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Hippo de Mayo Taco Tour

When: Thursday, May 3, from 5 to 9 p.m.

Where: Downtown Manchester

More info: hippodemayo.com

Participating restaurants include The Farm, 36 deLux, Jillian’s, Wild Rover Pub, Milly’s Tavern, Fratello’s, Firefly American Bar & Bistro, Cotton, Ignite, Greg’s Place, Murphy’s Taproom, Hilton Garden Inn, J.W. Hill’s, Strange Brew Tavern, Breezeway Pub, Republic Cafe, Gaucho’s, Margarita’s, Midtown Cafe, Baja, Hooked, Murphy’s Diner, Planet Marshmallow, Lala’s Hungarian Pastry, Vino Aromas, Consuelo’s Taqueria and Red Arrow Diner.





Taco Tour to serve thousands
Vote for People’s Choice at Hippo De Mayo

04/26/12



April showers bring May — tacos? Yes, it’s that time of year again.

The Hippo is gearing up for its second annual Hippo de Mayo Taco Tour, which will be held Thursday, May 3, from 5 to 9 p.m. Last year more than 7,000 attended and devoured an estimated 20,000 tacos in downtown Manchester. Hippo publisher Jody Reese anticipates an attendance of 10,000 at this year’s tour, which could double the amount of tacos sold.

Reese shared some tips for getting the most out of the taco tour experience: bring cash, come early and map out a strategy.
“You will not get to all 30 tacos,” he said. A map of restaurants participating in the tour can be found in this, and the May 3, edition of the Hippo.

“The idea behind this event — it’s a bit like St. Patrick’s Day. We organize it, give advice, and it’s up to restaurants to implement that stuff … our goal this year is to get people in and out as fast as we can,” Reese said, adding that many eateries may opt to serve their tacos outside this year.

The Queen City restaurants that signed on for the 2012 Taco Tour will sell their taco creations for $2 each for a shot at being voted “People’s Choice” taco, an honor that will earn the restaurant $1,000 for the charity of its choice. The People’s Choice award will be voted on by event-goers via text message during the event. Voting codes will be released the day of the event, and each person will be allowed 10 votes, allowing him to cast more than one vote for a favorite taco. The Red Arrow Diner took home the crown last year.

“I love tacos and the versatility of tacos,” Reese said. “I love that [Hippo de Mayo] allows us to be outside enjoying a nice May night.” In its simplicity, Reese added, the taco could be one of the best foods ever.

“Think about it — a taco is a piece of bread folded, with stuff in it … a simple beef taco with avocado and a little lime can be the greatest thing you’ve ever eaten,” he said. “A chocolate chip taco can also be the greatest thing you’ve ever eaten.”

Chef Matt Provencher at 36 deLux (36 Lowell St., Manchester) plans to whip up both savory and sweet tacos for this year’s Taco Tour: a pork taco and a chocolate chip taco.

Planet Marshmallow Dessert Café will also be serving a sweet taco variety, said owner Heather Cox. Cox said she will likely serve a cinnamon-sugar coated soft-shell taco filled with vanilla ice cream and graham cracker crumbles, topped with strawberry salsa and a toasted vanilla marshmallow.

New to this year’s event, restaurants will vie to receive $1,000 for the charity of their choice by being named “Judge’s Favorite.” Hippo food writer Angel Roy (who will live tweet the event at @HungryHippoNH between bites), Hippo food columnists Stefanie Phillips and Sarah Shemkus, and Seven Days food writer Corin Hirsch will serve as Taco Tour judges.

“We wanted … [a winner] to be chosen by some foodies to encourage a lot of restaurants to make ‘super foodie’ tacos. … We want them to be as creative as possible,” Reese said. The name of the winning restaurant will be blasted out to all text voters and will also be posted on Facebook and Twitter the night of the event.

By following @hippotaco on Twitter during the tour, event-goers will be able to get information as to which participating eateries have the shortest wait times, in real time.

Superheroes — locals dressed in costume as The Avengers — will serve as taco tour guides, trolling the streets of downtown to answer questions. Water stations will be set up downtown.

A Dos Equis-inspired Most Interesting Man One Liner Contest will be held at Murphy’s Taproom (494 Elm St., Manchester) the night of the event at 9:30 p.m. Those who contribute their one-liners will receive a Hippo de Mayo T-shirt, while supplies last. Reese shared a line of his own: “He’s the only man to beat New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch and have the governor thank him for it.”

“That’s the type of thing it should be,” he said.

The Taco Tour, Reese said, serves as a great way to showcase Manchester, as the city has become a dining destination over the years not only for the Granite State but for New England.

“I think this is still the world’s biggest taco tour — prove me wrong, somebody — but I think it is,” he said.






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