Every Cinco de Mayo, revelers seeking Mexican food and drink specials don’t have to look far. Restaurants and bars often give their patrons a little something special to look forward to this time of year.
Here are three ways to celebrate the holiday, including a fiesta.
Los Mandiles Rojos celebrates 2 years with anniversary, Cinco de Mayo specials
Los Mandiles Rojos, 1003 S.E. Quincy St., will provide specials to its patrons all week long. In addition to the Mexican holiday, it is celebrating its second anniversary Sunday. The business is owned and run by the Castillo-Aguilar family, said general manager Adan Manzano, who is a nephew of one of its founders.
The restaurant’s name translates to the “red aprons,” which family members wore in Mexico when they were street vendors. Small red aprons adorn the colorful walls of the eatery.
Patrons will be able to take advantage of half-price appetizers. Choriqueso (melted cheese and chorizo), mollete (three rolls with beans, ham and melted cheese), jalapeno poppers (peppers filled with cheese and wrapped in bacon) and queso fundidos (mozzarella cheese, breaded and fried, served atop green salsa and with flour tortillas) are available.
The restaurant will also have drink specials, a different one for each day. In keeping with the Cinco de Mayo holiday, Thursday’s drink is $5 house margaritas. Fusion palomas will be available on Friday for $6.99.
“It’s based on the classical paloma, which is made with grapefruit juice, grapefruit soda, lime, orange and tequila,” said Manzano, who also serves as a bartender. “After we mix all that in the tub, we also add the blueberry color, which is blueberry tequila from Butterfly Cannon.”
A special item every day is the free taquitos patrons receive instead of chips and salsa. The taquitos include an avocado green salsa, sour cream and chips.
A Cinco de Mayo food celebration with Spanish Heritage Beer Dinner
A menu authentic to the city of Chihuahua will be served at the Cinco de Mayo Spanish Heritage Beer Dinner at 6 p.m. Thursday, in the Astra Suite of the Cyrus Hotel, 920 S. Kansas Ave.
Executive Chef Odell Giner, a native of that town in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, will present the meal.
“For me its kind of a nice coming-home situation,” he said. “It’s been a long time. Enabling me to share my upbringing for a pretty-much integrated town, I just want to express how happy I am to have the opportunity to present foods that I grew up with.”
Giner moved to Topeka in 1992 at the age of 3 with his mother, who was going to school to become a nurse practitioner. He said he grew up watching episodes of “Batman” while learning to cook with her.
The event will also feature several beers from Boulevard Brewing Co.
“Speakers will explain how those beers pair with each of those dishes, and Odell will speak on the dishes,” said Sarah Kietzman, experience curator for the hotel.
Foods like queso asadero and queso menonita will be featured.
“Those are both very common and very produced cheeses in the state of Chihuahua,” Giner said.
The meal will also include a marinated cactus salad and an empanada dedicated to Santa Rita, whose feast is celebrated every May 22 in the city of Chihuahua.
A conchitas-style pan dulce dessert will top off the meal.
Ticket price, $75, includes a five-course dinner, beer pairings and a mezcal cocktail toast at the end of the event. People ages 21 and older may attend.
For more information, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cinco-de-mayo-hispanic-heritage-beer-dinner-tickets-315720668017?aff=comcal.
Cinco de Mayo Fiesta in Red Bud Park
A Cinco de Mayo Fiesta will be at 7 p.m. Thursday in NOTO’s Red Bud Park, 935 N. Kansas Ave.
The Topeka Cello Collective, a community of student cello players under the direction of Erinn Renyer, will perform Mexican and Latin Culture music.
The organization’s goal is to provide a noncompetitive environment where students can learn and perform.
A taco truck and special guests — Ballet Folklorico de Topeka, a Mexican folkdance company — will also appear.
Guests are advised to bring lawn chairs to the event.