a hang over. Add in live entertainment and it sounded like a winner, especially if you like drinking and eating, like I do.
So, we threw on our sombreros, grabbed the nearest Chihuahua and headed to the Hispanic Cultural Center. The choice of venue seemed like a good fit, tying in nicely with the Mexican heritage of Tequila. At the entrance we received our ten tickets for out allotted Tequila samples as well as our “free” shot glass, which turned out to be a plastic cup of the kind that you get at a party store. Once inside, we found a very long line of people standing in front of the Tequila vendors. Rather than placing the tequila tasting area on the nice and very large plaza that the Hispanic Cultural Center has, the alcohol, food and product vendors were in a sand lot next to the center. While watching a bunch of girls tottering around in their platform heels trying to stay upright while downing tequila made for entertaining people watching, the dirt venue really was not great.
The other thing that wasn’t great was the 30 to 40 minute wait just to be able to get a sample of Tequila. And after waiting for 40 minutes, did you think we were going to have a couple of samples and then get back in line? Nope, all 10 samples were guzzled in about 30 seconds, poured by some very harried and rushed bartenders. With the exception of a couple of food trucks (which were low on food), there also weren’t any local tacos to sample, as promised by the organizers. The same could be said for the selection of “Cerveza”, which was just about non-existent.
We hope the Tequila, Taco and Cerveza Festival returns next year, as the event has a lot of promise. But maybe a little more planning and foresight is in order.