Cinco de Mayo: Two Ways to Celebrate

Cinco de Mayo: Two Ways to Celebrate
The annual Cinco De Mayo parade along 22nd Street in Chicago. — Chuck Berman, Chicago Tribune, May 5, 2013

Although the Cinco de Mayo parties, festivals and parades have been going on all weekend it’s not too late to celebrate. Today, May 5th, is the official day of Cinco de Mayo that pays tribute to the 1862 military victory known as the Battle of Puebla where the outnumbered Mexican military dealt a disastrous blow to the French forces under the command of Napoleon III.

The day is celebrated in Mexico, especially in Puebla, with parades, festivals and speeches. In Chicago, with its large Mexican population, and even larger number of people who like to party, the day (and often the entire week) is celebrated much the same way.

In Chicago, Cinco de Mayo, is an early sign of spring. Crowds head to the rooftops, Mexican taquerias and outdoor patios to to sip margaritas and down their favorite Mexican fare.

Celebrations take place throughout the city and at homes. Today, we will take a look at how to put together an easy at home celebration and check out a couple of city happenings.

IN TOWN

1. The Big Party continues...

Pilsen and Little Village on the Southwest of Chicago is the heart of Chicago's Cinco de Mayo celebration. The Hispanic community along 26th Street at Kostner Street holds their Cinco de Mayo festival over 4-days. The big parade was yesterday but the carnival and other activities continue through today.

2. Today only (May 5) DMK Burger Bar salutes Cinco de Mayo with Three Amigos Sliders for $10...

Fiesteros can sink their teeth into the following:

mexicanslidersUno. The Chilaquiles Burger (beef patty, scrambled eggs, jalapeño, tortilla chips, tomatillo salsa verde and Sonoma jack cheese)

Dos. The #4 (roasted Hatch green chile, fried farm egg, Sonoma jack, smoked bacon).

AND...Tres. The #6 (chorizo, guacamole, Sonoma jack, chipotle aioli, cilantro, onions) will be served for Mexican-inspired munching.

All for diez dolares--at the Lakeview and Lombard DMK locations.

DMK is also offering a special Cinco de Mayo Mexican Firing Squad drink--featuring a combination of lunazul tequila, housemade grenadine and lime for $8.

AT HOME

Cinco de Mayo is a great excuse for an at-home party and a whole lot easier than Thanksgiving--with simple ingredients that can be as easy as Mexican beer, chips and salsa.

If you want to put a little more effort into the menu, you can add some of these to your shopping list: Tamales, Tacos and Guacamole...which can be found at most grocery stores.

Pan Dulce

Pan Dulce

For dessert, how about ”Pastel de Tres Leches,"  (sometimes called "Tres Leches Cake”) or the sweet bread, Pan Dulce.  Both of these sweet treats can be purchased at most Mexican bakeries including Nuevo Leon Bakery, or Central Bakery in Pilsen or Mekato's Colombian Bakery in Lincoln Square.

Traditional drinks--including Mexican beer or Micheladas, often served with a lime (if you can find/afford one with the lime shortage), Mexican coke, and any type of tequila drink, especially margaritas--should complete the menu.

Add a little Mariachi music...and it's party time.

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