Cinco de Mayo Specials

History takes a backseat to the food and drink deals on tap this Sunday

Leave it to Americans to turn another country’s military victory into an opportunity to drink. Such is the case with Cinco de Mayo (May 5), which will have people raising a salted margarita glass this Sunday for reasons that have nothing to do with the actual back story.

Not that that’s ever stopped us from spinning history into a half-priced cocktail special. But just for the record, Cinco de Mayo is not the Mexican equivalent of our Fourth of July. Mexico celebrates its independence day on Sept. 16. May 5 honors an upset on the battlefield in 1862, as the underdog Mexican army took down Napoleon III’s heavily favored French troops near Puebla City.

This weekend, however, expect the past to be lost amid a sea of Cinco de Mayo specials and events at restaurants throughout South Florida.

  • Bar Rita (1401 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale): It’s a 12-hour block party outside of Bar Rita and Tap 42, starting at 11 a.m. Expect discounted margaritas and Mexican beer, along with live music, specialty foods and much more.
  • Roccos Tacos: (1313 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale): Restaurant founder Rocco Mangel will let it all fly this Sunday, starting at 11 a.m. Guests will enjoy drink specials, DJs, live entertainment by Suenalo—and, yes, free tequila pours by Rocco himself. The party here goes on until 2 a.m.
  • Tacocraft (locations in Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and South Miami): All three locations will host a block party from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with live music, mariachi bands, outdoor bars—and, believe it or not, wrestling.
  • El Vez (401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale): On the heels of its one-year anniversary, Stephen Starr’s beachfront outpost has a major fiesta planned. Look for the vintage Don Julio pickup truck (with samples of Don Julio tequila) and then follow the ramp to the restaurant, where specials will include $13 hibiscus margaritas, tacos al carbon for $4 each, five for $5 Mexican chicken wings. DJ Spiff will be on hand, along with famed Mexican Elvis impersonator El Vez.
  • Lona (321 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale): Chef Pablo Salas is setting up an unlimited guacamole bar ($10 per person), and made-to-order Tacos al Pastor and Barbacoa tacos (two tacos for $12), from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. In addition, the restaurant at the Westin will have beer and tequila specials.
  • Pictured above: Beach House Pompano (270 N. Pompano Beach Blvd.): Unlimited bubbly flows from 4 to 7 p.m. (along with half-priced margaritas). Earlier in the day, check out the scratch-made egg burrito being served during brunch (10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.)
  • Quarterdeck (locations in Davie, Dania Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Fort Lauderdale Beach): The venerable neighborhood spot is serving $3 fish or blackened chicken tacos, as well as $11 Tres Agaves margarita shakers, throughout the day.
  • El Camino (locations in Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale): The party at this popular Mexican hot spot includes entertainment. DJ Savage Beattz will be at the Delray restaurant from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m.; the Las Olas location will feature the band Mariachi los Viajeros from noon to 4 p.m., and DJ Angelo from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. On the drink front, try the $7 shots of dark roast coffee tequila with notes of vanilla and cinnamon.
  • Doc B’s Restaurant + Bar (locations in Fort Lauderdale and Coral Gables): Doc B’s gets into the holiday spirit by slashing the prices on all of its tequila drinks in half, including the Internal Affair (tequila, jalapeño, pineapple, basil).
  • Seek and Find (2530 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables): The hip dining concept has a taco/margarita combo for $14—with some truly original, complex margarita options. The Gunsmoke features Cazadores Reposado tequila, mezcal de joven, lime juice, Cointreau, chickpea, applewood and black lava salt. The Day of the Dragon cocktail includes Casamigos Anejo, dragon fruit purée, Grand Marnier, orange juice, lemon juice, agave and spicy margarita salt.
  • M House (2524 Le Jeune Road, Coral Gables): The coastal European spot has half-priced drinks, starting with Sunday brunch at 11 a.m. and running until 10 p.m. Signature cocktails include The Khaleesi with Patron Silver, Solerno blood orange and fresh lime juice.
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