You know those people who freak out when you say the word ‘moist?’ That’s me with the word “foodie.” If I mention that I write this column about the beverage part of the food industry (would that make me a ‘drinkie?’) someone will inevitably declare, “Oh! Well I am a serious foodie.” So did you get that designation from a 4-year-old after a rigorous vetting at the My Little Pony Culinary Institute? That unofficial title is also sprinkled around the web as an excuse to rip into chefs and bartenders with wild abandon. Peruse local online reviews and blogs, and you are bound to see useless info like, “So-and-so’s tacos were flabby & taste like my girlfriend’s tears when I gave her a used lawnmower for her birthday. ’ritas tasted like old socks. 1-star.” 

This fetishization of specific food and drink has screwed up a lot of good stuff lately. Remember Bakon vodka? Do you want to remember bacon-flavored potato booze? The same group of people who caused pork prices to spike dramatically has apparently turned its focus toward our precious Tex-Mex delights of tacos and margaritas. What were once simple and delightfully portable tastes of home have become dangerously trendy and altogether too serious a topic. 

The upshot is while bloggers are writing about the delicate floral notes of a gold-dusted, “elevated” bite of what’s essentially still a Frito Pie this weekend, you can snag some delicious, uncomplicated eats plus ice cold beer without being a total killjoy. On Saturday, the Weekly celebrates Cinco de Mayo with El Fuerte, a.k.a. TacoFest. It’s all going down at The Shack at Panther Island Pavilion (395 Purcey St, 817-698-0700) starting at noon for regular ticket holders and 11am for VIP-level purchasers. 

RG_Pres_Burger Battle

The 2017 celebration will feature delicacies to taste from dozens of area restaurants and food trucks. There will also be live music, theatrical performances, vendors, mariachis, VIP specials, a celebrity-judged competition, and tons of delicious beer and margaritas. El Fuerte sold out in record time last year, so purchasing tickets ahead is a must. 

Great food and beverage are meant to bring people together, not divide us, right? This event is ideal for interventions on friends who think eating is all filtered Instagram pics of elaborate foods they don’t actually enjoy. El Fuerte isn’t simply about shoving delicious eats in our faces and shotgunning Tecate, though that’s a pretty solid way to spend a Saturday. It also honors the unique cross-section of cultures in this community with a fun but not fussy focus. 

Back to me spiking the punch bowl with Listerine today, I have more bad news that our self-proclaimed foodie friends hath wrought: International drunk-food provider Taco Bell is jumping on the bandwagon by opening a wedding chapel at a Las Vegas location this summer. Yes, for a mere $600, you can be married by an ordained minister dressed, presumably, as a Dorito-crusted hard shell, before digging into the provided 12-pack of tacos and a Cinnabon Delights wedding cake and toasting with TB logo-bedecked champagne flutes. I hope they can hear the scoffing at such nonsense all the way from Texas.