Motley Brews Hosts Third Annual Hopped Taco Throwdown


Motley Brews hosted its third annual Hopped Taco Throwdown at Zappos Headquarters’ backyard in Downtown Las Vegas, a venue typically closed to the public, on Saturday evening. The festival offered unlimited samples of over 100 craft beers and an assortment of tacos, showcasing the creative skills of some of Las Vegas’ top chefs in a culinary competition.


Demonstrating innovative culinary skills and vying for the title of “Hopped Taco Champion,” chefs from across the city competed in a fiery taco competition with three categories: Hopped Taco, for best-beer-infused taco; Taco Loco, for most creative taco; and Taco Dulce, for best dessert taco.


This year’s competitors included Chef Adam Pusateri from Cut and Taste, Chef Chris Bulen from Andiron Steak & Sea, Chef Bryan Forgione from Buddy V’s Ristorante, Chef Oscar Amador Edo from EDO Gastro Tapas & Wine, Chef Marc Marrone from Graffiti Bao and Pina by Graffiti Bao, Chef Roy Ellamar from Harvest by Roy Ellamar and more.


The 2019 winners of the Hopped Taco Throwdown competition include:

  • Matt Meyer from Served with “The Pickled Mick” for “Best Hopped Taco”
  • Chef Phillip Dell with “The “Original” Pork Star Taco!” for “Most Creative Taco Loco”
  • Matt Meyer from Served with “Tropic Like It’s Hot” for “Taco Dulce”


Motley Brews brought together local and regional breweries to complement the event with endless samples of craft brews, including local favorites Crafthaus Brewery, Joseph James Brewing Company, Inc., Lovelady Brewing Company, Ellis Island Brewery, Tonopah Brewing Company, Big Dog’s Brewing Company and more. Guests posed for a photo booth and enjoyed entertainment and various wall art installations provided by Zappos throughout the evening.


About Motley Brews:

Founded in 2010, Motley Brews was created for locals, breweries and brew fans alike to share great libations in a true local setting.  Motley Brews develops beer-centric festivals and events throughout the Southwest, including San Diego, Las Vegas and Pasadena, Calif. Motley Brews’ annual Great Vegas Festival of Beer, founded in 2011, is Nevada’s largest craft beer festival. Motley Brews supports local non-profits with every event, raising more than $125,000 to date. More information about Motley Brews is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @MotleyBrews, or on their website at



PHOTO CREDIT: Beau Caldwell

Eat Like a Boss at Buddy V’s with New Menu Items and Updated Weekend Brunch! 🍝 🍝



New items hit the menu in addition to changes in entertainment, cocktails and happy hour

Mmmm…is the same in any language and Buddy V’s Ristorante is bringing all the mmmms with new menu items for lunch, dinner and dessert from Executive Chef Bryan Forgione, as well an updated weekend buffet brunch and Happy Hour! Buddy V’s Ristorante is a quintessential Italian experience by Buddy “the Cake Boss” Valastro exploring his family’s savory side with heirloom family recipes and inspired twists on Italian-American classics. Buddy V’s Ristorante is located inside the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas at 3327 Las Vegas Blvd. South #2812. Convenient and complimentary valet parking is available at Barneys New York, as well as ample self-parking at The Palazzo.

Along with old-school Italian favorites like Valastro Sunday Gravy, Lisa V’s Linguine & Clams, My Dad’s Bucatini Carbonara, and Chicken Parmesan, guests can now delight in a variety of new menu items including:

Ricotta al Forno – tomato-olive confit, marinated white anchovies, ciabatta crostini
Chopped Vegetable & Kale Salad (lunch only) – roasted beets, artichokes, zucchini, cranberries, almonds, feta cheese, pomegranate, white balsamic vinaigrette
Toscano Salad – baby arugula, prosciutto, roasted tomatoes, artichokes, lemon vinaigrette, pecorino romano
Quattro Fromaggio Pizza – ricotta, fresh mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, truffle oil
Madeline’s Roasted Vegetable Linguine – confit of zucchini, eggplant & tomatoes, spinach, kale, garlic, basil, pecorino romano
My Mother in Law’s Linguine Shrimp Scampi– tomatoes, spinach, white wine, garlic, lemon, pecorino
Fettucine Alfredo – garlic, white wine, parmesan cream, with optional chicken or shrimp
Caramelized Sea Scallops (dinner only) – smoked bacon, parmesan polenta, tomato fresca, micro basil
Osso Bucco (dinner only) – parmesan polenta, natural jus, gremolata
12 oz. Prime NY Toscano (dinner only) – parmesan dusted potatoes, chili, garlic, lemon, herbs
Traditional Tiramisu – ladyfingers with coffee soak, Kahlua, marsala, mascarpone filling, cocoa powder, chocolate caramel sauce

Served Saturday and Sunday 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., “Buddy’s Family Brunch” gets a refresh with a the addition of Sunday-Style Frittata, Grilled Sirloin with Chimichurri, Buddy’s Salumi & Cheese Table, Cannellini Hummus, Warm Focaccia, Smoked Salmon and Spinach & Artichoke Pizza to the buffet menu while introducing an ever-changing array of passed-to-table items selected by Chef Forgione.  Be sure to save room for dessert with the best candy selection in town and new tempting desserts including Mini Lemon Meringue, Chocolate Mousse, and a Cake Trio. Buddy’s Family Brunch is $39.95 per person, $14.95 for kids ages 10 and under.  For guests who want to add some booze to their brunch, Bottomless Libations are $16.95 per person and include bloody mary, sangria, mimosa, bellini, and a selection of beers and wine by the glass.

Strawberry Honey – muddled strawberries and sage, Bulliet Rye, Honey Wild Turkey, Elation pear liquor
Jersey on the Shore – Appleton rum, elderflower liqueur, passion fruit puree, float of Meyers rum

For guests who want some sweet and smooth sounds while they savor, the restaurant now welcomes Nicholas Cole and The Baker Boys three nights a week Tuesday – Thursday 5:30-9:30 p.m., in addition to Sunday brunch.  Buddy V’s also updates Happy Hour with $5 domestic bottles, red & white wine, prosecco, sangria, bloody marys and bloody caesars, as well as $6 small bites including favorites Grandma’s Meatballs, Mac & Cheese Carbonara, Roma Style Gnocchi, Sausage & Pepper Sliders and more.  New hours for Happy Hour are 3-5:30 p.m. daily in the lounge and 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on the indoor “patio.”

Buddy V’s offers the popular Express Lunch including Antipasto, Main and Dessert for $22 per person Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. The Private Dining Room is also available as a group purchase with seating of up to 50 guests and customized menus available. For additional information on booking the Private Dining Room, as well as booking private parties and general reservations, please call 702-607-2355.

Renowned baker Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro has opened his first restaurant inside Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas partnering with veteran restaurateurs Elizabeth Blau and Chef Kim Canteenwalla to bring a taste of Valastro’s family gatherings and beloved heirloom recipes to The Las Vegas Strip. Offering new twists on Italian-American classics and family favorites, the Buddy V’s menu will also stay true to Buddy’s baking roots with timeless treats.  For additional information visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @BuddyVs.