Kansas City's culinary delights span cuisines from countries across the globe! In honor of Cinco de Mayo, guest blogger Diana Lambdin Meyer (@mojotraveler) shares a few of her favorite spots at which to celebrate. Manny’s Restaurant, 207 Southwest Blvd, is always a lively spot, on May 5, the party-goers line up around the block. Manny Lopez founded this restaurant in an old car dealership in 1981 and now the second generation of the Lopez family keeps the margaritas flowing. One of them is always in the restaurant. Juarez is the house tequila and with $5 drink specials May 1 -5, they’ll go through a lot of tequila. The band Trio Atzlan is scheduled to play May 2 and 5.
Just down the street at 2829 Southwest Blvd., Margarita’s Amigos is celebrating its 30th Cinco de Mayo in KC this year. With four additional locations that have opened around the metro, they have become recognized as one of the best Happy Hours throughout the year. They are renowned for deep-fried tacos, but if you choose to celebrate at home, make it authentic with Margarita’s many salsas, mixes and chips sold at local grocery stores throughout KC. Ponak’s Mexican Kitchen, 2856 Southwest Blvd., consistently wins awards as the best Mexican restaurant in the city. They opened 40 years ago and are popular because of its Sonoran cuisine and the locally made reposado tequila. Margaritas are served on tap here and in regular drink glasses rather than traditional margarita glasses "because we're just too busy and would be breaking those things all of the time," according to one waitress. Ponak's holds a significant place in Kansas City history: It was here that the first keg of Boulevard Beer ever sold was tapped on November 9, 1989.
In Johnson County, Panzon’s in Lenexa has been serving up great guacamole tostadas since 1990. And if you’re vegetarian, there’s a special section of the menu just for you. On Cinco de Mayo, there will be a band outside if the weather’s cooperates, but inside, there will be lots of give-aways for t-shirts, key-rings, shot glasses and such. Interesting tidbit: The folks that own Panzon’s grew up with and remain good friends with the folks that own Ponak’s.
The fact that Cinco de Mayo this year falls on a Tuesday means it’s going to be crazier than ever at Rancho Grande Cantina in Parkville, where Taco Tuesdays fill the parking lot every week. Known for an incredible queso dip using pepper jack cheese, spinach and other secret goodies, Rancho Grande has been a Northland favorite since 1998. Two more locations in Liberty and Blue Springs spreads the goodness. Margaritas are mixed in 50 gallon drums and the experts at Rancho Grande anticipate they’ll go through more than 100 gallons of margaritas this Tuesday.
Diana Lambdin Meyer (@mojotraveleris
 a freelance writer based in Parkville and author of the travel app “Kansas City Uncovered.” She regularly writes about shopping and off-the-beaten path escapes on her blog www.mojotraveler.com.
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