Smile Politely

Saturday day drinking

Saturday was beautiful. The second annual International Beer Tasting & Food Truck Festival took place in Downtown Urbana and definitely saw a record crowd. Organizers moved this year’s festival to September from October, and Mother Nature provided sun instead of rain. The weather really couldn’t have been better. There were more food trucks this year, too. After Saturday, I felt assured that my claim of BEST new food and drink festival went to the right event.

Sure, there are things that need to be improved and adjusted for next year. Namely, I shouldn’t have paid $8.61 for an advanced online ticket purchase when tickets were $8 at the gate. Also, there could definitely be more seating, even though there was more seating than last year. And finally, let’s agree that pets should be left at home. (Even though doggies are so cute.)

What I appreciate about this festival the most is that it is straightforward: beer tasting and food trucks. No weird vendor booths, no sad Cramer Siding and Window salesperson putting fliers in your face.

The amount of beer available for tasting was ample. There were 35 tables, and hundreds of beers to sample. Tickets were 75 cents each, and there were plenty of beers available for one ticket. If you arrived in the first twenty to thirty minutes, you were probably one of the lucky few who received a commemorative glass.

Destihl and JT Walker’s were there, and there were timed released of special brews, and beers on draft!

For food, I sampled three tacos from three different food trucks.

Mas Amigos: chorizo taco, 3 tickets ($2.25)

The simplicity of this taco was much appreciated. It was a little greasy, but that’s par for the course with chorizo. It was delicious.

Healthy in a Hurry (Bloomington, IL): chipotle chicken taco, 5 tickets ($3.75)

Let’s just say that I wasn’t a fan of this one.  Also, I paid $3.75 for ONE taco that I didn’t finish. Ridiculous.

Cracked Truck: chorizo taco, 3 tickets ($2.25)

I was impressed by the use of fresh cilantro, but wished that the folks in the kitchen had taken the time to pull the leaves off — those stems were choking hazards. Also, easy on the sour cream. Overall, though, I’d eat this taco again. And again.

Check out the rest of my photos below.

All photos courtesy of Jessica Hammie.

[gallery beer_and_food_truck_showcase_2014]

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