When it comes to drinking holidays, can we all admit that Cinco de Mayo is better than St. Patrick's Day? The food is better, the beer stays a delightfully normal color, and I'll take a mariachi band over a bagpipe any day of the week.
Saturday, as Americans show their delight at the Mexican victory over the French in the Battle of Pueblo in 1862, pretty much every restaurant with margaritas on the menu will be holding a party with all of the above.
Believe it or not, Cinco de Mayo doesn't have to be celebrated inside a bar.
How to find a fierce fiesta? We've got a few suggestions.
Join CultureMap and Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company for Berryhill Baja Grill's Cinco Drinko party in the Post Oak location parking lot from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event will include performances from two of Houston's best bands — The TonTons and Poor Pilate. Buffalo Bayou will also be serving its new summer brew to the public for the first time. Sshhhh — it's hibiscus!
There will also be a photo booth for fun themed pics and cheap drinks and eats, including $3 margaritas and $1 street tacos.
El Gran Malo is having a Big Bad Cinco de Mayo bash. From 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., the gastrocantina will feature MasterChef contestant Alvin Schultz's liquid nitrogen instant frozen margaritas, along with Karbach beers, boozy sno-cones, tequila-soaked fruit and champagne cocktails. There will also be carne asada and chili street tacos grilling under the street tents, plus a DJ and the requisite mariachi band.
If Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby falling on the same day is creating serious millenary concerns, head to Anvil Bar & Refuge with both your sombrero and your chicest chapeau. The bar is combing the two events with Caballo Day, which will include frozen mezcal margaritas, mint juleps, bourbon horchatas(!), micheladas and creative cocktails with hay and mustard greens starting at noon on Saturday.
Jackson's Watering Hole is also getting in on the hybrid action with El Derby Day. Running from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., quaffs will include mint margaritas and Mexican beer, plus Freebirds burritos, bets on the horse races and a contest for the best dressed guy and gal.
Believe it or not, Cinco de Mayo doesn't have to be celebrated inside a bar. Take the party outside and head to the first-annual East End Street Festival, taking place from noon to 8 p.m. An art car procession starts just after noon, and entertainment from the Bud Light stage includes Norma Zenteno, Pistoleros de Tejas, The Rebel Crew Live Experience with DJ Joe B and folklorico dance troupes.
There will be food trucks competing for Best Taco and Best Decorated awards, and a children's area that includes a petting zoo, face paint and a bike safety rodeo. Best of all, admission is free.
If you've never been to Hugo's Cinco de Mayo brunch, you should put it on your Houston Bucket List immediately. The buffet of traditional favorites is $27 per person ($12 for kids 12 and under), with drink specials on cocktails featuring Tres Generaciones and Hornitos tequilas. Entertainment by Viento and Mexican Folklorico starts at 11 a.m.
Once you've got some liquid courage in you, don't forget to check out H-Town Streats. Saturday is the last day the food truck is participating in the Dos Equis "Feast of the Brave," featuring exotic tacos including shark, alligator, cricket and a mystery taco (we hear it's quite a stinger).
Houston is competing against five other cities to see which city can eat the most adventurous tacos and be dubbed the bravest.