With most of the country and world on lockdown, and Cinco de Mayo happening on May 5, our party plans are forced to be canceled, and our taco dreams are dead. But wait! There are still ways we can celebrate our national passion for drinking margaritas before we make it to Hump Day.
Also known as the Battle of Puebla Day, this holiday celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s victory at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. It’s celebrated around the world as a means of appreciating Latin ancestry, culture and the resilience of Mexican people.
What food should you eat on Cinco de Mayo?
Here are a few eat- and party-at-home options while also supporting local businesses.
Summit County local Zac Dove’s favorite place is the locally owned carniceria La Perla in Silverthorne, Colorado.
“The entire menu is in Spanish," Dove said. "That is when you know you are eating authentic Mexican food. My favorite dish from La Perla is their carne asada tacos and their salsa bar is a must."
Courtesy Mecado La Perla
Hacienda Real in Frisco, Colorado, has been a favorite place among locals and visitors for more than 18 years.
Liz Ditz from Redwood City, California, says, “I am always a little cautious about restaurants located in shopping malls, but Hacienda Real was an absolute gem. We ate there February 25, 2020. I had the chile relleno + chicken enchilada combo plate, and my friend had the tacos al pastor. Both were high quality — but the tacos al pastor were especially good. We both had regular margaritas (I don't like fancy fruity ones), mine blended, my friend's on the rocks. The owner came by, saw that my margarita was too slushy (too much ice) and brought back another one that was more to his standards.”
Hacienda Real, 842 N. Summit Blvd., is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Its current menu is limited, so make sure to visit FriscoHaciendaReal.com and call 970-668-9956 to order.
Courtesy Fleex Garcia, Hacienda Real Facebook page
Sabor Mazatlan in Dillon is locally owned by brothers Marco and Eduardo. They offer authentic Mexican cuisine fused with traditional Mazatlan flavors. They are currently open for takeout food from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily with their full menu available. To order, visit SaborMazatlanDillon.com or call 970-455-8374.
Courtesy Sabor Mazatlan
If you prefer staying at home and cooking your Mexican-themed dishes, the Frugal Foodie Mama has a great three-ingredient crockpot beef tacos recipe. For a quicker vegetarian option, swap out the meat for black beans instead.
Courtesy Frugal Mama Foodie
What you should drink on Cinco de Mayo?
Well, the obvious answer is to whip up the perfect margarita. Chris Hall from Bon Appetit has made many, many margaritas and finally determined the secret to the very best margarita:
For one drink:
1 1/2 ounce tequila (100% agave a must, preferably a reposado)
1 1/2 ounce triple sec or Cointreau
1 to 1 1/4 ounce lime juice
Salt for the rim of the glass
Shake all the ingredients with cracked ice in a cocktail shaker until the exterior frosts. Strain into a glass over rocks or serve up in a cocktail glass.
Most important: Remember the origins of the holiday
While eating tacos and drinking margaritas might be the most exciting and fun way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, understanding this holiday's origins and the many lives that were lost on both sides is the most important way to acknowledge and respect the Mexican and Mexican American culture. Cinco de Mayo marks an important victory for Mexico in a battle against Napoleon's French army, celebrating Mexico's resilience and this unlikely victory.