…That fateful day in 1862 when 4000 brave Mexican soldiers stopped an army of 8000 traitorous Mexican and French soldiers in Puebla, preventing them from seizing control of Mexico City. The French army was devastated; the loss in Puebla disabled them from supplying the Confederate rebel soldiers in the US Civil War. This allowed the Union army time to strengthen and ultimately crush the Confederates in Gettysburg, thus ending the war.
Food for Thought
So, of course Cinco de Mayo is deeply rooted in history and shaped the face of our world today, but did you know that many people drink Corona and eat lots of nachos on this day as well?
Although it has to be the best way to ring in spring, Cinco de Mayo is not really celebrated in Mexico and is essentially an American tradition, so you may not find fanfare at authentic restaurants. You can call ahead if you are looking for more of a celebration, but first check out the following opportunities for overflowing glasses of icy margaritas and deliciously spiced Mexican cuisine around WC:
The best deal for a muy delicioso lunch can be found at La Rancherita Mexican Taqueria and Groceries, located on Gay Street (by Rita’s), which has many Cinco de Mayo specials.
Tamales are $1.50 for the 5th of May
Tacos Dorados are on special for $6
Pozole (traditional Mexican soup with chicken or pork) served with 2 crunchy tostadas filled with beans, sour cream and cheese for only $6
Generously filled glasses of Horchata (water flavored with vanilla, almond, rice and cinnamon) and Aqua Natural de Tamarind (tastes like iced tea – tamarind is actually a fruit though) are being served for $1
WC Dish Recommendation: Get an office lunch-order going or give yourself a well-deserved break and dine there.
The 5th of May is a wonderful night to dine out with your los ninos (children) and introduce them to the joy of Mexican food.
No, no, no, not Taco Bell! Take them to Desert Moon in Exton, where the kid’s can dine on bean and cheese burritos served with rice, applesauce, a drink and even a chocolate chip cookie for a mere $3.99 – and you thought culture was expensive. Even if the kids start to rebel, don’t fret; they offer coloring pages and balloons to keep them at bay.
For Cinco de Mayo Desert Moon will be serving $2 tacos and cheese nachos, with $3 nonalcoholic Margaritas – mmm you can taste the party and still be a responsible parent! They also have a fabulous nacho bar with awesome guacamole as well.
WC Dish Recommendation: If the kiddies enjoyed their burritos and quesadillas take them back on a Tuesday, when children’s meals are buy one get one FREE. Or, wait a few more days and return on a Thursday when the kids’ meals are only $1.99.
Okay, now that we have dispensed the formalities, let’s talk about where the real Fiesta is for Cinco de Mayo.
On the Border in Exton will open their patio and bar area up for some cha cha cha-ing to DJ-spun tunes. Chips and salsa will abound on every table. Drink specials will be available for Dos Equis Amber and Lager as well as the quintessential Mexican cocktail, the margarita.
Coyote Crossing will kick off the Cinco de Mayo celebration on Thursday and keep the fiesta going through Monday. They will offer various drink specials on Corona, Dos Equis, margaritas and domestic and imported beers. On top of that, there will be piñatas (hmmm, drunk people… blind folded and whacking a stick – make sure the coast is clear before you run for the candy), Latin DJs and beer pong (yes, beer pong, so if you aren’t in college you can party like you still are).
WC Dish Recommendation: Take advantage of el fresco dining (don’t forget that Coyote has that fabulous rooftop deck); as of today the weather seems promising, so cross your fingers and wish for sun for a true Cinco de Mayo celebration!
Una Noche Romantica
If you are looking for a unique place to dine with that special someone this Cinco de Mayo weekend, I recommend El Portal on Gay Street. This intimate BYOB boasts a truly home-cooked Mexican meal lovingly prepared with hand-picked ingredients. Olcloric dancers will perform Saturday evening at 7 and 8:30, so if you time it right you can enjoy the show with your dinner.
WC Dish Recommendation: They serve frozen nonalcoholic margaritas and pina coladas for $3, so don’t forget to BYO tequila or rum. Also, make sure you check out their natural juice bar – so healthfully delicious!
Cinco Culture beyond WC
The annual 5 de Mayo Festival on State Street (between Union and Meredith) in Kennett Square is Sunday, May 4, from Noon to 5 PM. Enjoy shopping, food, entertainment and activities for the kiddies.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is exhibiting the work of renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo until May 18.
Go to Penn’s Landing and take the ferry to the Camden Children’s Garden May 9-10 to enjoy the Beautiful Butterflies, Birds and Cinco de Mayo Family Festival to commemorate the return of the Monarch butterflies from Mexico. The event will include crafts and a planting project.
Tickets: Children ages 3-11,$4; Adults, $6