When Everardo “Ever” Garcia emigrated from Durango, Mexico, about 30 years ago, he brought his taco recipes with him.
They were passed down to him like family heirlooms. He’s kept them secret over the years.
Garcia, owner of Ever’s Tacos and Burgers food truck, will be among about a dozen vendors selling $3 tacos at this Saturday’s Everett Taco Fest in the parking lot at Angel Of The Winds Arena.
The new event will also include lucha libre (Mexico’s version of professional wrestling), a hot chili pepper-eating contest, a beauty pageant for tiny dogs dressed up as tacos, a tequila expo tent and a taco competition where you get to vote for your favorite.
Garcia, 47, prides himself on cooking authentic Mexican dishes. All of his tacos and salsas are made from scratch, just the way his mother taught him. He started his food truck business in December 2018. (Ever’s is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday at 12822 Highway 99, Everett.)
He’s made a fan out of locals after one bite of his tacos.
“I want people to feel happy when they eat my tacos,” he said. “They know they are having delicious, authentic Mexican food that is cooked with love.”
He goes the extra mile in preparing taco meats — steak, chicken, beef, pork and beef tongue. For example, Garcia marinates the pork for 24 hours and then cooks it slow over a low flame.
While the al pastor tacos are his best-sellers, Garcia’s alambre special takes a close second. That dish is made with grilled steak, green bell peppers, onions and chopped bacon topped with melted mozzarella cheese.
More than 2,500 are expected to attend the taco fest. The hope is that it will be popular enough to become an annual event, according to Ryan Hart, marketing director at Angel Of The Winds Arena.
Hart said the festival is about celebrating a love for tacos and the Hispanic culture surrounding them.
“Tacos are one of those things that’s universally loved,” he said. “It’s something people can share or bond over.”
Others from Snohomish County serving tacos include Lynnwood’s Taqueria Puebla, Bothell’s Aca Las Tortas and A&A Cafe & Tamaleria from Everett.
In addition to traditional tacos with fillings like chicken, beef and pork, there will also be veggie and “anything goes” tacos.
“If you can think of it, I’m sure there will be a taco maker here on Saturday serving it,” Hart said.
Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.
Los Agaves’ al pastor tacos
While Ever’s Tacos and Burgers won’t share the secret family recipe for its signature al pastor tacos, Seattle’s Los Agaves has — and the Pike Place Market vendor will be at the Everett Taco Fest. Chef-owner Jaime Mendez, a Mexico City native, is known for his slow-braised meats and poblano-flavored mole sauce.
For the marinade:
1 ounce El Yucateco achiote red paste
1 ounce white vinegar
1 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 boiled guajillo chili pepper, seeds removed
1 boiled mulato chili pepper, seeds removed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tablespoon fresh garlic
1 tablespoon onion
¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
For the tacos:
1¼ pounds pork shoulder steaks
1 cup fresh diced pineapple
Making the marinade: Blend the achiote paste, white vinegar, orange juice, chili peppers, thyme, bay leaves, garlic, onions and salt to make a paste.
Slather the marinade onto the pork shoulder. Let the meat marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Heat oven to 350. Spread cooking oil in a shallow pan. Place the pork in the pan and cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Serve chopped pork with your favorite tortillas and salsas. Garnish with the diced pineapple. Makes 5 servings.
If you go
Everett Taco Fest is scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 10 in the parking lot on the corner of Broadway and Wall Street at Angel Of The Winds Arena in Everett. Tickets are $11 in advance and $15 the day of the event. Children 12 and younger get in free. Call 866-332-8499 or go to www.angelofthewindsarena.com for more information.
The hot chili pepper eating contest will be held at 3 p.m. It’s presented by Bohica Pepper Hut, known for growing the Carolina Reaper, the hottest pepper in the world.
Watch lucha libre wrestling around the ring and then meet the entertainers themselves after the fight.
The tiny “taco dog” beauty pageant at 1 p.m. is for pooches weighing less than 25 pounds. Competition slots are limited. You must register to compete.