Friday, May 2, 2014

Cinco de Mayo Eats

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a celebration held on May 5. It is celebrated in the U.S. and regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla, where the holiday is called El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (The Day of the Battle of Puebla). It originated with Mexican-American communities in the American West as a way to commemorate freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War, and today the date is observed in the U.S. as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.  Here is a round up of my favorite Mexican restaurants and At Home recipes that would be great to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

Enchilada Verde at Bandolero
Bandolero: Delivers a menu of modern Mexican small plates, including tacos, ceviches, fajitas and guacamole, as well as margaritas and mezcal cocktails in Georgetown.

El Centro D.F. : Head over to 14th Street in the Shaw area for this swanky Taqueria & Tequileria that offers traditional culinary techniques combined with fresh, high quality ingredients to create authentic Mexican comfort food. I enjoyed their all-you-can-eat bottomless Brunch menu.

Oyamel: From José Andrés, chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup, this award winning restaurant combines Mexico’s rich regional diversity with the modern urban atmosphere of Mexico City. The liveliness of the dining room is matched by the creativity of the menu and cocktail list, featuring antojitos - Mexican small plates - ceviches and tacos, plus unique margaritas, and an impressive array of wines and tequilas.

Tacos from Pacifico Cantina
Pacifico Cantina: Located on Barracks Row, this restaurant has been most popular with the Happy Hour crowd for its large open-air roof deck. Lunch and dinner offer a pretty standard assortment of Tex-Mex starters and entrées, including nachos, quesadillas, fajitas and burritos.

Banana Cafe: If Pacifico Cantina is too crowded, go a few blocks down to Banana Cafe for Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Tex-Mex fare.

La Lomita: This casual Mexican Restaurant is a local favorite situated right along the busy Pennsylvania Avenue, only a block away from the Metro station. Serving authentic Mexican cuisine in a laid back environment, La Lomita's should not be overlooked.

Tortilla Cafe: Offering real authentic ethnic Latin American cuisine from El Salvador and Mexico, Tortilla Café was featured on an 2010 episode of Guy Fieri’s "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" on the Food Network, which gave new found exposure to this little restaurant.

Guapo's: With several locations in the metro area, Guapo's offers Mexican cuisine using fresh quality ingredients in all of their dishes. Menu items include delicious, grilled to perfection carne asada, succulent ceviche or signature Margaritas.

El Charrito Caminante: If you are looking for some traditional Mexican and Salvadoran food in Arlington you can’t go wrong with El Charrito Caminante. This hole in the wall on Washington Blvd specializes in pupusas and tacos, but you can get other items as well.

Commissary: Celebrate with a five-Course Dinner Tasting Menu for 25 people on Monday, May 5, 2014 at 7:00 pm. The Cinco Tasting Menu is $30, or $40 with six cocktail pairings featuring Sauza Tequila, mezcal, and Negra Modelo (tax and gratuity not included). Created by Chef de Cuisine Ben Tenner with pairings by Bar Manager Mario Alfaro. The optional drink pairing will feature cocktails that will fit a variety of palates from the neat Tequila drinker to the Mexican coffee drinker. Chef Tenner and Chris Schmidt from DC Spirit Distributor Ledroit Brands will discuss the food and drink pairings with attendees during the tasting.

Don't want to go out to eat for Cinco de Mayo? Try some of these easy Mexican-inspired recipes at home:

How do you plan on celebrating Cinco de Mayo? What are your favorite Mexican dishes?


  1. Love it!! I will be coming home from vegas! But I'll be sure to have a taco or two and a margarita or three to celebrate!!!


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