Here at Off the Grid, you could say we’re a little obsessed with tacos…. So much so that last Friday, we dedicated an entire night to these highly revered, endlessly versatile, hand-held semicircles of joy. Our 1st Annual Taco Takeover event was a huge hit, with over a dozen Off the Grid creators whipping up their own unique takes on this classic delicacy, including Mission Street Food, Frozen Kuhsterd, Jeepney Guy and Jackrabbit. To top it all off, the Don Julio Tequila satellite bar was slinging margarita rosas all night.

The stakes were high, as bragging rights, egos and both a “Judge’s Choice” and “People’s Choice” for ‘Best Taco’ were on the line. The People’s Choice Award sourced votes directly from our Off the Grid guests, while the evening’s esteemed panel for the Judge’s Choice Award featured:

– Anthony Myint, Co-founder, Mission Street Food & Mission Chinese Food

– Sarah Qadri, Municipal Marketplace Manager, La Cocina

– Omar Mamoon, Journalist (Esquire, 7X7, SF Chronicle)

– Matt Cohen, CEO & founder, Off the Grid

With 11 taco entries to sample (less two from Mission Street Food and La Cocina alum Mi Morena that weren’t eligible for fairness), our judges had their work cut out for them. Luckily, they all arrived hungry. Each taco dish was evaluated in three categories — flavor, presentation and creativity. These weren’t your run-of-the-mill tacos either, as the lineup featured numerous unique creations like a bratwurst taco from Little Red Riding Truck and a Pork Belly Asian Taco from The Rolling Duck.

After much consideration and debate among the judge’s panel, the verdict was in. It was a close call, but the savory, flavor-packed spicy garlic shrimp tacos from Jeepney Guy emerged as the Judge’s Choice winner. As for the People’s Choice Award, it was no surprise that the fruity pebbles rice krispy ice cream tacos from Marley’s Treats took home the gold, with a dessert-packed dish that’s name sounds delicious enough on its own. Keep an eye out for these award-winning items making a comeback at Off the Grid: Fort Mason Center later this season.

If you missed the Taco Takeover, don’t fret. Look out for other special events coming to Off the Grid this season. And as always, you can get your hands on many of these tasty creators (and skip the line) with our VIP Tasting Ticket every Friday night at Fort Mason Center from 5-10pm.