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Get To Know Mezcal and Tequila at These Intimate Top Taco Pairing Dinners

This year’s taco festival adds a full Agave Week, with lots of cool not-to-miss dinners

Top Taco/Brustman Carrino

Riding high after the smashing inaugural success of the Top Taco festival last year, the organizers have added Agave Week ( a full week exploring the plant used to make both tequila and mezcal) leading up to the festival on March 15.

And, sure, Top Taco is the crown jewel of the week (it’s an opportunity to spend an evening feasting on a massive number of tacos in the noble pursuit crowning one the “top taco” in New Orleans), but these pairing dinners offer a more intimate way to explore tequila and agave.

On Monday, March 12, Casa Borrega and Suerte Tequila team up to create a five-course Oaxacan meal paired with unique agave cocktails. $75, limited seating. 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March 13 brings a traditional pig roast to new Warehouse District taco hot spot, El Patio. All-you-can-eat tacos for $10 ($5 with Hornitos VIP mix-off tickets). Plus, El Mayor margaritas.

On Wednesday, March 14, a three course Latin-themed dinner from Brian Landry is scheduled at the the Caribbean Room at the Pontchartrain Hotel.

Also on Wednesday, March 14, Denver restaurant Señor Bear pops up at the Ohm Lounge. This looks a little more free wheeling — tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at the door. 6:30-9:00 p.m. (Stick around afterwards for the official Top Taco pre-party with DJ Manny Fresh.)

On Friday, March 16, the week ends with a “Farewell Fiesta” crawfish boil at Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar along with complementary samples of their creation, the Top Taco Patron pineapple crawfish boil margarita. 1 to 4 p.m.

Plus, here’s a little Top Taco fest intel: Although most restaurant competitors are keeping their Top Taco entries to themselves for now, one delicious pairing that has surfaced — Nacho Mama’s has paired up with Hornitos to serve a chorizo breakfast taco –- chorizo, potatoes, cilantro-lime crema, and cracklins paired alongside blackberry tequila bramble made with Hornitos, Triple Sec, blackberry puree, basil simple syrup, and jalapeño — and garnished with Grand Marnier-soaked blackberries.

Grab Top Taco tickets here.