Today we celebrate El Grito de Dolores, the beginning of Mexico’s struggle for independence. The actual independence day is celebrated tomorrow – not on Cinco de Mayo – but all the partying traditionally happens tonight, with cheers and gritos at midnight. Remezcla isn’t satisfied with just one night of partying, however, and so we present to you the Mexican Independence To-Do, the Remezcla staff’s recommendations to party all weekend, guey!
Food & Drunk
No. That’s not a typo.
Where to begin? Well, you can check out Zagats’ recently released list of what are, in their opinion, the best Mexican restaurants in NYC – they’re all delicious, but our tastes tend to skew a little cheaper. Plus, plenty of restaurants are doing something special for the night.
On the 15th, midtown’s Toloache will be offering a special menu, including a Margarita de la Independencia, a taco barbacoa, and the most patriotic of sopes tricolor; stick around for free tequila shots at midnight. Remezcla favorite Hecho en Dumbo will have a special menu (including such items as salt-cured steak and bone-marrow tostadas) as well as festive margaritas and other cocktails at equally festive prices. What’s more, you may be interested in taking advantage of their brand-new Chef’s Table if your celebrations are a bit more (ahem) intimate; the Chef’s Table, served at the bar overlooking the kitchen and open only to reservations made online for parties no larger than two, is a five-course prix fixe tasting menu with optional pairing served exclusively at the bar overlooking the kitchen, “emphasizing fresh seafood and local game.” We’re also told that the folks at Mesa Coyoacan plan to be “festive.”
If you’re looking to bring in Mexico’s 201st birthday a little on the shwasty side, we can’t argue with Williamsburg location Cantina Royale’s $10 pint-sized margaritas – and in this particular case, “pint-sized” should be taken literally. We may throw our money behind a day spent at La Biblioteca de Tequila in Richard Sandoval’s East 40’s restaurant Zengo. I mean it’s called The Tequila Library, for Christ’s sake.
With great Mexican restaurants a tortilla toss from one another in Pilsen, you can finally crown your favorite tonight at the Buen Provecho! Pilsen restaurant tour. More than 28 area businesses will showcase their signature dishes. All that sampling will work up a thirst though, so stop in at Mundial Cocina Mestiza, for $5 prickly pear margaritas and horchatinis.
What’s a celebration without chicharrón? Eat light on Saturday to make sure you have room for the last Sunday afternoon pig roast of the year at El Cid #2 in Logan Square. Space is limited at the Pig & Swig and reservations are encouraged: 773.395.0505.
If you miss out on this week’s festivities, don’t fret as Yo Soy, an underground supper club specializing in Mexican-Chinese fusion, will host their monthly event in tribute to la patria. Calling it the “Longest Grito,” the special independence day dinner will be held September 25th.
There is literally a Mexican restaurant on every street corner here in L.A. That being said, we’re going to focus more on were to drink than eat so long as you promise us you’ll steer clear of Del Taco and Taco Bell.
El Portal in Pasadena will host a tequila tasting on Thursday beginning at 5:30 p.m. with over two dozen tequilas not including the 60 different types already available at the bar. If that doesn’t sound promising enough, then head over to Mas Malo in DTLA. Their tequila vault holds nearly 300 different types of tequila and mezcal. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of delicious authentic comida Mexicana available at each restaurant.
If margaritas are more your thing, swing by El Compadre on Sunset and order one of their famous flaming margaritas. Delicious, strong and inexpensive!
Parties & Music
Because what better way to show your pride?
On the 15th, Casa Mezcal has three floors of food, drinks, gifts, and every kind of music from traditional Mexican music to timbiriche, not to mention a live banda. There will, of course, be a Grito at midnight, which is the most important thing, right?
On the 16th, DJ Beto (a member of The Spot’s esteeemed lineup) and Mios Dio’s summer long Brooklyn party experiment iBomba comes to a close on the 16th with a special Mexican Sonidero set from the resident DJs, not to mention guests Don Severo and Wonway Possibul. Also on the 16th, Nacotheque (also of The Spot) will be ringing in independence with Mexican IndepenDance: Un Pinche Dance Party at Public Assembly, featuring a live Juan Gabriel impersonator with live mariachi, a taco truck, and free tequila 11 to midnight from Rosangel Gran Centenario. Nacotheque parties are always on the wild and fabulous side, and this one promises to bring the Mexicanidad hard.
The party starts on Friday at King Eddy’s Saloon in DTLA for the Grito Mexicano fiesta. Gatatech and Frank Leopold will perform with more TBA. Recover early on Saturday for a long night at the Echoplex with our friends at Mucho for their El Grito: Mucho Libre party. Don’t be surprised if you wake up in a stranger’s house draped in a sarape after this one.
Finally, head over to La Cita on Sunday to cure the previous night’s hangover with – what else? – a Bloody Mary or two. Spend the afternoon building your own Bloody Mary while getting down to the sounds of cumbia/norteña group Doble Poder.
Saturday the 17th will mark the first Villapalooza Music Fest in Little Village. A celebration of peace and music, the all-day festival headquartered on 26th Street and Drake will feature more than 20 local acts and musicians on three stages for a measly $5 donation. Check the line up here.
Declare your party early by yelling “Viva Mexico!” at Civic Hall as part of the Official “El Grito” ceremony at Civic Center Plaza on Sept. 15 from 6-9 pm which will be featuring live mariachis and traditional dances from the famous Ballet Folklorico Mexicana. LAM Social Club is known for throwing great parties and this time they may have outdone themselves.
On the16th, as both a celebration to the opening of this year’s SF Latino Film Fest as well as the Independence of 9 Latin American countries in the month, LAM will be taking you on a trip “with Supperclub Airlines… through Latin America via music, imagery, décor, and dance.” Remezcla favorites DJ Juan Data and DJ Santero will be providing the soundtrack for the “trip” and there will also be live a Samba and Batucada performance by Sambaxe! And if for any reason you would rather stay on the other side of the bay, there is no better way to celebrate than with a Mexican Independence Cumbia Fiesta! Local favorites DJ Rabeat and Roger Mas (El Superritmo) are going to be be at La Estrellita Cafe doing what they do best: spinning great cumbia all night long!
The rest, but not least!
If you’re not too hungover from all the patriotism and tequila, be sure to head over to the Mexican Day Parade in Murray Hill on Sunday. The march begins on 38th street and heads down to 26th. Show your pride, wave your flag, watch the floats, and maybe see a lowrider or two.
On a more somber note, La Superior in Williamsburg is asking people to join in solidarity with them on the 15th, and bring a candle to light outside their restaurant in recognition of the tough times Mexico is currently facing.
Civic-minded citizens can help launch the official start of Hispanic Heritage Month with other Angelenos outside city hall on Friday morning. Not exactly El Grito but let’s not forget the fact that a few of our compadres further south celebrate their independence day on the 15th. You can also take the kids out for some sunshine with a number of parades in town and the surrounding areas. Catch a parade in East L.A. and Long Beach. Baseball fans can celebrate Hispanic Heritage month at Dodger Stadium thanks to the La Gran Fiesta Viva Los Dodgers event with music by some of our favorite artists, including Los Master Plus, Nortec Collective, and Very Be Careful.
Last, but certainly not least, is the grand event of them all: the fiestas patrias at Olvera Street. Two days of music, dancing, games, rides, exhibits and more at the historical site that will transport everyone back to the old country (Zapata-style mustache is optional).
Chicagoans don’t need to travel to the National Palace in Mexico City to hear a Grito Mexicano. The Cry of Independence is expected to ring around 9 tonight at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millenium Park, but la fiesta patria begins much earlier with a presentation highlighting Jalisco, folkloric dancers and a military band from Durango.
What better way to celebrate than to check out the Cine+Mas SF Latino Film Festival’s opening night screening of Seguir Siendo: Café Tacvba — the iconic Mexican rock band as they tour and give us a peak to the dynamics behind the scenes of their lives on tour and the relationship they have that has kept them going for 20 years. The film will be screened at both 7pm & 9pm at Embarcadero Cinema, and word on the street is that there will also be a special appearance by the film makers!
So what are YOU up to this weekend?