El Restaurante Mexicano Winter 2012 : Page 10

cinco de mayo GET READY FOR Cinco de Mayo! days, 9 hours, 4 minutes and 15 seconds at www.spoletorestaurants. com/mama_iguanas/mama_iguanas. html as this story was getting ready to go to press!) This year, celebrations promise to be more festive than ever since May 5, 2012 marks a milestone: the 150th anniversary of the battle of Puebla. That gives you more reasons than ever to get creative with promotions that will make customers choose your restaurant over all the other Mexican and non-Mexican establishments alike planning Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Chef Geno Bahena is taking the opportunity to celebrate Cinco de May and the recent opening of his newest venture: La Costa Mission, an upscale Mexican restaurant in Malibu, Calif. “We are going to have a festival tent in one of the parking lots adjacent to the restaurant, with a set-up offering cochinita pibil tacos, traditional dances, Mariachi band, piñatas, drinks and lots of fun,” Bahena says. ......... Food, drinks and history combine for festive May 5th celebrations T he countdown is on! And if there’s any doubt, just visit the website for Mama Iguana’s Mexican restaurant in Northampton, Mass., where a digital “clock” ticks away the days, hours, minutes and seconds until Cinco de Mayo—the date that com-memorates the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, when underdog Mexican forces emerged victorious over the rival French army. (For the record, it was down to 87 Promotional possibilities If you’re looking for ways to attract customers this May 5th, these ideas can get you started: X OFFER $1.50 FOOD AND/OR DRINK SPECIALS in honor of Cinco de Mayo’s 150th anniversary. X GET SOCIAL WITH CINCO! Promote your Cinco de Mayo specials on facebook. Offer cou-pons for free giveaways (sombreros, Mexican fl ags, Cinco de Mayo t-shirts, appetizers, desserts, etc.) to anyone who “likes” your restaurant—a promotion Desert Moon in Stamford offered last year. X Plan an outdoor paril-lada if weather permits, or offer a smaller, possibly tabletop tarillada inside your restaurant. X SPONSOR A RECIPE CONTEST (best salsa, most creative taco, best cocktail, for example). Promote the contest with table tents, on your website, on your facebook page and in the local paper for several weeks before May 5th, then announce the winner on Cinco de Mayo. If the recipe is good enough, See recipe for Chef Cabrera’s Cinco de Mayo Molettes on page 26. you could add it as a special on your menu! X START THE PARTY EARLY! That’s what On the Border is doing this year with its Countdown Thursdays. Every Thursday through May 3, participating loca-tions are offering drink specials including beer and Margaritas (includ-ing the chain’s signature Borderita) from 3-7 p.m. 10 el restaurante mexicano

Setting The Stage For Cinco De Mayo

GET READY FOR Cinco de Mayo!<br /> <br /> .......Food, drinks and history combine for festive May 5th celebrations<br /> <br /> The countdown is on! And if there’s any doubt, just visit the website for Mama Iguana’s Mexican restaurant in Northampton, Mass., where a digital “clock” ticks away the days, hours, minutes and seconds until Cinco de Mayo—the date that commemorates the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, when underdog Mexican forces emerged victorious over the rival French army.<br /> <br /> (For the record, it was down to 87 days, 9 hours, 4 minutes and 15 seconds at www.spoletorestaurants.com/mama_iguanas/mama_iguanas.html as this story was getting ready to go to press!)<br /> <br /> This year, celebrations promise to be more festive than ever since May 5, 2012 marks a milestone: the 150th anniversary of the battle of Puebla.That gives you more reasons than ever to get creative with promotions that will make customers choose your restaurant over all the other Mexican and non-Mexican establishments alike planning Cinco de Mayo celebrations.<br /> <br /> Chef Geno Bahena is taking the opportunity to celebrate Cinco de May and the recent opening of his newest venture: La Costa Mission, an upscale Mexican restaurant in Malibu, Calif.“We are going to have a festival tent in one of the parking lots adjacent to the restaurant, with a set-up offering cochinita pibil tacos, traditional dances, Mariachi band, piñatas, drinks and lots of fun,” Bahena says.<br /> <br /> Contrary to popular opinion, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day!That day, which is actually a much bigger holiday in Mexico, falls on Sept. 16— the date in 1810 when Mexico declared its independence from Spain.<br /> <br /> Traditional dishes<br /> <br /> Chiles en Nogada—roasted poblano chiles stuffed with a variety of meats and cheeses, then topped with walnut sauce and pomegranates—is a traditional celebratory dish. And it is an ideal special to serve on Cinco de Mayo thanks to the red, white and green presentation. At Pico’s Pico’s Mex-Mex Restaurant in Houston, the dish is prepared with shredded pork (for meat lovers) or wild rice (for vegetarian crowd), cooked in peanut sauce with olives, almonds and raisins, covered with a cold creamy walnut sauce and sprinkled with pomegranates when they’re in season.<br /> <br /> “That is a very popular dish, and we will be serving it here on Cinco de Mayo,” Geraldo Ramirez, Pico’s manager, says.<br /> <br /> For Mexico-born Chef Martin Cabrera, Cinco de Mayo offers a chance to put a twist on traditional holiday fare. Because he has worked in kitchens across Europe, including in Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, Stockholm, Norway, France and Italy—and in the U. S. for upscale restaurants including Chicago’s Spago and Charlie Trotters, he adds unexpected ingredients to authentic Mexican cuisine.<br /> <br /> “I have done in the past several promotions to commemorate Cinco de Mayo at various restaurants that I have worked,” Cabrera says. He’s even created May 5th menus at decidedly “un-Mexican” Spago, where May 5th diners feasted on Carnitas a la Orange in a champagne reduction and Venison Taquitos with avocado foam and St. Andre cheese along with dark chocolate and ancho chile crème brulee.<br /> <br /> Cabrera’s suggestions for an upscale Cinco de Mayo 2012? Mole Poblano with foie gras and duck confit, Chile relleno stuffed with seafood and Chipotle bouillabaisse, garnachas con hiutlacoche and perigold truffles. But he also has a much simpler recipe he says is appropriate for any venue: Cinco de Mayo Molettes on French bread with Gruyere cheese, black beans and chorizo. The ingredients, a combination of French and Mexican fare, tie in nicely with the historical Mexico vs. France theme.<br /> <br /> History can also come into play in other ways this May 5. Boxcar Cantina in Greenwich, Conn. Tapped into the historical significance of Cinco de Mayo in 2011 by creating a bright pink margarita special with a dash of sangria named in honor of General Zaragoza whose photo and brief biography hangs on one wall.<br /> <br /> Promotional possibilities<br /> <br /> If you’re looking for ways to attract customers this May 5th, these ideas can get you started:<br /> <br /> .OFFER $1.50 FOOD AND/OR DRINK SPECIALS in honor of Cinco de Mayo’s 150th anniversary.<br /> <br /> .GET SOCIAL WITH CINCO! Promote your Cinco de Mayo specials on facebook. Offer coupons for free giveaways (sombreros, Mexican flags, Cinco de Mayo t-shirts, appetizers, desserts, etc.) to anyone who “likes” your restaurant—a promotion Desert Moon in Stamford offered last year.<br /> <br /> .Plan an outdoor parillada if weather permits, or offer a smaller, possibly tabletop tarillada inside your restaurant.<br /> <br /> .SPONSOR A RECIPE CONTEST (best salsa, most creative taco, best cocktail, for example). Promote the contest with table tents, on your website, on your facebook page and in the local paper for several weeks before May 5th, then announce the winner on Cinco de Mayo. If the recipe is good enough, you could add it as a special on your menu!<br /> <br /> .START THE PARTY EARLY!That’s what On the Border is doing this year with its Countdown Thursdays.Every Thursday through May 3, participating locations are offering drink specials including beer and Margaritas (including the chain’s signature Borderita) from 3-7 p.m.

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