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Restaurants & Bars

2018 Salinas Taco & Music Festival report

Melanie Wong | Aug 16, 201812:23 PM     1

Last month was the second annual Salinas Taco & Music Festival held at Northridge shopping center. When I first heard about it, I started looking for info on the 'net about the first one the prior year and came up empty. So I'm posting this brief report as a future reference.

Oddly, we didn't actually eat any tacos. But we did enjoy other items that were best in class.

The churros from the Happy Dog estilo Hidalgo cart were wonderful. I noticed that the vendor had brought a stand mixer, flour, cane sugar, and other ingredients to mix the batter on site. Fried fresh-to-order, these seemed to be a bit wider in diameter, lending themselves to a nice golden-brown crisp crunch while still staying moist in the interior. These were rolled in cinnamon sugar.

We also tried a couple of quesadillas from the Taste of Mexico stand. One was vegetarian with nopales and queso fresco, the other with chicharrones and flor de calabaza. Since both had cactus and crumbled cheese, it's hard to tell them apart in the photo. The thick tortilla was handmade from fresh corn masa, patted out on site, and griddled to order. So much flavor and richness.

I've posted separately about the Mexican flavored pizzas made by Tlaxiaco's here, https://www.chowhound.com/post/tlaxia...

I also admired the seafood coctel piled into a coconut made by Mariscos El Cartel. The customer let me take a photo of his order.

The festival had three bandstands and a constant array of performers. I loved the energy of the crowd and seeing people on their feet dancing.

The festival was free of admission charges. It was not well-publicized, so keep an eye out for it next summer.

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