5×5: Pre-Game Cinco at La Fondita in Amagansett


Tamales at La Fondita • photo by Eric Striffler

It may not really be Mexican Independence Day – Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates the (already independent) Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 – but what’s a little historical inaccuracy when it provides the excuse for a fabulous fiesta?

And if you want important dates, Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—has become the de facto Memorial Day – the herald of summer high season — for Mexican restaurants all over the United States. Over the next few days, Edible Long Island will feature Cinco x Cinco (5×5); five posts on where to go to have the most food and beverage fun on Cinco de Mayo in our area.


Homemade churros served with chocolate at La Fondita • courtesy photo

La Fondita, which serves up some of the best Mexican street food around from their casual, colorful walk-up, picnic bench eatery in Amagansett (the restaurant is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so won’t be open May 5), but be prepared when when you’re out east for specials like tamal de pollo en salsa verde (tamal filled with chicken in a green sauce) and tamal de rajas con queso (sauteed poblano peppers, tomatoes, onions and jalapeno).

“These are classic holiday foods that the people of Mexico prepare for special occasions,” says executive chef Joe Realmuto. “We make these dishes at La Fondita in honor of the traditional Mexican holidays. The tamales in particular are very labor intensive, so we only offer them for the Mexican holidays — Cinco de Mayo, Mexican Independence Day and Day of the Dead.”

For all of Natalia’s Cinco de Mayo recommendations, click here.