There are restaurants that slash prices on margaritas or invite a mariachi band for Cinco de Mayo - and then there are restaurants that go a little nuts.

Chandler’s El Palacio Restaurant and Cantina falls happily into the latter category this week, hosting a slew of events, suitable for partiers or parents with pequeñitos, leading up to Sunday’s commemoration of Mexico’s Battle of Puebla:

• A Streets of Mexico Beer Pairing Dinner, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, features five courses of traditional street vendor-style dishes (mmm, elote!) paired with five Breckenridge Brewing beers for $30 per person. Reservations are required, and at press time there were still seats available; call ahead to claim any open spots.

• Mesa’s Arizona Museum for Youth will provide games and crafts for kids 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 2. Card-carrying AMY members will get free fried ice cream with the purchase of an entrée.

• On Friday, May 3, the dancers of Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli-AZ will perform 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., with a portion of proceeds going to the dynamic dance company.

• A Piñata Patio Party with games, crafts, activities and, of course, piñatas is set for 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 4, when kids 12 and younger will eat free with a paid adult entree.

• The celebration blows up Sunday, May 5, with 99-cent Mexican draft beers all day and a Godfather Burrito Challenge at 4 p.m. The first competitor to finish making the massive burrito — filled with a chile relleno, beans, pork, rice and ranchera sauce topped with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, sour cream and guacamole — will win a trophy and $75 cash. (The contest is open to the first 20 to register; there’s a $10 buy-in fee.)

• The fiesta wraps up with a free 5 p.m. Sunday, May 5, cooking class with El Palacio’s chef, who will teach patrons to make Mexican Flag enchiladas. Reservations are recommended and can be made in person or by phone.


DETAILS >> El Palacio is open 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at 2950 E. Germann Road, Chandler. For information, call (480) 802-5770 or visit

Contact writer: (480) 898-6818 or

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