Friday Foodstuffs 4.30.10: Why Just Have One Day to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

First off, a clarification: Cinco de Mayo does not mean five jars of Hellmann’s.

(I’ll just let that one sink in for a moment.)

What it has become to mean, in this country anyway, is another reason to go out and drink…alot. Evidently, we need drinking holidays to get us through the time from New Year’s Day to Memorial Day. And so, we don our green and down the Guinness in March, then rinse, lather and repeat in May – only changing our millinery (sombreros instead of green plastic hats) and our libation (Dos Equis, Corona and Tecate for the aforementioned Guinness). It’s all in fun, of course, but it is interesting to see how a 5th Century saint and a Mexican victory over a French army in 1862 now represent such lively celebrations.

Well, I say if you’re going to do Cinco de Mayo, why just think about the drinking? How about enjoying the wonderful food that comes from Mexico as well? And let’s enjoy the food over a few days as well.

Two restaurants in South Jersey are thinking the same way. Our friend Chef Mark Smith is having a five day celebration of Cinco de Mayo at his re-opened Tortilla Press Cantina in Pennsauken. From May 5th through the 9th, which is Mother’s Day by the way, the Cantina will have a special event happening. On the 5th, it’s an outdoor party of food, drink and music from noon ’til midnight. A five-course tequila dinner will be served on May 6th. Special drink deals will be had on Friday and Saturday. And then, a special Mother’s Day brunch on Sunday. And maybe you can get Mom to wear to silly sombrero as well.

La Esperanza in Lindenwold is going to have the party last even longer. They are starting their celebration on May 1st (this Saturday) out on their patio. Tuesday the 4th will be a Cinco’s Eve Party (make sure you’ve hung your stockings in time for Cinco’s Eve). La Esperanza will also be rockin’ the outdoor tent on the 5th with much food and drink to be had. And, if you miss all the festivities, there will be a special brunch and drink specials all the following weekend as well.

Now is the time on our little cavalcade where we check out what’s going on this weekend. Let’s do so, shall we?

It’s another great weekend if you enjoy wine. You have a Cape May Wine Weekend from tonight through Sunday, as well as a Wine and Dine with Penfolds at Passion Vines in Somers Point and a Wine Tasting at the Moorestown Community House on Saturday. Saturday and Sunday will also be the time for another Cinco de Mayo Weekend Celebration, only this one is being thrown at Bellview Winery in Landisville.

It’s also a great weekend if you like local produce, because both the Collingswood Farmers’ Market and the Haddonfield Farmers’ Market open on Saturday.

The rest of Saturday shakes out like this: enjoy the Food, Fun and Flowers Festival at the Emlen Physick Estate in Cape May, a Beer Sampling at Red White and Brew in Mount Holly, or a Chocolate Festival at First United Methodist Church in National Park – and yes, for those who do not know this, there is a town along the Delaware River called National Park. And there is a national park in National Park: the Red Bank Battlefield Park. On Sunday, Cork in Westmont will be having a fundraising dinner for the “Turn Wine Into Water” organization from 6PM to 8PM.

What’s cooking in class in this weekend? How about a Clam Bake for Two demo tomorrow at Phillips Seafood at The Pier Shops in Atlantic City for starters. Or, maybe heading over to Kitchen Kapers in Moorestown for Cooking for Couples – Tuscan Cuisine for Couples tomorrow night. Another session of Cape May Wine School will be happening at the Washington Inn in Cape May on Sunday, as well as Kids in the Kitchen – Bring On the Breakfast for Dinner at
Kitchen Kapers.

Blogging Out Hunger

Kudos to the Atlantic County Library System an their “Food for Fines” program. Over 2000 pounds of food have been donated to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch in Egg Harbor Township.

And in the news this week…

Another local home cook is doing well in a national competition. This time, it’s all about the donuts – Dunkin’ Donuts to be exact.

The bluefish seem to be here in abundance along the shore this year. Too bad nobody likes bluefish – or at least everyone I talk to says so.

ReClam the Bay sees their mission changing more to educating the public – and maybe to oysters as well.

On the third try, the restaurant at the new Landis Theater in Vineland finally has someone to run the operation.

Message to all you birds out there: watch where you build your nests! The Crab Trap in Somers Point had a fire this past week due to a nest that was poorly placed in an electrical junction box.

Tiffany’s in Toms River may be sued in a drunk driving case.

And lastly, Clare Sabatini, who fought and won battles with eminent domain, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and Donald Trump to keep Sabatini’s Restaurant open, died this week.

Enjoy your weekend!

– John

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4 thoughts on “Friday Foodstuffs 4.30.10: Why Just Have One Day to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

  1. Hey John- the reason why no one likes it is because it has that dark streak that runs through it and it is a tad tad bit oily like Mackerel. Taste better, way better than the other fish, and great in a roasted garlic ricotta cheese pie! but not as good as your clam pie!

  2. I'm not a fan of the bluefish either, it is an oily fishy fish taste.Again, as always, your weekend/weekday updates rock!

    • May I respectfully suggest that you try blue fish baked in the oven with a tomatoe sauce of your taste. Serve on a seperate platter drained of the oil.

  3. Why are you not SHOUTING about the “Crab trap” restaurant in Somers point ? If you know and want some of the best seafood on the East coast of the USA try here,

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