Hometown Proud and Fun: Pasco - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hometown Proud and Fun: Pasco

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PASCO, WA - For this week's Hometown Proud and Fun, we visited our neighbor just over the water - Pasco! And Pasco is the best place for tacos!

In fact, the Pasco Taco Crawl raised over $10,000 for the Boys and Girls Club this year. Also, a brand new family-run business actually got crowned '2018 Best Taco in Pasco', so of course we had to visit them.

"Start with the base," said Alan Cruz, co-owner of Evergreen Mexican Grill. "It's a tortilla; tortillas are corn-made. Then you have your meat and your toppings. Throw the toppings on there and you gotta have the right salsa, too."

The specialty at the Evergreen Mexican Grill is the shrimp taco.

"Nobody in town has a shrimp taco like mine."

But in Pasco, you can find almost every kind of taco. Most of them fresh-made, homemade, from old family recipes. That's the case at Evergreen - Alan and his brother own it and their mom is the chef.

"All my tacos are handmade tortillas," Cruz said. "So it's just... you can't beat it. It's amazing."   

There are dozens and dozens of taco stands, trucks, buses, and restaurants in Pasco. You can try vegetarian, asada, adobada, cabeza, langua... those last two are meat of the head and tongue, but they're delicious!

"Yeah, tacos are a godsend. They're amazing."

Pasco's tacos are a huge draw for people all over the region. The Taco Crawl has sold out for the last two yeas. It's goal is not only raise money for the Boys and Girls Club - it's also to get people to downtown Pasco.

After our meal, we learn more about a historic building in the City of Pasco: the Franklin County Courthouse!

So let's take you back in time - 135 years to be exact - when Franklin County was created. Originally the courthouse was on Ainsworth and then it moved to East Lewis Street, for only $218. And it wasn't until 1912 that it was built on North 4th Avenue.

The architect, Lewis Wilson, was from Seattle and the beautiful art glass you see on the inside was done by Belknap Glass Company.

Over the years several remodels have been done, namely a $2.7 million grant that was approved by the state for the historical restoration aspect of the courthouse renovation.

And when you dig into the courthouse's history you also find the population records, and get this - in 1900 the population was only 486. In 2006, it jumped to more than 64,000... making Pasco one of the fastest growing counties in the state.

And now the population estimate is more than 73,000, making it the 16th largest city in Washington.

Something you might not know is Pasco has a lot of rich agricultural history. In fact, today we spoke with one woman who owns a produce stand and her family has been in the business for over 30 years.

It's hard work. Magdalena Villa says her and her father get up every morning at 4 a.m. to cut fresh asparagus to bring it out to the stand...she even told us some days they sell out in 15 minutes!

Villa also says not only does buying from local stands like this support the community, but it also allows you to actually see where your food is coming from.

When we go to the store and buy the produce, we often don't think about how it got there. But there are people here locally growing it, and Villa says the farmers really support each other.

"What we don't have... it's nice to go out to another farmer and say 'hey, we need this for our produce stand' or visa versa, they might need something from us," Villa said. "It's really important that we stick together as farmers around here also."

And it turns out the people here in the Tri-Cities aren't the only ones who love their fresh produce. She says they've had people order for their friends to send them in Montana.

Their stand is open Tuesday through Friday on Road 68 behind the Taco Bell from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Hometown Proud reporter: Tracci Dial

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