Cinco de Mayo


Like all good Americans, I co-opt other cultures holidays, especially when it comes to eating. So today I celebrated Cinco de Mayo at my favorite Mexican lunch spot, El Coyote.

There wasn’t a lot of Cinco de Mayo fanfare at El Coyote today, but this is Alabama. I ate at a Mexican restaurant in Milpitas, California on Cinco de Mayo one year and it was an extravaganza. They were giving out swag from all the Mexican beer makers. Not only did the miniature maracas make a nice, incessant noise, but they served well as weapons for my kids to bludgeon each other with.

But I digress… The staff at El Coyote were all sporting jerseys from their favorite futbol teams and the dining area was full of white patrons indulging in their favorite quasi-Mexican holiday. They were playing special songs for the day though. It was a nice, quiet, reserved lunch, as to be expected in a nice, quiet, reserved Southern town.

Granted, the state of Puebla does celebrate El Día de la Batalla de Puebla, but Cinco de Mayo as celebrated by crackers like me was invented by Grupo Modelo because of the success they’d from Hallmark (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day) and Guinness (St. Patrick’s Day). Normally I’d oppose all the consumerist nonsense, but I like the food holidays. I like eating my way around the world, one holiday at a time.

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