For this, my 1005th post on this blog, I need to bring you up to speed on last night's Cinco de Mayo celebration.
A friend on Facebook summarised yesterday's 5 May anniversary as the day that the Mexicans kicked Napoloeon's ass. Succint, and true.
I suspect the original Cinco de Mayo celebrations were just as rowdy as the ones I've experienced over the last few years, firstly in Chicago and now here in NYC. And Cinco de Mayo is a bit like St Patrick's Day, in that you don't need to be from Mexico to join the fiesta.
My Cinco de Mayo date this year was K's mum, who is visiting us at the moment. My neighbourhood is full of Mexican restaurants (for no other reason than coincidence I think) and naturally I didn't think to make dinner reservations because I can be a bit useless like that. And so in rather optimistic fashion, we hit the streets to see if we could just get in anywhere.
Drunken revellers were spilling out of the crowded bars selling $4, $5 and $6 margaritas and drinks specials on Corona beers. Some people were looking a little worse for wear even early in the evening, but you could tell that a good time was being had.
The closest Mexican place to us, El Parador was chock-full and showing no signs of slowing down. Ditto several other places that we visited. By this stage I was getting hungry and suggested to Mrs H that we just eat anywhere and maybe enjoy a post-dinner margarita on the walk home. Suggestion accepted.
So in we went to Cavatappo Wine Bar and I absolutely loved it. Browse the website at your leisure but do not go to the restaurant itself because then you'll love it too, and then everyone will go and I'll never get a table. Cute and straight waiters - an extensive wine list - yummy food menu - it was all there. We split a carafe of easy-drinking red wine, and I had a delicious baked pasta dish (duck ragu).
After our meal, the pubs - and the crowds - were still pumping, but we took another chance at El Parador for a tequila-flavoured digestif.
Again, browse the El Parador website as much as you want, but do not go to the restaurant. I never want to miss the opportunity to have their margaritas. They are so, so good. The staff there are always lovely and last night, as we sat on our barstools downstairs in the event space, Mrs H and I happily sipped our drinks and watched the Cinco de Mayo chaos reign all around us.
Like most cocktails, margaritas are like eyes - one is too few, three is too many. An aside, why do I never remember this cautionary phrase when I'm actually imbibing the damn things? I woke up today feeling quite human but admittedly I've been getting foggier as the day wears on. I don't actually blame the margaritas for any of this though. I think it was the shots of tequila mixed with pineapple juice that really did the damage. I mean seriously, why would you taint tequila with pineapple juice anyway?! Its muy loco, muchachas!