Wednesday May 02, 2012 | 01:19 PM

It sure has been gloomy this week but Portland's El Rayo Taqueria brought some color back to York Street by pulling its vibrantly painted and flowery picnic tables out of winter storage.

The hope is that the sun returns for the weekend when the eatery (and drinkery) plans to open the patio for 2012. Saturday is, of course, Cinco de Mayo AND the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby.

In these parts, that means there'll be lots of drinking going on (think St. Patrick's Day with sombreros instead of four-leaf clovers). If you're looking for a place to land, check out Meredith Goad's great guide to all things tequila and mint julep. And since horses will be in the spotlight for The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports, why shouldn't there be a mechanical bull too?

For the record, several Portland-area restaurants have already been offering outdoor service this spring - remember those 80-degree days in March - but the outside seating requests have dwindled.

Yosaku (1 Danforth St., Portland) is ready and waiting for the drizzle to end ... though the rain has been keeping the small waterfall flowing.


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Shannon Bryan, content producer for MaineToday Media, likes exploring Maine - from mattress races to cardboard boats, she's into the weird stuff.

Karen Beaudoin, online editor for MaineToday Media, likes knowing the important things - like who's just opened their deck for a sunny afternoon beer and what Portland's eclectic set of street performers are up to.

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