Cinco de Mayo Events Throughout NY
By Morris Gut
DINING OUT– It is the largest Mexican-American Cultural Celebration and it takes place on Saturday, May 5th this year, highlighted with Mexican food and entertainment.
Mexican restaurants all over the area are preparing their most exciting traditional specialties for their patrons. The Mariachi will be out in force, too, serenading the crowds. Historically, Cinco de Mayo commemorates The Battle of Puebla back in 1862, when the Mexican army surprisingly defeated French forces. Here in the States, the festivities include families, music and restaurants. If you want to participate, here are some suggestions around the area.
THE OFFICIAL BRONX CINCO DE MAYO EVENT!
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., in conjunction with the Mexican-American Community and C-Town Supermarkets, invite you to attend Cinco de Mayo in the Bronx. This year’s outdoor event will take place on Crescent Ave. between 187th Street and Belmont Ave. on Saturday, May 5th, from noon to 5 p.m. It will be an afternoon of fun for the whole family. There will be live entertainment, giveaways, and prize drawings, too. There is plenty of municipal parking in the area. Enjoy the Fiesta! For more info: www.bronxboropres.nyc.gov
Tosca, 4038 E. Tremont Ave., Bronx 718-239-3300
Sometimes there are celebrations where you least expect it. Tosca, the popular sprawling Italian/American eatery in Throggs Neck will be holding their annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration on their Rooftop on Saturday, May 5th. It will include an all you can eat Dinner Buffet, cocktails, entertainment and prizes. Cost is $39.95 per person. Look for such specialties as: Ceviche, Nachos con Carne, Quesadillas, Arroz con Mariscos, Enchaladas Rojas de Pollo, and Chili Rellenos. Typical Mexican desserts, too. Check ahead for final details. www.toscanyc.com
Rio Bravo, 1879 Palmer Ave., Larchmont 914-341-1546
Rio Bravo is a fine choice for Cinco de Mayo, a sprawling 200-seat environment strewn with colorful Mexican art and artifacts, and multiple seating areas with a big galloping bar/lounge for socializing. Brothers Edgar and Hector Brambila also operate a Rio Bravo in Fairfield, Norwalk, and another in Westport, CT. The menu is loaded with flavorful surprises: Milanesa Chicken Tacos, hand battered fried chicken wrapped in a tortilla covered with melted cheese, roasted poblano crema, pico de gallo and mixed cabbage; Torero Steak Fajitas, a giant portion of wood grilled marinated skirt steak; Southwestern Caesar Salad, a spicy twist to the traditional Caesar with corn, tomatoes, cotija cheese and chicken Milanesa, tossed with chipotle-ranch dressing; and Square Knot Salmon, achiote and lemon seared salmon with roasted pineapple. General manager Omar and his staff will take good care of you. Happy Hours in the galloping bar/lounge Monday thru Friday from 3 pm to 6 pm feature half price house drinks and appetizers. Taco Tuesdays offer $1 tacos at the bar. Large selection of Tequilas at the bar and you can also build your own Margarita. www.riobravotacosandtequila.com
Rancho Grande, 1789 Central Park Ave., Yonkers 914-337-3056
Mexican food and culture meld beautifully with celebration and big, sprawling Rancho Grande Mexican Restaurant in the Highridge Shopping Plaza along Central Park Ave. offers an exciting environment. Owner Mary Maloney and general manager and host Jose Perez are ready to take you on their tasty south-of-the-border tour. It is a multi-faceted 320 seat dining room and bar/lounge strewn with colorful art and artifacts. There is a lot of flavor in the Botanita Grande, combination platter of nachos, dry quesadilla, flautas, guacamole, chorizo, pico de gallo and sour cream; Guacamole prepared table side; sizzling Fajitas with your choice of fillings; Alambre Mar Y Tierra, steak, chicken, shrimp, with mixed vegetables, white rice and chile poblano sauce; and the Paella Luisita. There is a vegetarian version, too. Daily Happy Hours: 4 to 7 pm. Weekend entertainment schedule. Off-premise catering. Private party facilities. Free parking. www.ranchograndemex.com
(Morris Gut is a restaurant marketing consultant and former restaurant trade magazine editor. He has been tracking and writing about the food and dining scene in the Bronx and Westchester for 30 years. He may be reached at: 914-235-6591. E-mail: email@example.com)