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Gorge on guac and margs all weekend for Mexico's Independence Day

By Rheanna O'Neil Bellomo
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To celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day on Tuesday, cantinas around the city are putting on parties, hosting cooking classes and breaking out lots of tequila. Though this might be an excuse to drink margaritas and eat massive amounts of guacamole (okay, it definitely is), we’re not going to get in the way of a fiesta. Here are the best South-of-the-Border specials going on this weekend and early next week:

FRIDAY

Margaritas and mole at La Palapa
Kick off the festivities at this Mexico City-style restaurant where there'll be red (guajilo), green (pumpkin-seed) and white (almond) moles to represent the Mexican flag. The Fiesto el Grito, which runs through Monday, Sept. 15, includes spicy tequila cascabel and horchata in a fiery margarita, with a side of tacos galore and some serious Mexican celebrating. 77 St. Mark’s Pl between E 8th and E 9th Sts (212-777-2537)

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY 

Absinthe-and-tequila quaffs at Mercadito
This cantina is rolling out exclusive entrées for the weekend, including quesadillas and chile corn masa with black bean has, plus pork-stuffed poblano peppers with apples and plantains. Swap out your standard salt-rimmed margarita for La Gritona—a mad mix of tequila, absinthe and lemon with a hit of basil. 179 Ave B between 11th and 12th Sts (212-529-6469, mercaditorestaurants.com

Jazz after happy hour at ChicoJulio Bodega de Mar
Tequila and limes will be flowing well into Monday at this Upper West Side watering hole, where happy hours run from 3-6pm on Sunday and 4-7pm on Monday. Soak up some of that agave alcohol with nibbles like jalapeños stuffed with tuna-and-tomato and drizzled in soy salsa, but stick around for musings from the Steve Tarshis Trio and the Jason Marshall Jazz Trio, who'll blow away your weeknight blues. 768 Amsterdam Ave between 97th and 98th Sts (212-749-2929)

MONDAY

All-night happy hour at Fonda
Whether you're in Chelsea or Park Slope, you won’t want to miss this all-night happy hour featuring the frozen Rosalita—a hibiscus margarita with orange liqueur. Or, if you're in the East Village, pop in for pan seared red snapper in tomatillo broth during an hour of live Mariachi music at 8:30pm. End on a sweet note with orange-cinnamon flan caseroEast Village: 40 Ave B between E 3rd and E 4th Sts (212-677-4069, fondarestaurant.com); Chelsea: 189 Ninth Ave between 21st and 22nd Sts (917-525-5252); Park Slope, Brooklyn: 434 Seventh Ave between 14th and 15th Sts (718-369-3144)

written by Ashley Cox

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