You had me at endless tacos, beer and margaritas. Thrillist hosted it’s first annual Luncha Libre, Taco Knockout event at Villain in Williamsburg celebrating Cinco De Mayo weekend. Apon entering this jam packed meaty utopia, I was given the greatest challenge of my life, to pick only one taco to win the coveted championship belt.



Ultimaly the gods smiled on Tequila Park’s Lamb Belly Pibil taco, which was carefully made of lamb belly pibil, smoked mushrooms, marguez sausage, borracho beans, pickled onions and drizzled in habanero-mint salsa.  And it was Tequilia Park’s chef, Steve Peterson, who took home the sacred Luncha Libre championship belt.


Los Perros Locos changed the game up with their “El Perro Meximus Beef Hot Dog Taco”, which was made of three quesos, apple chipotle coleslaw, grilled corn, sriracho pico de gallo, chorizo, fritos, salsa verde, salsa ChipZana and then rolled in a tortilla and deep fried. I get the meat sweats just thinking about it…

I have to say my favorite was Cantina Royal. Whenever I am in Mexico I always make a point of getting chicken mole at a mom and pop place. I don’t know if it’s the water, but I have never had mole even close to as good as the mole I have in Mexico. With that said, I was pleasantly surprised the Cantina Royal rendition. Chef Julio served tia meche pork with his signature orange mole sauce, which by the way was mind blowing. I get the feeling this chef was raised with authentic Mexican cooking. This would explain why he picked a traditional dish and made it his own without  changing the integrity of the original dish.

ExchangeAlley  BronxBakingCoJoeDough  CantinaRoyal

When I wasn’t stuffing my face with tacos, I made time to hit up the DIY hot sauce and Coors Light michelada bar. As someone who adds hot sauce to everything, including my spaghetti, I really like the idea of making my beer spicy. At one point I succumbed to peer pressure and took a shot of Herradura tequila. Usually just the smell of tequila can seem too harsh for me. I was surprised by how smooth and  somewhat smoky the Herradura was. After that I was feeling unstoppable and I stopped to get luchador face painting.



I topped the evening off dancing with my friends and enjoying libations and music by DJ Haitian Hillbilly with Diablo Dimes and Los Deacons. The whole day was a great success and I can’t wait for next years Taco Knockout.

– Heather Duge

Pictures by Kimberly Mufferi via Thrillist