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Celebrate the South (of the border) on Cinco de Mayo

Northwest Guardian

Published: 11:18AM May 1st, 2014

Cinco de Mayo is a day of celebrating Mexican culture, commemorating the Mexican Army’s 1862 victory over France in the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War.

At Joint Base Lewis-McChord, patrons at the Bistro at Russell Landing on Lewis North will have a chance to enjoy Mexican food, drink and live music May 5, 3:30 to 7 p.m., as a way to kick off the summer.

Randy Mulder, certified chef and The Bistro manager, described Cinco de Mayo not only as a laid-back holiday, but also an opportunity to do something different and lively for folks to enjoy after getting off work.

“It’s more up my alley of food,” Mulder said. “I like cooking more Southwestern and Mexican and Spanish-style food — you can’t always get that up here.”

Mulder said he also has a chance to create unique meals at The Bistro such as pulled-pork enchiladas, beef chimichangas, fresh made salsa and shrimp and scallop ceviche.

Ceviche is a unique dish where raw shrimp is cooked by marinating the seafood in citrus juices like lemon, lime and orange.

“The natural acid in those juices breaks down the fish,” Mulder said.

The Bistro will also serve made-to-order street tacos that take after food served from taco trucks with all the expected ingredients wrapped in soft flour and corn tortillas.

“A taco bus usually has a lot of the same equipment that we use,” Mulder said. “It’s bringing that style of cooking to a restaurant.”

The Bistro will stock a margarita station at the bar, but also will have traditional Latin American beverages like horchata, a rice milk that is sweetened with cinnamon.

Other beverages include agua de Jamaica, an infused hibiscus tea, Mexican lagers and Mexican sodas.

“This is something completely different we wanted to try it out and see if everybody likes it,” Mulder said. “It keeps things a little bit more fresh and new.”

A two-man Mariachi band will also perform live music as patrons enjoy their food and beverages. Mulder said it’s similar to when the restaurant offered live music during their special Valentine’s Day dinner back in February.

“This will be a little bit different because it’ll be a little more lively,” Mulder said.

Reservations are encouraged and can be made by calling 253-964-2813. The Bistro is located at 8981 American Lake Ave. on JBLM Lewis North.