Sunday, May 4, 2014

Cinco de Mayo Festival 2014 in Yoyogi Park / サンコ・デ・マヨ フェスティバル 2014 in 代々木公園

It's that time of year again in Japan.  The start of almost weekly festivals.  There is actually two large festivals going on right now.  First of all, there is the Meat Festival happening at the Komazawa Olympic Park.  It was advertised on the news yesterday and looks quite crowded.  And its also a little expensive.  The meat festival started on Friday and is going on throughout Golden Week (until May 4).  At the same time, in Yoyogi Park is the Cinco de Mayo Festival.  As Japan does not have many Mexican restaurants I of course chose to go to Yoyogi Park (even if Komazawa Park is closer to my apartment).  My plan was to eat some tacos or burritos for lunch.  As I was heading out towards Shibuya, I decided to give my friend Tetsu a call and see if he wanted to join me.


Not only are there food booths (which was my main reason for going), but there were souvenir booths as well.


Mexican wrestling masks booth! / メキシコと言えばプロレスのマスクだ
I decided to walk around to see what was on offer at the different booths before meeting up with Tetsu.  Although Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican festival, there was more than just Mexican food booths on offer.  Quite a few Latin American countries were represented - Chile, Argentina, Peru, Cuba.  There was also a couple of Spanish cuisine booths and one Jamaican booth as well.
The dangers of checking out what's on offer?  You want to eat everything.  Who needs the meat festival when there is a variety of meat, meat, meat here at this festival.
Paella may be a Spanish dish but Spain has a long history with Latin America so it can be forgiven.
Slabs of meat and sausages / ソーセージと肉の塊
Carnivore heaven / 肉天国
South American style barbecue / 南米の焼き方
I tried my best waiting until Tetsu came before ordering any food items, but my stomach got the best of me so I started off my lunch with an empanada from a Chilian food booth.
Empanada / エンパナダ
To make it easy for Tetsu to find me, I told him I would be standing by the large Tecate Beer where masked Tecate beer girls were standing.
Tetsu showed up and before we decided to eat, we had a shot of tequila!
Tequila shot with Cuervo Campaign Girl (no, she did not have a shot).
If you order a shot of tequila, you get to keep this souvenir shot glass.
Sharing with Tetsu, our first choice was a mix of linguica and churrasquinho.
And to wash down the meat - a cup of caipirinha.
Yes, we found a taco booth.  As this is Cinco de Mayo, it was my goal to eat at least one taco!
Soft taco / ソフトタコス
I really wanted to try one (or two or three) of these Mexican craft beers - Day of the Dead beers with such great names as Immortal Beloved, Pay the Ferryman, and Hop on Or Die with these great labels, but I already had a shot of tequila, a caipirinha, and a mojito so I had to pass on the beer.
We also indulged in a jerk chicken sandwich from the Jamaican booth.  I think we would have been better off if we only ordered the chicken and not the sandwich as they used white bread and not a baguette.  Not bad but a little disappointing.
However, close to the Jamaican booth was a Peruvian booth selling Peruvian street food.  I don't know if the booth was called "Piggies" or if that was the name of the sandwich, but this was quite delicious.  Inside the French bread is pork, onions marinated in lemon, grilled sweet potato, and "Piggies" special sauce made with garlic, parsley and olive oil.
We had a mojito with our tacos but when we couldn't help but notice something called a dirty mojito at another booth and had to try that as well.  The dirty mojito is made with a Panamanian rum aged 12 years and called Abuelo.
Bon Appetit!

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