Icehouse brought their A game with this presentation, featuring a tempura fried local shrimp taco and a prickly pear cocktail.
It's Taco Tequila Kombat time, y'all. If you've never participated in this event, sponsored by Lunazul Tequila and the Taco Kick Society
, you're missing out on some innovative taco and tequila combos. This year the taco/tequila match-ups (two restaurants compete for four rounds before a final showdown) are held at The Brick, 9 p.m.-11 p.m. one Monday night each month. Tickets are $20 for guests and get you two cocktails and two tacos.
Full disclosure: I'm the media judge this year, which means I kind of have to eat and drink my way through Charleston's best taco and tequila pairings. It's a rough life. At last night's competitors, Icehouse and Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, brought both the ice and the steak. Icehouse presented a tempura fried local shrimp taco made with North Carolina crab, chihuahua cheese, Mitla corn tortilla,
cilantro lime slaw, City Roots micro
greens, green pickled Laughing Ass Acres
breakfast radishes, and avocado pepper crema. Needless to say it was a tough act to follow, and Ruth's Chris's beer-braised prime steak with pineapple salsa and citrus molasses, as surprisingly good as it was, couldn't outshine Icehouse's.
As for the cocktails? For the competition, all drinks are made with Lunazul tequila, of course, and the idea is for each beverage to pair well with its accompanying taco. Icehouse's Get Prickled with My Nickle was made with tequila, prickly pear puree, pineapple juice, lemon, lime, and cilantro. The Ruth Chelada was a little spicier and more savory, made with pureed fresh pineapple, fresh squeezed lime, cajun Mexican syrup, tequila, and Mexican beer. Needless to say, Icehouse's tempura fried shrimp and Get Prickled cocktail took last night's prize.
If all the above sounds pretty damn tasty, then mark your calendars for the rest of the season:
Mon. June 19, Amen Street v. Tavern & Table
Mon. July 17, Nacha Mama's v. Stars
Mon. Aug. 21, Mex 1 v. Poogan's Smokehouse
Buy your tickets at citypapertickets.com.