How to Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo isn’t widely celebrated among Mexican Americans (just ask Vicente Aguilar of El Paisano, subject of this week’s 15 Minutes). But we Americans love to celebrate it, anyway, even though the day is supposed to commemorate the Battle of the Puebla, when the Mexicans whooped the French, but is more like Cinco de Drinko.

There will be concerts, culinary celebrations and even block parties this weekend. And if you don’t feel like celebrating, the following guide even provides a few ideas for your anti-Cinco de Mayo party, si quiere.

Hello, margaritas

Zocaló, 1801 Capitol Avenue; (916) 441-0303;

Tequila Museo Mayahuel, 1200 K Street; (916) 441-7200;

Centro Cocina Mexicana, 2730 J Street; (916) 442-2552;

Vallejo’s Restaurants, multiple locations;

Tres Hermanas, 2416 K Street; (916) 443-6919;

Jonathan M’s guac recipe

Making fresh guacamole is incredibly quick and easy. Yes, some people try to complicate the condiment by saying its ingredients need to correspond to the color of the Mexican flag: avocado (green), tomato (red) and onion (white). But creating the dish is not rocket science, and if you’re like me you might use some of that stuff lying around the pantry. Here’s the fastest way to make a couple servings of the dip (in less than 5 minutes):

Pit two or three large avocados and scoop all the green flesh out with a spoon. Place in a medium mixing bowl.

Add both a quarter cup of diced white onions, and a quarter cup of diced tomato. Squeeze half a lime on top.

Salt and pepper to taste. I recommend garlic salt and a serrano or jalapeño pepper (or even a hot sauce like Cholula or Tapatio) to kick up the spice. If you don’t have those, regular salt and black pepper will work as a last-ditch substitute.

Stir the whole bowl with a fork until it’s of a goopy consistency. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

La música

1. Sam Peligro, Olmeca Desperados, La Noche Oskura, O Street Dub, Mahtie Bush and DJ Los. Saturday, May 5, 8 p.m. $7-$10. Blue Lamp, 1400 Alhambra Boulevard; (916) 455-3400;

2. Ritmoz Latinoz, Historia Alterna and Valentina. Saturday, May 5, 9 p.m. $10. The Fugu Lounge, 2071 Natomas Crossing Drive; (916) 515-1958;

3. Mexican classical guitarist and vocalist Zaira Menses. Saturday, May 5 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m. $15-$50. Three Stages Performing Arts Center, 10 College Parkway; (916) 608-6888;

4. Check out more (mostly non-Spanish-language) music in Eight Gigs (page TK) and Nightbeat (page TK).


Wherever you choose to celebrate, call the Yellow Cab Company of Sacramento at (916) 444-2222 anytime between 3 p.m. and 3 a.m. As part of Berg Injury Lawyers’ Safe and Sober Free Cab Ride Home Program, $35 of your ride will be comped when you tell the cabbie that the ride is on Berg Injury Lawyers. To qualify for the promotion, you must be at a restaurant, hotel or bar in downtown Sacramento, and headed home. Additional fare beyond the first $35 must be paid out of pocket.


Tequila Museo Mayahuel will celebrate both Cinco de Mayo and its one-year anniversary. The celebration features food, drinks, entertainment and of course, plenty of tequila. On Saturday night, deejays Alex Trujillo and Rico Rivera will drop the beats. It happens May 4 and 5 at 1200 K Street; (916) 441-7200;

Zocaló celebrates Cinco de Mayo with two events this week: First is a tequila festival Thursday, May 3 from 6-9 p.m. It features six different tequila distilleries offering three tastings each, appetizers and a cigar bar. Tickets for the event cost $25.

Additionally, Zocaló’s Cinco de Mayo Fiesta begins Saturday, May 5 at 11 a.m. and continues throughout the day with more tequila, mariachi, ballet folklorico and a pig roast. Call for pricing. 1801 Capitol Avenue; (916) 441-0303;

Centro Cocina Mexicana will host a three-day celebration with music, food and a bartender competition. The party happens May 3-5 at 2730 J Street. For more information, call (916) 442-2552 or visit

Old Sacramento celebrates with a block party called Cinco de Old Sacto. The celebration will take place in 12 different bars within a few blocks of each other. Beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 5, live music, comedy, theater and salsa dancing are all on the bill at different venues. Tickets and reservations are required for some of the events, while others are free. Visit for more details.

Otras actividades

The Sacramento Public Library is hosting a number of Cinco de Mayo-related events. Highlights include a dessert making class, craft workshops and bilingual music and story time. Visit for more details.

Mexico is home to a diverse array of cacti and succulents. So celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Society’s annual cactus and succulent show. It happens Saturday, May 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Shepard Garden & Art Center inside McKinley Park, 3330 McKinley Boulevard. Free. Visit for more information.

Roseville’s Cinco de Mayo 5k/10k Run & Walk will help you burn some calories, right before a post-race party featuring food, drinks, dancing and games. The race happens Saturday, May 5 at 9 a.m., at the Miners Ravine Trail, 350 N Sunrise Avenue, in Roseville. Race entry is $15-$35 and racers are encouraged to bring canned food items for the St. Vincent de Paul Food Locker in Roseville. For more information, call (775) 232-7933 or visit

Anti-Cinco de Mayo suggestions

Celebrate a belated St. Patrick’s Day by visiting an Irish pub.

Eat Chinese food and watch a movie (a de facto holiday avoidance tradition for Jews).

Try a Doritos taco from Taco Bell, because that’s a “food” item only an American could create.