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The Most Exciting Things to Do This Weekend

This and other can’t-miss events of May

The fatback is back at Cochon 555
The fatback is back at Cochon 555
Zoe Francois/Eater Twin Cities

The warm weather is likely (probably?) right around the corner and it’s time to kick off the season of fun. It’s time to gather up the squad and strike out for whole hog feasting, and margarita tipping.

Here’s a handy guide to filling up on margaritas, Mexican street food, Derby-day slushies, whole pork, rosé, and more.

20th Anniversary Cinco de Mayo Saint Paul

When: Saturday May 4, parade kicks off at 9:30 a.m.

Where: Saint Paul’s West Side

Cost: Free

What to expect: A ton of people celebrating Mexican culture

Why it’s worth your dollars: The abundance of music, food, and community has got to be experienced. Check out the car show, bounce house corner by the Y, parade, music, and street food. It’s a people-packed party, but a ton of fun.

Pajarito’s Cinco de Mayo

When: Saturday May 4, 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Where: Pajarito, 605 7th Street West, Saint Paul

Cost: Free

What to expect: Food, bouncy house for the kids, boozy slushies, DJs and a general good-time block party.

Why it’s worth your dollars: Everything coming out of that kitchen at Pajarito is delicious. This is the chance to get the whole family in on the act and head outside.

Guests voting at Grand Cochon. Photo by Flatow Photography/Cochon 555
Guests voting at Grand Cochon. Photo by Flatow Photography/Cochon 555

Cochon 555

When: Sunday May 5

Where: Loews Hotel, downtown Minneapolis

Cost: $130 - 200

What to expect: A chock-a-block, stuffed room full of notable restaurant industry folks feasting on all manner of heritage-breed pork and judging a culinary competition all to raise money for small pork farmers. There is always a massive amount of beverage options and culinary creativity on display. Competing this year are Yia Vang of Union Kitchen, Scott Pampuch of 4 Bells, Mateo Mackbee of Model Citizen, Timothy Fischer of Loews, and Jose Alarcon of Popol Vuh. Plus there will be taco bar from the House of Gristle, veggie bar from Chef Shack, and tartare bar from Tim McKee.

Why it’s worth your dollars: The ticket price is eyebrow raising, but it’s an annual opportunity to hang with some of the top names in cool food stuff from the Twin Cities. It’s a bit bro-y, but fun. Maybe next year they’ll invite the ladies back to center stage. Last year’s winner was Karin Tomlinson of Corner Table - who went on to win the national competition.

Courtesy of Jefe Facebook.

El Jefe’s Cinco de Mayo

When: May 5, 12 pm to 11 pm

Where: El Jefe Urban Hacienda

Cost: Free entry, food and drinks

What to expect: Basking on a gorgeous patio, on the actual fifth of May, sipping tasty adult beverages.

Why it’s worth your dollars: This patio and the room are beauties and the views of St. Anthony Main are beautiful, especially right now as the buds are just beginning to pop. It’s an ideal spot to toast spring with a zesty take on a margarita.

Palmer’s One Year Anniversary

When: Tuesday May 7, 4 to 10 p.m.

Where: Palmer’s Bar 500 Cedar Avenue S, Minneapolis

Cost: Free entry, cost is food and beer

What to expect: It’s been one year since musician Tony Zaccardi bought this iconic dive bar and it’s time to toast the man who kept the dream alive. Anchor Fish & Chips food truck will be on hand. Surly will be tapped and likely a whole lot more good times.

Why it’s worth your dollars: With the recent loss of spots like Lee’s Liquor Lounge and Kelly’s Depot, we’re due for a little celebrating of someone keeping what’s good and old and worn and wonderful alive for a new generation. Cheers, Tony!