Saturday, May 5, 2012 | 1:55 p.m.
If you’re hitting the Strip this Cinco de Mayo, you’ll have no trouble finding bang-for-your-buck, south-of-the-border, food-and-drink combos to help fuel the party.
But if you’re looking for culinary options that deviate from the norm of blended margaritas and cheese-slathered nachos, several local eateries are offering authentic and gourmet takes on classic Cinco de Mayo fare that are not to be missed.
From spicy snow cones to savory rib quesadillas to the grandaddy of all margaritas, here’s a look at the most tempting treats Las Vegas has to offer this Cinco de Mayo.
The Original Margarita @Hussong’s
If you like your cocktails authentic, this is the Cinco de Mayo drink for you -- legend has it that the original Hussong’s location in Mexico is the birthplace of the margarita. Their concoction keeps it simple with a kick, using freshly squeezed lime juice rather than the typical sugary bottled sour mix, and blends it with Azul Reposado tequila, triple sec and agave nectar.
The El Caliente Burger @LBS Burger Joint
Red Rock Resort’s LBS Burger Joint offers an array of tempting food and drink specials for the weekend, but the Caliente Burger in particular is not to be passed up: A tasty beef patty topped with pepper jack cheese, jalapenos, onions, lettuce, tomatoes and a smooth avocado and chipotle spread. Wash it down with a Dos Equis or Davalos tequila shot for $5.
Slow Braised Boneless Short Rib Beef Quesadillas @El Segundo Sol
The (mouthful) name says it all. Dig into this south-of-the-border favorite featuring delicate, savory cuts of beef slow simmered with cheese and spices in a crispy tortilla. Of course, El Segundo Sol’s Atomic Cheese Nachos aren’t anything to shake a stick at, either.
Tlaquepaque Margarita @Agave
Don’t sell yourself short by buying oversweetened, overpriced tequila concoctions this weekend. Instead, stop by Summerlin’s Agave for this sweet and simple (if not difficult to pronounce) flavored margarita: Fresh lime juice and plump raspberries are blended with Patron Citronge and Casa Noble Crystal.
Beer-Battered Fish Tacos @Ri Ra
Ri Ra at Mandalay Place bills itself as an Irish pub and restaurant, but they’re serving a whole slate of Mexican dishes for Cinco de Mayo -- with an Irish twist, of course. If you’re looking for tacos with a little heft, there's the thick and crispy beer-battered fish tacos. If fish isn’t your thing, Ri Ra also offers corned beef quesadillas, Irish-style nachos and chicken curry burritos. An unusual but delicious cultural collide, indeed!
Snow Ono’s Spicy Mamacita @Nacho Daddy
With summer heat here to stay, cool off with shaved ice from the Snow Ono truck at Nacho Daddy’s daylong Cinco de Mayo fiesta today. The truck offers the “Spicy Mamacita” in honor of the holiday, a tangy blend of tamarind- and mango-flavored ice topped with sour spray and chile con limon.