PATCH PICKS: Viva! Cinco de Mayo!

We at Sammamish Patch know that many residents like to go to Redmond. So, here are places in that neighboring city to celebrate the holiday (which is actually more American than might think).

Good news for Americans looking to shamelessly celebrate holidays from foreign countries — tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo! Prepare to swap that Guiness of St. Paddy’s Day for a Victoria, Corona, Dos Equis or Negra Modello. Of course, if you choose “all of the above,” we strongly encourage you to call a cab for the ride home instead of the police car otherwise awaiting you in Redmond.

Chances are that most think Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Fourth of July, a day celebrating independence from a foreign power. Although the events celebrated on May 5 are certainly connected to freedom for Mexico, let’s set the record straight that Mexico actually gained independence from Spain on Sept. 15, 1810.

So what's so important about the fifth day of May? On May 5, 1862, 4,000 Mexican soldiers smashed twice as many of Napoleon’s French army who had come with Prince Maximilian to rule the new Mexican empire. Undefeated for 50 years, the French army had no fear and couldn’t fathom losing to a ragtag group of freedom fighters. The French were defeated by stampeding cattle and machetes.

But, here’s why Americans should celebrate Cinco de Mayo:

When the Mexican’s pushed back the French army, they essentially stopped supplies running from Napoleon to the confederate rebels. Fourteen months later, the Northern states were victorious over the confederates and the Civil War came to an end. Union forces immediately rushed to the Texas/Mexican border to supply the Mexicans, helping to permanently expel the remaining French forces.

So, head down to one of these places, drink a margarita and high-five your Mexican-American companions for helping us end the Civil War.

1. : You’ll find lots of tasty deals here including $5 margaritas, $7 Corona/tequila shot combo, buckets of Coronitas (miniature Coronas) and $8 appetizers. Be sure to stay for the Salsa Girls performing from 7 to 8 p.m. No reservations accepted. 425-881-8252

2. : Look for lots of deals in the bar from $4 margaritas to discounted appetizers. A DJ will also be spinning beginning at 5 p.m. In the dining room, Azteca is offering a $25 fajita-for-two special. Reservations accepted in the dining room only. 425-881-8700

3. Matador: Festivities include double happy hours from 4 to 6 p.m. and then again from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. with some special drink offers like the $8 Cinco-de-mayo-rita and the $8 Deer in a Beer, which is a shot of tequila in a beer (deer refers to the label on the tequila bottle, so no worries about animal cruelty here). A DJ out in the covered beer garden should keep the fiesta in full swing; cash only outside. No reservations accepted. 425-883-2855

4. Desert Fire: Though happy hour is an all-day affair on Cinco de Mayo, the DJ arrives at 5 p.m. to liven things up. Don’t miss the margarita specials featuring three sizes and prices: large for $8, medium for $6 or small for $3. 425-895-1500

5. : Pick up a Dos Equis for $3 all night; happy hour is from 3-6 p.m. 425-883-7570

Other Mexican restaurants in town could either not be reached for information on holiday specials or were not offering anything beyond the regular menu. They include: , and .


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