Unlimited guacamole while supporting a good cause? You know we had to be there. This year on Thursday, May 26th mass crowds gathered for the sold out event. This sunny evening at Morgan’s Pier was nothing short of perfect to set the scene for the 4th Annual MANNA Guac Off 2016 competition. Attendees got to eat unlimited chips and guacamole sample, enjoy a taco bar and drink specials while helping support MANNA’s mission.
For the 4th year of Guac Off, the competition was skilled, creative, and thinking of new ways to wow the audience with their restaurant’s guacamole. This year’s competitors were Besito Mexican, Cafe Ynez, Dos Segundos Cantina, La Calaca Feliz, Los Camaradas, Lucha Cartel, Morgan’s Pier, Revolution Taco, Square 1682, and Xochitl.
Each guest was provided with a voting ballot naming the participants and a ticket for the create-your-own taco bar. Then with unlimited chips provided by Whole Food Market, and a Watermelon Rickey in hand the night begun. Square 1682 and Xochitl were some of the first we tried as their table was set up immediately to the right of the sign-in table. Xochitl might’ve been our personal favorite of the night with their Tequila flavored guacamole with grilled ham, roasted jalapenos, roasted bell peppers, caramelized pineapple, Monterrey jack cheese, and cilantro. Dos Segundos also had a very unique creation with Hawaiian albacore confit, pickled ginger radish, wasabi crema, and yuku tobiko ontop of a wonton taco crisp.
The judges panel this year included Alex Holley of Fox 29 Good Day Philadelphia, Marilyn Russell of BEN FM, Chef Robert Legget from Guerilla Ultima BBQ, Chef Eric Gantz from MANNA, Ian Hussey of the Pennsylvania Ballet, and Roberta Pipito of Homemade Delish.
The create-your-own taco bar was a great addition to the evening. Although I could easily eat my weight in guacamole it was a more filling option for dinner. The base was a flour tortilla with seasoned grilled chicken. Of course there was more guacamole to add onto your taco and surprisingly a sweet and spicy mango habanero salsa which we loved!
At the end of the evening the Guac Master was crowned! Congratulations to the Judges Choice, Revolution Taco and the People’s Choice, Square 1682 Restaurant. We cannot wait to come back next year to see who is willing to go head to head to become the next best guacamole in Philadelphia!
We would like to thank Laura Payne and Emily Gallagher for providing us with tickets to MANNA’s Guac Off. We are so happy to support such a great cause that also has such delicious events.