Salsa & Tequila Challenge 2016

A few Bitches headed to Tucson last weekend to experience the sixth annual Salsa & Tequila Challenge. Tickets ($55/person) included as many samples of food, salsa, tequila cocktails, and beer as you could handle and, bonus, ticket proceeds were donated to the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance Creative Arts Therapy Programs and the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. Yes! You can eat salsa and drink tequila for charity. We highly recommend it.

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The 2016 Salsa and Tequila Challenge featured over 20 categories of food and drink provided by over 50 local chefs and restaurants, as well as live music. Before opening to the public, we got a sneak peek at the booths while the judges were casting their votes.

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While there were many classic Southwestern food and drink offerings like these delicious carne asada tacos from Crossroads…

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and margaritas from Dante’s Fire…

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And also some unexpected surprises. Like, did you know vaporized margaritas are a thing? Because they are and we totally hit that. We also learned that solidified tequila is a thing and if you think we didn’t take a shot of that, then you don’t know us very well. And actually, we took two.

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Milgrano’s HW Pearl shot: Chamoy sauce, tequila ball, and Lucas. It tasted like being back at college, but also your childhood at the same time. But not in a creepy way. No one else ate Lucas on the playground until your mouth hurt?

One of our Bitches Picks was Tequila Factory.

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We sampled Guadalajara pico de gallo {assorted fruit compressed with hibiscus honey and spices}, roasted corn salsa…

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“Centeotl” {The Aztec God of Maize}, made with Mezcal Vago Elote, Ancho Reyes, roasted corn, lime and mole bitters,

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and a traditional Sangrita cocktail served with Fortaleza Tequila.

Another favorite was JW Marriot Starr Pass.

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We sampled a Mexican Mojito and Sweet Tequila cocktails, as well as salsa fresca and Mojito pico de gallo. Mojito all the things, please. We loved the combination of grapefruit, mint, tamarind, and sweet and sour, balanced by the perfect amount of carbonation. We’ve also been dreaming about the sweet and spicy pico de gallo, with mint tequila rum sorbet atop jicama, cucumber, radishes, jalapeno, and oranges.

We also had to stop by Queen Cerviche’s booth because bitches love dogs.

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And organic hibiscus margaritas.

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We found more delicious food offerings from El Cisne.

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The Mole Delights, featuring house made mole with 26 herbs, 5 spices, and chicken served over cucumber were light, refreshing, and just what we needed after an endless amount of tacos.

Then we got a little too confident {we blame the Mojitos} and tried Taste Like Burning Salsa Company’s Hellfire & Brimstone Resurrected Salsa. And immediately had to run to the neighboring Cesar Chavez tequila booth for some liquid to wash down the salsa.

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But then we also needed something to wash that down with. Luckily Barrio Brewing was there for us with their Blonde Ale.

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Eating and drinking is what Bitches do best, but we also had a great time dancing along with Orquesta Salsarengue.

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We love getting out of Phoenix to eat and drink new things so our trip to Tucson for #SalsaTequila2016 was a weekend well spent. We are always looking for restaurants to try, so if you have any recommendations let us know in the comments!

See the full list of event participants, sponsors and challenge winners here.

Cheers,

The Bitches

{Photos by Samuel McGee}

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