Every May our neighbors throw a huge — as in hundreds of people — Cinco de Mayo party. They have a frozen margarita machine, tubs and tubs of Mexican beers, and convert their entire lower level into a buffet area. A couple of years ago they put in a gorgeous pool, which is lit from within and sparkles like the ice in the tub at the fully stocked bar.
So, guess where we’ll be on Cinco de Mayo? Even if we didn’t want to (which we do, we do), we wouldn’t have any other choice — we can’t get out of the neighborhood with this many cars parked.
For those who don’t have neighborhood hosts for this most Americanized of Mexican holidays, I have a few suggestions for where to get good food and drinks on Saturday, May 5, 2012.
Milagros in Paia
Seriously great margaritas. Worth the splurge if you’re in the mood for pomegranate. We love this place. Just don’t sit inside the crowded bar, and be prepared to wait. Corner of Baldwin and Hana Highway, 808-579-8755
Mulligan’s on the Blue in Wailea
This is an Irish bar (and yes, the ownership and management is actually Irish), and we love it for their outstanding drinks and hard-to-beat location. Their St. Patrick’s Day bash is legendary, but they go all out for Cinco de Mayo, too. By the way, this place is great for Happy Hour any day of the year, and if you get a chance to order “Gannon’s Missing Cheeseburger & Fries,” $6, do it. On the Blue Golf Course, Wailea, 808-874-1131
Cilantro in Lahaina
Cilantro is a BYOB joint with seriously delicious eats. Get a six pack of Corona at Foodland, just next door, and sit down for excellent flautas and one of the best salsa bars on the island. If you haven’t tried Cilantro … well, then you haven’t read our book. In the shopping center off Papalaua, 808-667-5444
Our new co-author for this edition of Top Maui Restaurants had never eaten at one of the three (3) Amigo’s restaurants before she came on board. She’s been converted. With locations in Lahaina, Kihei (our personal favorite) and Kahului, anyone can stop in for excellent chile verde (pork in green sauce), incredible shrimp diabla and strong, delicious margaritas. Hole in the wall? Yes. But their food gets a four out of five on our Love scale. (Yes, we do rate restaurants on the Love they show food.) In Lahaina at Wharf Center, 808-661-0210, Kahului on Dairy Road, 808-872-9525, and on Lipoa St. in Kihei, 808-879-9952
¡Feliz Cinco De Mayo!