Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

Tuesday may not be the most forgiving day of the week to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but if you want to be authentic May 5th is the day to get your drink on. While the date was originally meant to commemorate the Mexican Army’s defeat over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, I have never met anyone that actually knew that or celebrated that fact.  For most, it is an excuse to gorge yourself on Mexican food and wash it all down with Coronas, Dos Equis, Jose Cuervo or Patron tequila. And, I say, why not?

Flickr photo courtesy of JoeRocketh

So here are some of your best bets for great spots to celebrate.  Whether you drink your tequila with training wheels (salt and a lime) or are nicknamed “The Ice Luge” for all the shots that have passed by your lips at warp speed, good times can be had by all… Ole!

Cactus Club – While the Cactus club is a little more Tex Mex than straight Mexican, they have a great tequila selection and the oft-voted best margaritas in town. For an added bonus, the enormous full-sized stuffed bison behind the bar occasionally shoots steam from it’s nostrils.  If you or your friends do not notice that early on in the evening, it can really freak you out once you have a few drinks in you.  (Funny to watch, frightening to experience). Location: 939 Boylston St., Back Bay;

Dick’s Last Resort – While Dick’s reeks of bad-Boston attitude and has a menu far from the flavors of Mexico – they are celebrating Cinco de Mayo – with $3 margaritas and Coronas for $3.50.  That’s reason enough to celebrate.  And when the waitress starts giving you lip, you’ll have enough in the tank to fire right back. Plus, with their fancy new location in Fanueil Hall, you’ll get all of that classic dive with a little less of the grime.  Location: Fanueil Hall Marketplace, Quincy Market Building; boston.dickslastresort.com

Fajitas & Ritas – If you aren’t in the mood for the bar scene but still desire a little nosh and drink – Fajitas and Ritas is a fairly inexpensive and fabulously delicious way to spend the evening. Since ’89 this Downtown Crossing hideaway has been a favorite of all who enter.  It’s a fun and comfortable atmosphere with food and drink that will have you craving it for multiple days after your first experience.  This is the kind of place that could easily become habit forming. Location: 25 West St by the Boston Common and Downtown Crossing; fajitasandarits.com

Masa Restaurant– Who can pass up the chance to see a live Mariachi band?  Really?  Masa Restaurant offers a southwestern menu with a distinctive Mexican influence, including margaritas almost too pretty to drink (almost). If you are a Bostonian by day and Suburbanite by night, try their location in Woburn as well.  It may help if you can cab it home after this one. Both locations will offer mariachi band entertainment for Tuesday, May 5th. Locations: 439 Tremont Street, South End, Boston or 350 Cambridge Road, Woburn; masarestaurant.com

Whether you venture out or stay in to cook up your own Mexican classics, Cinco de Mayo is a great excuse for a Tuesday night party.  The only problem is, explaining away the side effects of working with a 2 day long hang-over.

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Julie Salickram is contributing writer/blogger for DirectoryofBoston.com

Follow me at twitter.com/julesac

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