Happy Cinco de Mayo!!! Or, yesterday rather. Regardless, I hope everyone had a great day celebrating their Mexican history and heritage! I know we did. Cinco de Mayo, not to be confused with Mexican Independence Day, which is September 16, celebrates the Mexican army’s unlikely win over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. My sister Sarah has been in town this week, and we wanted to take some time to visit our friend Anilee. What better way to do it than bar-hopping and margarita-sipping all Thursday afternoon?
After my morning run (I was attempting to pre-work off all the calories I’d be drinking later in the day), we got ready and headed up to Oceanside, CA. It’s only a 30 minute drive from us and still in San Diego county, and since we haven’t seen the area before, we decided it would be a good start to our day. Ani lives and works just a few blocks from the beach, so she took us to one of her bars, the Pourhouse as our first stop. The bar is a very cool local spot with a stage for bands, a pool table, and outside patio seating. They squeeze all of their own juices fresh daily, which my made tequila fizz taste especially delicious, and they had specials for Cinco de Mayo going on including $3 Corona and Corona lights, a gin mule type drink, and the tequila fizz. Julio and I played a good game of pool and we took a shot before making our way across the street to the next bar.
The PCH Bar and Grill is a cute little bar with a brand new patio area outside that serves some great food. We were all hungry, and Ani insisted we try the jalapeño poppers and the biscuits and gravy. That, combined with our regular meals (I had the grilled cheese with tomato and bacon) filled us up for the afternoon. They had some Cinco specials as well, including a $6 Mexican Logger beer that came with a glass and coozie. Win! We polished off our lunches and packed up for the next stop.
The Pier View Pub, formerly Bub’s Whiskey Dive, was our next destination, a corner bar with buckets of peanuts for munching and lots of draft beers. Our bartender told us over a few beers (and wine for me) that they had recently the filmed the upcoming TV show Animal Kingdom with Ellen Barkin in the area and at several of the local bars. I’ve been seeming the commercials and had told Julio that it was a show I think we would like, plus one of the actors is from our other favorite show, Vikings, so I was impressed. Hopefully we can come back and see some filming if they get renewed for another season. After Bub’s we wandered out into the street fair that goes on every Thursday right in front of the beach and pier there. There were a lot of cool little stands and I was very tempted to buy a “Mermaids and Margaritas” shirt. Next time! We made our way up the street to the Haunted Head Saloon, a pirate-themed bar with dollar bills decorated by customers posted all over the place. We definitely had to add a few of our own, so Sarah and I both made up two dollar bills and stapled them in the perfect spot directly over our heads at the bar. Our bartender was very cool, and the pirate theme is carried off really well, including a skeleton pirate hanging from a cage on the ceiling! Overall a quick, fun stop.
Our last spot on the Oceanside bar tour (and for the day really- we ended up going home, having burritos for dinner and heading to bed!) was Cabo Grill, an awesome Mexican restaurant with a roof-top bar, complete with a DJ and 2 for 1 drinks on Happy Hour! We all got margaritas (Ani chose to have hers spicy) and enjoyed the beach view as the sun started to set. It was really fun to spend the afternoon with Ani since we haven’t seen her in awhile, and we really appreciated her showing us her hometown and some great local spots. Cinco de Mayo was a total success, and we will be returning to Oceanside soon for some more local fun!!