Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Beers, Buffett and Block Parties Mark Cinco de Mayo

On May 5, 1862, a valiant and comparably small Mexican army crushed French forces at the Battle of Puebla. Mexico’s Independence Day is actually celebrated September 16. But hey, when the chips are down and the ice-cold margaritas and beers are flowing, why wait? Join the fun and celebrate Cinco de Mayo in true gringo fashion at “cantinas” around town.

Authentic Mexican street food is on the chef’s mind and menu at Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland. Open at 11:30 a.m. Cinco de Mayo until 3 a.m. seis de Mayo.

HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern straddles the Tex-Mex border to fold a special Taco Gringo around smoked pulled pork doused with BeerBQ sauce and tequila-soaked limes. Buy uno (1) for $5, dos (2) for $9 or tres (3) for $12. Frosty margaritas priced at $5 each and live music signal fiesta time.

Ray’s Rio Bravo commemorates Cinco de Mayo Margaritaville-style with free outdoor concerts (rain or shine) and cash bars from 4 p.m.-midnight. Jimmy Buffett’s favorite tribute band A1A performs Buffett and Trop Rock hits from 7:30-10:30 p.m. after a 6 p.m. opener by reggae and calypso duo Caribbean Steel. Canned and draft beers, margaritas on the rocks and street tacos will be available at cash-only satellite bars in the concert area. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. serving Tex-Mex favorites, and the inside bar will remain open until midnight. Uber or taxi travel recommended.

The FlexMex gang at Tin Lizzy’s Cantina supersizes Cinco de Mayo spirit all over town. The Midtown location is closing 13th Street to host the mother lode of block parties. Tin Lizzy’s Buckhead, Perimeter, Downtown, Kennesaw, Emory Point and Grant Park locations put a DJ spin on outdoor “fiestavals” fenced off in their parking lots, and Cinco-celebrators can duck inside to fill up on tacos, nachos and other Tin Lizzy’s eats. Through May 7, party prices prevail on 16-ounce Corona and Modelo Especial beers ($5), Grand Marnier floats ($3) and Herradura Tequila shots ($5). Feel doubly good enjoying a 23-ounce Cinco Grande margarita ($12) knowing $1 per margarita is on a mission, floating off to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Willy’s Mexicana Grill in Brookhaven celebrates Cinco de Mayo, rain or shine, on the covered open-air patio. Revelers will enjoy live music from Tom Hart from 5-8 p.m., handcrafted frosty margaritas and made-from-scratch, freshly grilled tortillas. Celebrating on your home turf? Willy’s Catering has you covered.

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