Tuesday, May 3, 2011

This Photo Is Making Me Thirsty!

Raise your hand if you're drinking Margaritas on Cinco de Mayo!

With Mother's Day celebrations happening all over town this weekend, you can't be getting all jacked up before you take her out.

But man is it tempting with all the Cinco de Mayo and Kentucky Derby events going down.

Here are some you don't want to miss because it's so hard to turn down a good Margarita or Mint Julep:

Cinco de Mayo

Mercadito: Those mini tilapia and spicy shrimp tacos at this New York transplant are one of my favorite things ever, and they're one of many items you'll share with friends from a menu special for the day. For $40 per person, guests get guac, salsas, the tacos and a few other items. Don't forget to pair it up with a signature tequila punch made with reposado tequila, red wine-pear syrup, falernum and fresh lime juice. Deejays and band also perform.

Nacional 27: The deals are abundant at the River North mainstay where you come to eat and dance. If you hit up the lounge, get ready for gratis Mexican-style tapas, including cerviches, fundido, steak nachos, and beef and lamb tacos. Also $3 Victoria beers, $4 Victoria Micheladas and $6 Avion tequila margaritas. DJ Konsept spins and complimentary salsa lessons begin at 7:30pm. 6-9pm.

Salud: It's supposed to rain again on Thursday, but that won't stop the fun at Salud's annual Cinco De Mayo Street Festival. Doors open at 3pm for the event that includes performances by Angel D'Cuba, Mariachis and the 10-piece salsa band Carpacho y Su Super Combo. It's a $5 donation with proceeds benefiting the Friends of Burr School.

Folks all over town will be sipping Mint Juleps during the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.

Kentucky Derby Day

Brownstone: If you love crawfish, then you might want to check out this annual event happening over in North Center. For $25, you can indulge in an all-you-can-eat crawfish buffet that includes cornbread, gumbo, and beans & rice. $5 Mint Juleps, and the race will be shown on several monitors. Fancy hats highly encouraged. Doors open at 11am.

Frontier: For the occasion, the Noble Square newcomer is doing an agave Mint Julep, champagne cocktail, and country fried steak with whipped potatoes, braised collards and pan gravy. And guests can head upstairs to watch the action on 11 42-inch TVs and two six-foot projectors. Doors open at 11am.

Lillie's Q: We cannot get enough of Lillie Q's version of the Mint Julep: the M&M&M, which is made of moonshine, Maker's Mark, mint-infused simple syrup and a mint sprig. It's available yearround.

Old Town Social: The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois Young Professionals are spending their day watching the race at the trendy sports bar and resto. Too bad no Mint Juleps are involved in their package, but you can drink as much wine and beer as you like during their event. Derby attire recommended. 3-6pm. $35 in advance; $40 at the door. Get tickets here.

The Pony: If you dress in Kentucky Derby splendor at this Lakeview affair, you'll have the chance to win $100 in cash. Plus, they're doing $5 Mint Juleps and a $10 Southern buffet with fried chicken, biscuits, mashed potatoes and more. Of course, the race will be broadcast as well. Doors open at 11am.

Tavern on Rush: OK, seriously, ladies, wear a big Derby hat and you'll be treated like royalty at this Rush Street resto. They're giving one comped Mint Julep to those who make at least one purchase. $5 for Mint Juleps otherwise.

Zella: Hopefully it'll be nice outside so folks can bask in the glory of the beautiful outdoor patio at Zella for the annual Chicago Children's Charity benefit. It includes an open bar (Mint Juleps!), lunch buffet and live music. Derby attire recommended. 2-6pm. $80 in advance; $100 at the door. Get tickets right here.

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