This is a personal judgment, obviously. I don’t know about every minor league team. I do know the Grizzlies consistently put out creative, innovative events and marketing strategies. The team (they had some help from the Beehive) was on the leading edge of the Twitterverse with its Tweetup events. We all know how successful the Taco Truck Throwdown has become. There’s also the team’s off-season web video series, which follows the exploits of its mascot Parker.
So, taco fans survived another year of the Taco Truck Throwdown. And quite happily, it seemed to me as I worked my way through the mob (there were a lot of people). For those used to eating tacos at 11:30 p.m. on the side of a road somewhere, the fact they were there with thousands of others was a treat.
There were more than five reasons to love this event. Thirteen to be exact, though sadly, I only tried two them (Tacos Tepa and Las Adas Manzanillo). The fact there were hour-long lines (the two I was in moved considerably faster) should prove that the Central Valley is serious about its tacos.
Or at very least happy to have an excuse to gorge on them.
So, how did it all pan out when the voted were tallied? Who has the best tacos in the Central Valley?
UPDATE:We now have a list of all the taco trucks participating in tonight’s event. If your favorite is not listed, make sure they contact the Grizzlies for next year. Also, congratulations to the Beehive’s taco-judge winner Angel Macias Jr. (du_ddah on Instagram).
If you’re still on the fence about going, here’s a video of the Grizzlie’s Sam Hansen talking about the Central Valley’s taco-truck culture and the motivation behind the throwdown.
In case you missed my column on Friday, it’s about food. Specifically, it’s about the ideological clash (and misconceptions) that can exist between meat eaters and vegetarians. At least one reader wondered if I didn’t have anything better about which to write. And OK, I’m not exactly a foodie, but food has been big on my mind the past week or so.
This weekend I judged the Clovis Elk’s Lodge‘s 2nd Annual rib cook off. The Elk’s are known for their barbecue, especially trip-tip, which they sell at Big Hats Days. The nine teams that took part in the cook off weren’t bad at all and produced (mess notwithstanding) some of the best ribs I’ve ever had. That’s a picture of the winning team. And, an Elk.
On a side note:The Clovis Elk’s Lodge is pretty cool. A friend describes membership as “drinking and fundraising.” I’m thinking it’s more of the later. The group’s “Purple Pig” program (which includes various sizes of purple piggy banks) raises money for disabled children and veterans. Throughout the state, it raised more than $3 million this year alone. Little known fact: The Elks raised the money for the first Veterans Home in California. At least that is what I was told.
This season, the organization is upping the ante, culinarily speaking, with the Bacon vs. Tofu night, June 27. They even have this cool graphic.
The idea is simple: Fans show up at the game and choose sides. You’re either for #teambacon or #teamtofu. Fans can vote and the results will be tallied and announced at the end of the night. There will be themed-games between innings and bacon and tofu-oriented businesses will be on hand to showcase their products.
Here’s the great part (and where The Beehive readers come in): The Grizzlies are looking for team captains, a couple of local chefs or foodie types who can whip up some culinary creations and help sway the vote. And they need your help. So, we’re throwing it to you. Who would be your choice to lead #teambacon? How about #teamtofu?
UPDATE NO. 3: CBS47′s Zara Arboleda declares authoritatively on Twitter: “Told you! The couple who “broke up” on Fresno Grizzlies’ Kiss Cam staged it. Now I have “official” confirmation. Ha!” She links to this pic, and writes on her Facebook page that both work for the team.
UPDATE NO. 2: Yes, this is silly stuff, but we’ve already opened this can of worms, so … now another Los Angeles Times writer has weighed in and thinks the video is fake (but interestingly never acknowledges his more trusting colleague). And NPR gets in on the action, too.
UPDATE: On his national Yahoo baseball blog Big League Stew, Beehive alum Mike Oz is likewise skeptical about the veracity of the Grizzlies video. But the sweet and trusting Los Angeles Times reports the story with the earnestness of a cute little mouse approaching a piece of cheese in a trap. Meanwhile, Beehive reader Ron Anderson finds a photo on a Grizzlies gallery of a staff member who looks very much like the spurned woman in the video.
Uploaded for your listening pleasure: Another episode of the all-things-Fresno podcast Flowing with Famous. Once again, I am joined by Fresno podcast icon Mike Seay, and once again we hit on all our favorite topics.
Fresno vs. Clovis
Some local music scene news
Fresno Grizzlies and the state of downtown
Plus, we’ve named another band of the episode. Spoiler alert: It’s Light Thieves.
And once again, the whole thing is slightly NSFW (sorry).
W/audio engineering by Reid May. You can stream or download the episode here or find it on iTunes, Sticker and the like.
The faire, a partnership with Fresno Idea Works, will be Sunday April 21 down at the ball park and feature all kinds of awesome DIY projects — think tech and 3-D, homesteading and sustainability and repurposing, recycling and reuse. It’s like your Pinterest board come to life.
But they need makers, and are taking applications through April 17. Anyone interested can fill out this form or go to www.FresnoGrizzlies.com for more information.
The winners of the tickets to the advance screening of “Parental Guidance” have been selected.
They are: Doreen Nagle, bebe, Jennifer Caser, Luis Solis. Shaonmemdez, Zach, Jeff Pierce, Gaynell, Dwight Wilcox, Jeanne, Rose, Gwen, Shell, Pam, Nancy Castano, Barry Falke, Deborah Hamilton, denise, Frances, Ken Chavez, Jackie, Julita, Ryan, Mary Vaux, Erica Perez, Oscar, Janet Klise, Barb, Sandra Terrel, Christine, Joanne, Cisco Mendez, Susan T, Fresno Dan, Haley P, Emily Wedin, Lita, Angie Rosenthal, Joseph Rodriguez, Kris, Wes, Angela Whitney, Dan, Kristi, Kristen Petersen, Carrie, Sergio, Efren, Kim, Alexy, Raymond Gonzalez, Ron, Dixion Bainbridge, Frank, Edith, Dave, Chris, Jason Valasquez, Kristi, Terri, Julio, Monica, Kelly Nicholson, Paul Schlesinger, Wes, Leonor Villamueva, Kristen Wilson, Amanda Delgado, Ernie, Brian L. Baker, Charlie and Robert Lara.
Hey, did you hear that the San Francisco Giants won the World Series? Oh yeah, totally happened. I’m sure you didn’t hear ANYTHING about it on Facebook or Twitter. Here’s one fun Fresno fact that you and your sarcasm detector might not know, though: 17 of the 25 players on the Giants’ World Series roster played for the AAA affiliate Fresno Grizzlies at some point.
Some players we saw a lot of — catcher and clutch home-run-hitter Buster Posey, Game 2 winning pitcher Madison Bumgarner and Game 4 tripler Brandon Belt, for instance. Others, like MVP Pablo Sandoval and unlikely Game 1 winner Barry Zito, we only saw briefly.
It’s hard to argue with the Grizzlies current “Farmgrown” marketing campaign. Just look at the pics below. In some cases these Grizzlies look quite different than the guys you saw soaked in champagne last night.
Judging from “SNL” and what I see on morning news shows, it seems like the viral video sensation “Gangnam Style” — a song from Korean rapper Psy with more than 220 million YouTube views — has now trickled down to the mainstream. So don’t be surprised when your mom asks you about it next week.
A total of 14,450 tacos were sold — that’s way up from 7,977 last year.
We had 13 trucks, from a variety of locales (Fresno, Sanger, Selma, Centerville, Fowler) and offered popular tacos like carne asada and al pastor, and the more avant garde, like Dusty Bun’s duck taco or Tako’s Spam taco.
The attendance at the Grizzlies game was 11,463, making it the fourth highest-attended game of the season and the fifth highest Thursday night game EVER for the Grizzlies. It’s also the 43rd highest attended Grizzlies game at Chukchansi Park.
That 11,463 figure was the highest attendance of the night in Minor League Baseball and even outdrew a pro game — the White Sox vs. Orioles in Baltimore.
A few other fun facts: 600 Taco Truck Throwdown T-shirts were sold, 125 #TacoTruckThrowdown pics were posted to Instagram and there were way too many Tweets to count.
Here’s some info on the winners, individual tacos sold and where you can find these vendors besides at Taco Truck Throwdown. Click the graphic below to enlarge.
Taco Truck Throwdown 2 was huge last night. The Fresno Grizzlies report attendance at 11,463, with more than 7,000 presales. No word yet on how many tacos were sold. But based on what I saw, it’s going to be a huge number. Look at all those people in line!
Thirteen taco trucks competed in the throwdown and two awards were given: People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice. Anybody who bought a taco was eligible to vote for the People’s Choice crown. Six judges sampled all 13 trucks and rated them 1-10. Our panel included: Liz Gonzales from KMPH, Danny Salas from Q97, Jason Oliveira from ABC 30, Richard Franco from New Rock 104.1, Bobby Salazar and me. Here are the results.
1. El Premio Mayor
2. La Elegante
3. Dusty Buns
1. El Premio Mayor
2. Dusty Buns and La Elegante (tie)
3. El Super Antojito
4. Tako BBQ
5. El Mexicano
This year’s Taco Truck Throwdown 2 is Thursday (Aug. 30). So if you haven’t started your pre-TTT fast yet, I’m going to recommend you do that ASAP. This year’s event, organized by us and the Fresno Grizzlies, promises to be bigger and better than last year’s — which you might remember was a monster.
People will, no doubt, have questions though, so I put together this handy-dandy guide to all things Taco Truck Throwdown to help you prepare for the event.
Keep on reading. Then come out and fill your face will tacos at Chukchansi Park.
If you’re a weekend grillmaster who thinks your tri-tip is the best in town, then you better hurry over to TasteFresno to sign up for this year’s Tri-Tip Cook-Off.
The third-year competition is happening Sept. 2 outside Chukchansi Park, but registration for tri-tip cookers closes Wednesday. This year, TasteFresno has also added a second competition for professionals. It costs $85 for amateurs to compete and $250 for pros.
For those of you who are just straight-up carnivores and want to eat, buy tickets here. They’re $15 in advance and include admission to that night’s Fresno Grizzlies game. More info about the event below.
People have been asking a lot lately, so it seems like a good time to stuff this yummy news down your face: Yes, Taco Truck Throwdown is returning for a second year. It’s happening Thursday, August 30 at Chukchansi Park.
We’ll still in the early planning phases, so I can’t tell you too much about what to expect beyond tacos, tacos and more tacos. You’ll recall that last year’s event had seven local taco trucks, serving up nearly 8,000 tacos.
All I can say for certain is we want it to be bigger, better and tastier. So if you know of a great taco truck that you’d like to see included this year, please leave a comment below or e-mail me info.
1. GO POP WITH THE GRIZZLIES
The Fresno Grizzlies have a pop culture-heavy weekend planned. Tonight is “Super Hero” night, where the team will be wearing “Dark Knight Rises” theme jerseys — as seen on ESPN.com, FYI. If you dress like super heroes, you get in free. Saturday, the Grizz host Disney actress/singer Zendaya Coleman from “Shake It Up.” She’ll be singing the National Anthem and signing autographs. [More]