The 2019 Sactown Nachos Festival promises to pile on the cheese

Sactownnachos Chandostacos 1
Photo courtesy of Chando's Tacos
Go crazy for queso at the Sactown Nachos Festival, which will serve up myriad variations of the finger food.

It’s crunch time, Sacramento. Get ready to go over the top with toppings at the third annual Sactown Nachos Festival, which will take place on Saturday, Aug. 24, at Cesar Chavez Plaza.

For the classic nacho aficionado, Chando’s Tacos will offer its fan-favorite traditional take, comprising a pile of crispy tortilla triangles, heaping mound of meat (pork adobada, carne asada, carnitas or chicken), nacho cheese, guacamole, salsa, sour cream and pico de gallo, cilantro and diced onion. Chando's—which will also serve its whole menu of tacos, burritos and mulitas during the festival—will also roll out the "quesataco," a taco shell made from melted cheese that's stuffed with meat and topped with cilantro, onions, guacamole and salsa.

The local chain, which has won the Best Nachos title the last two years, will attempt to three-peat this year. “When we make our nachos, we don’t try to be unique—authentic Mexican street fare is what we shoot for," says Chando’s Tacos event coordinator Fabian Harris about the winning recipe. "If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”

Meanwhile, vegetarians can stop by Vegan Van 916, where chef Ian Carty will be dishing out a plant-based version topped with a yellow curry "cheese" sauce. Looking to sweeten the bowl? Cowtown Creamery will be slinging its popular dessert nachos made with kettle corn chips topped with vanilla soft serve, your choice of caramel or chocolate sauce and additions like M&M’s and crumbled Oreos. Make the rounds to try other nacho variations from the likes of Azteca Street Tacos, California Street Tacos and Drewski's, which will be serving up its signature totchos—tater tots topped with pulled pork or beef, barbecue and cheese sauces, jalapeños, green onion and bacon. This year, each purveyor will also offer a mini $3 version of its proffered dish for easy sampling.

In between noshing on nachos, adults can grab a margarita or a cold brew from the beer garden or make their way to the silent disco, where Central Valley-based DJ collective Room 108 will pump everything from EDM and hip-hop to Latin fusion into headphones on three different channels. But if dancing is “nacho” thing, you can catch bouts of lucha libre wrestling matches and play lawn games like cornhole and giant Jenga. Proceeds from the event will benefit local nonprofit Project Optimism, which connects mentors with at-risk youth.

Sactown Nachos Festival will take place on Aug. 24 from 4-8:30 pm. at Cesar Chavez Plaza (910 I St.). Entrance fee is $10 in advance, $15 at the door. A $46 VIP pass includes access to VIP lounge area, two beer tickets, a T-shirt and access to the VIP entrance.

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