The 2012 Hippo de Mayo Taco Challenge was a great success, with a huge turnout, 30+ tacos to enjoy, faster lines, and we even squeaked by with some good weather. Thousands of people came to downtown Manchester with cash in their pockets to indulge in $2 tacos of all kinds. I was thrilled this year to be asked by The Hippo to photograph the event, and capture all those delicious tacos. Pretty much the best job ever? You bet.
36 DeLux received a runner-up nod from the Taco Judges for their chocolately dessert taco.
Planet Marshmallow was a newcomer this year to downtown, but knocked it out the park with their ice cream dessert taco, and reportedly the longest lines of the night, and securing the Judges’ Choice win and $1000 for the charity of their choice, Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center. These kids were working so hard, trying to keep that line moving.
One of my favorite stops is El Rincon Zacatecano. These ladies are always so hospitable, so friendly, and so casual that you feel like you’re at your mom’s house when you go. I always feel completely taken care of and appreciated when I go there, part of a big happy family. It was one of my last stops of the night and I was honestly so tired I was going to skip it, but I knew I just HAD to stop by, with just about 30 minutes left in the evening. I enjoyed one of their delicious tacos pastor and was impressed as always at the completely homemade taste of it, with thoughtful touches of fresh lime and radishes. It tastes like love. ♥ Upon leaving, I shyly asked them if there was anything that they’d like me to take a picture of before I went, and one of the ladies beamed and said, “Us!” and pulled the entire staff together. Such a lovely, hardworking and happy group of women and I’m proud to have taken their photo that night.
Two of the tacos had a buffalo theme…. but they couldn’t have been more different. Red Arrow Diner (of Triple D fame) featured a BBQ Buffalo Pulled Pork Taco (with blue cheese dressing!), while The Wild Rover shook it up with their Fried Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese taco. Both were excellent.
Firefly featured the only build-your-own taco bar of the night, with their Bacon Cheeseburger Taco. You had me at bacon!
Hooked and Ignite also had an impressive line for some of the evening with their Hooked on Taco.
Big thanks to The Hippo for noticing my work, and appreciating my all-encompassing love for all things taco and Mexican, street food, and celebrating local restaurants. All of my favorite worlds collide in gigs like this so I have to say Muchas Gracias!
For more of my images from the Taco Tour, check out the year that started it all, the very first annual 2011 Hippo de Mayo. And be sure to check out more professional photos from Planet Marshmallow too.