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Criteria for judging The Best in the Wichita Metro Taco Challenge 2022

Best in the Wichita Metro Taco Challenge 2022By Mike Thayer

I'm making a restaurant list and checking it twice, 'gonna find out who's nice and not-as-nice...  See what I did there, a little play on a Christmas song, because given how many good taco eats there are in the Wichita Metro, it's probably going to take me until Christmas, perhaps longer, to get through the list!  And no, I don't anticipate any restaurant being 'naughty.'

In making that list and reviewing menus, this is not only going to be a lengthy Challenge, but a complex one.  The definition of taco is broad and the authenticity is regionally connected, so the judging of tacos will be intense.  Here's the definition of taco per

taco (tah-kho)  Mexican Cooking. a tortilla filled with various ingredients, as beans, rice, chopped meat, cheese, and tomatoes, and folded over in half or rolled into a loose cylinder shape.

Authentic tacos are soft tacos.  The hard corn shell varieties most Americans grew up on, i.e., Old El Paso, Taco Bell, Ortega, that's an American thing.  No hard shell varieties of tacos will be included in this Challenge. 

Corn vs. Flour Tortillas

They're both authentic, for the most part it's soft flour tortillas in northern Mexico and soft corn tortillas in the south.  Both are authentic so both will be judged.

Carne Asada, Al Pastor, Carnitas, Pescado, Pollo

Beef, Pork, Fish, Chicken... This is where the complexity of tacos gets folded...  See what I did there with the folded?...  You fold the tortilla...  Moving along, there's a great deal of variety in meats and a variety in the preparation methods.  The thought had occurred to me of judging only beef tacos, but that wouldn't be doing all tacos justice.  The definition of taco is broad, so I have to take a broad sampling to find the best in the Wichita Metro.  What a problem to have right?  Judging all these great taco varieties?

Being evaluated on a point system scorecard will be a plethora of categories that includes but is not limited to the appearance, meat, seasoning, tortilla, filling to tortilla ratio, how the taco is dressed (that means the assortment of veggies, sauce/salsa, etc., for those of you who live in Valley Center), price and of course, the TASTE  Compiling all that data as I go from restaurant to restaurant, I'll post all the numbers for each taco joint sampled in a final report for an overall Taco Joint winner to include a breakdown of best taco types, i.e., "Best Carne Asada", "Best Carnitas" etc.  In the event of a tie, the tiebreaker will be the cost. 

I'll be kicking off the Best in the Wichita Metro Taco Challenge 2022 on National Taco Day, October 4, a Taco Tuesday!   What a GREAT day to kick off this Challenge!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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