Sunday, August 2, 2015

W is for: West Hartford Happy Hour

My friend Jeremy and I started this blog post in November of 2014 out of our love for West Hartford happy hours and our desire to share it with the people of central Connecticut.


In reality, I'm not sure how much this appeals to the majority of my blog readers, so perhaps it was a bit selfish on our part. Not that we need an excuse to go to happy hour every week, but this certainly gave us one.

The West Hartford Center happy hour phenomenon really is something. They truly are the cheapest and best happy hour deals I have ever come across. I'm curious how and when it all started. Which restaurant decided it was going to offer great food and drinks at ridiculously low prices, the popularity of it forcing the hand of every other restaurant in the center? This, we may never know. But I can confidently say we do know which ones are the best. You know why I know? Because we tried them all. Every. Single. One. It was our duty in order to bring you this comprehensive list.


Because we started this project 9 months ago, some of the specific food and drink items might be tad outdated, but we stand behind our rankings. For this reason, we plan to revisit some of these spots on "official blog business" and update them where needed. (Because... you know, for the integrity of the blog). Special shout out to these fine establishments of WeHa for providing us a fun project over the last year and to Jeremy's lovely fiancée Rita for putting up with our semi-weekly excursions.


To help judge value and make us do math when we're tipsy, we set a budget of $40 for two people (tax and tip not included). As for the rating system... it's pretty simple. Scale of 1-5, four categories, bonus points for happy hours that go three hours or are offered on the weekends. They are listed in order of highest total score to lowest. Cheers!!



Bricco


Restaurant Bricco
78 LaSalle Road

Happy Hours: 7 days a week, 4-6pm

Scores:
Food selection 4.5
Drink selection 4.5
Value 4
Quality 5
Bonus .5 for 7 days a week
Total 18.5

What we ordered:
Food: fig pizza ($6), charcuterie/cheese plate ($6), ricotta toast ($4),
Drinks: prosecco ($6), blood orange margarita ($6), grapefruit gimlet ($6), 2 beers ($3 each)

If you don't like pizza (or carbs)... Then we probably don't want to be your friend, and this happy hour might not be for you. While there are a couple of salad and low carb options (i.e. beets, meatballs), the pizza selection is where this happy hour shines. (Who orders beets for happy hour anyways?) You can get ANY of their eleven normal wood fired pizza options in a smaller happy hour version. Our server informed us they are about half the size as normal, but we agreed it was very substantial (and very delicious). One thing we were surprised about at an Italian place was no pasta options on the HH menu. Both of us loved the ricotta toast, I thought the meat/cheese plate offered a lot of variety. Jeremy agreed, but is skeptical on the concept of a meat/cheese plate in general. Focaccia bread with a sweet potato spread is offered complimentary. As for drinks, I give it an extra thumbs up for offering prosecco at happy hour, and in all, there are 7 wine offerings. We both liked the mixed drinks, specifically the grapefruit gimlet. If beer is your thing, you've got 6 to choose from at Bricco ($3 domestics, $4 imports).

a'Vert Brasserie

a'Vert Brasserie
35 LaSalle Road
Happy Hours: 4-7 M-Th, 4-6 Fri-Sun
Also: 1/2 price bottles of wine Sunday/Monday


Scores:
Food Selection 3.5
Drink selection 3.5
Value 4
Quality 4.5
Bonus .5 for hours, .5 for 7 days a week
Total: 16.5

What we ordered: 
Food: Petite Duck Confit Sandwiches with Spicy aioli ($5), Charcuterie/Cheese Tasting ($6), Petite Croque Monsieur Ham & Cheese Sandwich ($5), Truffle Fries ($4)
Drinks: $40 bottle of wine at 1/2 price

Let us start by saying that we happened to visit on a Monday, which also happens to be half price bottle of wine night. This is what we like to call a Happy Hour Double Down. (Actually, I just made that up but whatever). However, even if you are not there on one of those nights, you still have a selection of 7 wines, 5 beers and 5 cocktails. There are 10 happy hour food items to choose from (though I should point out 2 of those are fries, along with a salad and soup). Not to be missed are the duck confit sandwiches and the Croque Monsieur (basically grilled cheese on steroids), which comes with a nice little side salad. They don't skimp on the cheese/charcuterie selections like their sister restaurant, Treva (see further down) and it comes with some nice accompaniments like dried apricots, gherkins and mustard. I've also sampled the escargot (snails), which are good if you like butter and garlic (which I do), and they are the same size portion as the regular menu. Our bartender, Chris, also said the mussels are a good deal at HH. Also... in the category of "happy hour freebies," special shoutout for the hard boiled eggs with spicy Dijon mustard that are available at the bar, a nod to the tradition in French bistros.

Vinted

Vinted Wine Bar & Kitchen
63 Memorial Road
Happy Hours: 2:30-6 M-Sat, 4-6PM Sun

Scores:
Food Selection 4
Drink Selection 3
Value 4.5
Quality 4.5
Bonus .5
Total: 16.5

What we ordered:
Food: Cheese burger with fries ($7), Tuna tartare ($7), Fried baby Brussels ($5), Risotto balls ($5)
Drinks: 2 glasses of wine ($5 each), 2 beers ($3 each)

(Update 12.29.16) We are SOOO pumped about the new Vinted happy hour menu. It's as if they listened to us! It has completely changed since our original visit a year or so ago. They previously only had 4 food items to choose from that did not appear on the regular menu. Now they feature items straight from the regular menu at nearly a 50% discount. And while we have previously declared Fleming's burger as the best HH burger in West Hartford (see below), Vinted is giving it a serious run for its money. It was delicious! Really the only thing missing was bacon. We also enjoyed the tuna tartare, the baby Brussels and the risotto balls, which all seemed to be normal-sized portions. I'm still a little puzzled by the limited amount of happy hour wine selection at a wine bar (there are just 3), but they are all solid options and a nice deal at $5 each. There are now 4 HH beer options (2 at $3 each and 2 at $4 each). You can also get house spirits for $5. Additionally, Mondays are half priced bottle of wine night, so like a'Vert, this might be a good time to visit. Also... you can now enjoy happy hour on the weekends! And if you are looking to get the party started early, HH starts at 2:30 Monday through Saturday.

Max Oyster

Max Oyster
964 Farmington Avenue
Happy Hours: M-Sat, 4-6, Sun 3-6

Scores:
Food Selection 4.5
Drink Selection 3.5
Value 3
Quality 4.5
Bonus: .5 for hours
Total: 16

What we ordered:
Food: 3 oysters ($5), fried oyster sliders ($5), Baltimore shrimp ($5), blackened fish tacos ($5)
Drinks: Max Manhattan ($5), Dale Pale Alee ($5), Prosecco (2 @ $5 each)

Seafood lovers, rejoice! If you want to feel all fancy at happy hour while sipping bubbly and eating oysters on the half shell, then Max Oyster is your jam. There's a variety of food items ranging from raw bar (oysters, clams, salmon sashimi) to sliders & steamed buns, to tacos & "snacks". Being that it was a seafood place, we stuck to the fish, but there were a couple meat and veggie options as well. The blackened fish tacos are a must-order, and the fried oyster sliders were tasty and came with a side of chips. Our one knock on the food is it's pretty small portions, but it makes up for it with the high quality. For drinks, you've got 4 beer options, 4 wine options (including prosecco, yay!) and 5 cocktail options that offer some nice variety. It's a bit of an older crowd, but a nice scene at happy hour. We wish they allowed HH on the little sidewalk patio, but we sat on the very edge with the doors open so it *almost* felt like we were outside.




Treva

Treva
980 Farmington Avenue
Happy Hours: 4-7pm M-Thu, 4-6pm Fri-Sun

Scores:
Food Selection 4.5
Drink selection 3
Value 3
Quality 4
Bonus .5 for hours, .5 for 7 days a week
Total: 15.5

What we ordered:
Food: antipasti (meat/cheese plate) ($5), flatbread ($5), gnocchi ($5), ravioli of the day ($5), fried brussels sprouts ($2)
Drinks: 2 glasses chianti ($5 each), 1 glass Cabernet Sauvignon ($5), 1 beer ($3)

This one was an eye opener for me. Ever since I moved to West Hartford, I've been singing the praises of the Treva happy hour. And while I still like it, (and note that we positively LOVE the regular drink/dinner menu), upon closer examination, Jeremy and I realized the happy hour isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Almost none of the happy hour items available on the regular dinner menu. This made it tough to determine value, and it left us wanting more of the flavors we know and love from Treva. Not surprisingly, our two faves were the brussels sprouts and the ravioli of the day... both offered on the regular menu. On the day we visited, the ravioli was an eggplant parmesan filling and you get three of them. The antipasti plate comes with olives, so that's a nice touch, since olives are also offered for $2 separately. (However, I really want to point out that the cacciovallo cheese they throw on there really angers me as it's basically provolone, and again, it's the only cheese not offered on the regular menu). The flatbread is solid, but not as good as Bricco. The bread and olive oil is complimentary.

As for drinks, there are 6 wines (though no bubbly... boooo) and 3 "uninspiring beers" according to Jeremy (Peroni, Heineken and Guiness). One of my favorite things about Treva in general is the inspired cocktail program, which sadly is not reflected at happy hour. And in Jeremy's words "there are no cocktails that would allow me to maintain masculinity." Additionally, they are all vodka based. It's generally a pretty good bar scene, especially towards the end of happy hour, but the space is small, making it difficult to find seats at times.


Flemings

Flemings
44 South Main Street
Happy Hours: 7 days a week, 5-7pm

Scores:
Food Selection 4
Drink selection 3.5
Value 2.5
Quality 4.5
Bonus .5 for 7 days a week
Total: 15

What we ordered:
Food: 2 bacon cheeseburgers with fries ($8 each), housemade burrata ($6)
Drinks: 2 glasses of wine ($7 each), 2 Blue Moon beers ($3 each)

(Update 1.4.17) While Flemings is still a great spot to get a burger and fries at happy hour, the prices have been steadily climbing. When we first started going to this happy hour a couple years ago, the burger was $6, then it jumped to $7, and now it's all the way up to $8. While this is still a decent deal for a bacon cheeseburger and garlic fries at a steakhouse, we venture to say that Vinted may have surpassed it for our favorite happy hour burger and fries, especially in terms of value. Beer is still only $3, but you still only have one option. The rest of the menu formerly had a "5 for $6 til 7" theme, it's now "5 starting at $6 til 7"... meaning apps and drinks range from $6-$8 now, which borders on non-happy hour prices. For this reason, we had to dock a whole point from value, bringing it down to 15.5. That said, the burger is still delicious and they offer happy hour seven days a week, so still worth checking out if you're simply craving a burger and fries, especially on a weekend.


**Also worth noting we would no longer be able to order two burgers, four drinks AND the burrata to stay under our $40 budget


Grant's

Grant's
977 Farmington Avenue
Happy Hours: 7 days a week, 4-6pm

Scores:
Food Selection 3.5
Drink selection 4.5
Value 3
Quality 3.5
Bonus .5 for 7 days a week
Total: 15

*Update: Grant's recently shortened its happy hour to end at 6 instead of 7, and added several new menu items. Check back soon for an updated review!

What we ordered:
Food: pulled pork sliders ($5), shishito peppers ($4), sweet potato fries with cider dipping sauce ($4), burger ($6).
Drinks: 3 cocktails ($6 each), 1 beer ($3)

Grant's is sort of the "old reliable." Everything is pretty solid, but none of it leaves you craving it when you are thinking of happy hour options. There are 11 choices for food, but 2 of them are fries, there's a chicken liver mousse involved (odd choice for happy hour), and a boring salad. Favorites among the items we ordered were the pulled pork sliders, sweet potato fries and shishito peppers. Burger is standard, and not a great value at $6 with no fries. Beer selection is great, as there are 8 of them, including plenty of local favorites. And at $3, this is a great happy hour spot for beer drinkers. There are 5 cocktails, one of which is swapped out seasonally, and all of them seem to use fresh ingredients. Most are $9 normally, so you get some nice value there. There are 7 house wines available, including prosecco (cheers from Jaymee) for $6 each. We should also note, that this is a fun scene at happy hour. We arrived at 4pm, and the place quickly filled up. Another bonus... in the summer, you can order happy hour items on the patio.


Blue Elephant Trail

Blue Elephant Trail
7 South Main Street
Happy Hours: M-Sat, 4-7pm

What we ordered:
Food: Crispy calamari ($3), chicken satay (4 @ $1 per skewer), Thai wings ($3), fried wonton ($2), summer roll ($2)
Drinks: 4 cocktails at $5 each

Scores:
Food Selection 3
Drink selection 3
Value 5
Quality 3
Bonus .5 for hours, .5 for 7 days a week
Total: 15

Cheap, cheap, cheap! That's the takeaway at Blue Elephant Trail. It is truly the most bang for your buck with 11 food offerings ranging from a dollar (a DOLLAR) to five dollars (though a majority of them fall in the $1-$3 range). The one complaint about the happy hour food is it's very one-dimensional; it all has a certain sameness to it. (Read = fried, lots of sweet chili sauce, etc.) For drinks, you've got 8 cocktails to choose from for $5 each (though they are all extremely sweet). There are a couple of wine options, but honestly... don't bother. No beer at all offered for happy hour (regular price is $5). This was one of the few places on our happy hour tour that we did not make it to the allotted $40. The chicken satay skewers with peanut sauce were a favorite and only $1 each. Great value if you like Thai food.


Rizzuto's
Rizzuto's
111 Memorial Road
Happy Hours: 4-7pm M-F, 12-4 weekends

Scores:
Food Selection 3.5
Drink Selection 3
Value 4
Quality 3
Bonus 1 for 7 days a week
Total: 14.5

What we ordered:
Food: Pizza with prosciutto & arugula ($5), Arancini ($4), plus free appetizer bar
Drinks: Bourbon Apple Cider ($5), 3 glasses of wine ($5 each), 2 draft beers ($5 each)

(Update 12.29.16) Extra! Extra! Major update for Rizzuto's Happy Hour. We had previously heard rumors of the free appetizer buffet at happy hour, and we are eager to report that it's back! During our recent visit, they had some sort of pizza bread situation, arugula salad, and wings... all gratis as long as you are ordering drinks. In addition, you have your choice of 8 pizzas and 9 appetizers offered at discounted prices. If you do order food off the HH menu, we also noticed a drastic improvement in portion sizes. The pizza was a normal size, and the risotto balls had 5 to an order. There's a nice selection of 8 draft beers, but they will run you $5, whereas bottles are on special for $3. There are 3 specialty cocktails for $6, 2 "sharing cocktails" that can be ordered by the pitcher, and 9 wine selections for $5 each. Additionally, you can now enjoy happy hour until 7pm during the week and 12-4 on weekends (can you say Sunday funday?) It's still not our favorite happy hour food in the center, but we were thoroughly impressed with the improvements. (Perhaps they read our post?!)


Barcelona



Barcelona
971 Farmington Avenue
Happy Hours: 5-7pm M-F

Scores:
Food Selection 3.5
Drink selection 3.5
Value 3
Quality 4
Bonus n/a
Total: 14

What we ordered:
Food: Eggplant montadino (basically a bruschetta, $3), chorizo ($5), albondigas (meatballs in red sauce, $3), papitas (fries with truffle salt & aioli, $3), hanger steak ($5)
Drinks: 2 glasses of wine ($5 each), 1 cocktail ($6.50), 1 beer ($3)

(Update 1.04.17) Barcelona has changed its happy hour menu several times since the original posting of this blog. Like Treva, Barcelona is one of my favorite spots for dinner in West Hartford. I studied abroad IN Barcelona, Spain, so this place elicits a lot of happy memories and the food is very authentic. We just wish a little more of it was offered at happy hour. Keep in mind, this is a tapas establishment, so the portions are small, and the HH selections are probably not enough to supplement dinner unless you order a lot. Fortunately, this is reflected in the price as there are some options at $3, and a few at $5. However, the prices used to be $2 & $3, so the prices have gone up a bit. (For this reason, we had to dock a half point off value.) I'm sad the tortilla and patatas are no longer available at HH, but I did like the addition of the steak & chorizo, and the fries were an OK substitution for the potatoes. Warm bread and olive oil is still complimentary (great dipped in the tomato sauce from the meatballs.)

As for drinks, they reduced the wine selection from 9 down to 5. That said, you still have some interesting options like rosé and Spanish reds instead of the standard cab/merlot situation offered at most spots. They did add more cocktail options, but the prices increased there as well (from $5 to $6.50... another reason for the change in our value score.) There's also red and white sangria with options of traditional or "seasonal" syrups for $4.50 (or $20 for a pitcher.) Another bonus is that you can sit pretty much anywhere in the restaurant to enjoy the happy hour specials, so this is a perfect spot for larger groups.


Bar Louie
51 Isham Road
Happy Hours: M-F 4-7pm

Scores:
Food Selection 3
Drink selection 4.5
Value 3.5
Quality 2.5
Bonus .5
Total: 14

What we ordered: Food: Roasted Vegetable Flatbread ($6+), Boneless Buffalo Wings ($6), Trio of Dips ($4.50)
Drinks: 4 beers ($3.25 each), 2 glasses of wine ($4.25 each)

(Update: 12.29.16) Bar Louie is one of the newest additions to the West Hartford Center happy hour scene. They offer half off select appetizers, along with almost all beers priced at $3.25, all wines at $4.25 and their signature martinis at $5.25. The space is huge, so there is a lot of room for you and your happy hour companions. That said, we've noticed it quickly tends to fill up by 5:30, and service becomes horrible the busier it gets. With 30 beers, 21 wines and 16 martinis offered at happy hour prices, you really do have to give the drink selection some props. Your best bet in the wine department is a Central Coast Pinot Noir, which normally would run you $13 per glass. However, the food was lacking, both in selection and quality. You have your choice of 4 flatbreads, 4 types of boneless wings, 2 quesadillas, calamari, bruschetta, spinach and artichoke dip, and a trio of dips and chips. Half off is nice, but we agreed it was slightly overpriced to begin with. Additionally, the chips were stale and the buffalo wings were "eh." By far the best thing was the flatbread. Put simply, come here for the cheap drinks, but don't expect much from the food. In Jeremy's words: "The best bet for getting LIT."


Max Burger
Max Burger
124 LaSalle Road
Happy Hours: M-F 4-6pm

Scores:
Food Selection 3
Drink selection 3
Value 3.5
Quality 3.5
Bonus n/a
Total: 13

What we ordered: Food: soft pretzels with "El Diablo" cheese dip ($3), bacon wrapped dates with blue cheese ($3), warm black & blue chips ($3), 2 burgers ($5 each) 
Drinks: 3 cocktails ($6 each), 1 beer ($3)

This happy hour menu was seemingly created for dudes by dudes. So if you're a group of guys looking for happy hour, this might be your spot. The "happy hour six pack" offers 4 sliders and 2 beers for $12, which is a nice option if you prefer to drink beer at happy hour (I don't, so we didn't get this). However, there's actually only one beer offered at happy hour which is a bummer considering this place has such a great beer selection in general. The sangria is barely discounted and the 2 generic wines offered I didn't even consider trying.  However, the happy hour drink list was definitely a pleasant surprise and most certainly the star here. We enjoyed unique concoctions such as a spiced cider cocktail and a banana bread Manhattan. (They change seasonally). The Old Fashioned was also on point... Jeremy's favorite of all the happy hours. (With a Luxardo cherry to boot).

Being that we were at a burger place, we decided to each order our own burger. We both love the burgers at Max generally speaking, but the happy hour version was very basic and didn't offer fries (there's not even a fry option on the HH menu). However, the warm black and blue chips are a nice substitute. They come drizzled with a creamy blue cheese sauce. Speaking of cheesy sauce, the "El Diablo" sauce that comes with the soft pretzel was so delicious that once the pretzel was gone, I even dipped some of the chips in it so we didn't waste a single drop. The atmosphere was hopping from the minute we walked in, but it might be the smallest bar area at any of the restaurants in the center.


McLadden's
McLadden's
37 LaSalle Road
Happy Hours: M-Sat 3-6, Sun 1-5

Scores:
Food Selection 2.5
Drink selection 3
Value 4
Quality 3
Bonus: for hours .5

Total: 13

What we ordered:
Food: Mac 'n cheese bites ($3), pulled pork bites ($3), fried pickles ($3), banger kebabs ($3)
Drinks: 4 beers ($5 each), 1 cocktail ($5)

McLadden's is what you would expect from your typical Irish pub: beer and lots of fried food. Let us start by pointing out that happy hour is offered every day, with Sunday afternoons included from 1-5, which would be a huge draw during football season. You can also sit outside for HH, which is always a plus in our minds. As for the food, there are 9 offerings at only $3 each, but all pretty heavy and most of them fried. The pulled pork bites were definitely our fave of the bunch with Kentucky bourbon BBQ pork served atop fried sourdough. For drinks, you have a choice of 5 beers, 4 cocktails or 2 wines. 


Elbow Room

Elbow Room (& Tap Room)
986 Farmington Avenue
Happy Hours: M-F, 4-6pm

Scores:
Food Selection 3
Drink selection 2.5
Value 4
Quality 3
Bonus n/a
Total: 13


What we ordered:
Food: Nachos ($5), Steak quesadilla ($5)
Drinks: 2 Beers ($3 each), 2 glasses of wine ($5 each), grapefruit cosmo ($5)

If you are a frat bro who wants to sit outside and play beer pong with your friends, then this is your spot. (No seriously, there was a group of like 15 dudes playing a ping pong version of quarters at a nearby table while we were here). The main draw at Elbow Room is the rooftop seating and the ginormous portions. We couldn't even hit our $40 budget (if we had, we would've either been fat or drunk or both). It's your standard bar fare for $5 each (think nachos, quesadillas, calamari, chicken tenders, buffalo wings, potato skins). The quesadilla was more like a steak sandwich and the nachos were piled high with cheese, jalapenos and green onions. $3 beer options were limited to Corona and a local-ish draft (though the bartender informed us that the sister restaurant, Tap Room, has more beer selections at HH). A couple of wines for $5 and a grapefruit gimlet with Skyy vodka are your other drink options. Minus points for the fact that people are allowed to smoke on the roof. Also note, you must sit AT the bar for the happy hour specials.


World of Beer

World of Beer
73 Isham Road
Happy Hours: M-F, 4-6

Scores:
Food Selection 3
Drink Selection 3
Value 3
Quality 3.5
Bonus n/a
Total: 12.5

What we ordered:
Food: German pretzel with mustard ($5), flatbread ($5), Mac ‘n Cheese ($5)
Drinks: 5 beers ($25)

World of Beer is the newest member to the West Hartford Happy Hour scene. In general, it’s a large space with lots of TV’s and a nice place to watch a game or meet up with friends. You can sit anywhere to enjoy their happy hour, which was a bonus since we happened to visit on a warm, sunny day so we sat outside. Without fail, I always order one of their German pretzels while here. They are as big as your head and are served on a giant hook. You have a choice of 4 mustards, and we tried all of them. I also love the beer cheese, but it’s extra so we had to refrain (we're on a budget you know). We surprisingly really enjoyed the mac ‘n cheese here as well, which was creamy and topped with bread crumbs and bacon. Other options included 5 piece wings and onion rings. Overall, it was a very carb-heavy selection. As for drinks, you have a choice of five $5 beers (including a cider), along with select wine & spirits and specialty shots. We stuck to the beer/cider because, well, when you’re at a place called “World of Beer,” it just seemed like the right thing to do.


Bartaco

Bartaco
971 Farmington Avenue
Happy Hours: M-F 5-6:30

Scores:
Food Selection 3.5
Drink Selection 3
Value 2
Quality 3.5
Bonus n/a
Total: 12

What we ordered: 
Food: 6 tacos- chorizo, pork belly, baja fish ($2.50 each), small guacamole & chips ($5)
Drinks: La Ruleta, Cecila, Summer Street Snap & Sangria Pera (all $5 each)

This was actually one of the harder happy hours for us to score. That's because Bar Taco only offers specials for 90 minutes during the weekdays, and it only consists of drinks. You can get 5 different cocktails for $5 at 5pm. Considering most of their regular drinks are around 10 bucks, this actually is a pretty good deal. None of them appear on their regular menu, but they are unique and creative and offer four different types of alcohol (rum, tequila, vodka, wine/st. germain). However, there are no wine or beer offerings (in fact, a beer would be MORE expensive at HH), and again no food. I pointed out that the food here is relatively cheap to begin with, but we still would love to see a few food specials thrown in. In addition to our four cocktails, we ordered six tacos and the small guacamole and chips to stay within the $40 budget and were left feeling hungry. The biggest draw here is the outdoor patio, so if you are happy houring on a nice day, it's a solid choice. Bottom line... if you were planning to eat here for dinner anyways, just come a little early and enjoy some cheap drinks.

Side note: avoid wearing your blue checkered shirt unless you want to look like one of the wait staff (ahem.... Jeremy, I'm looking at you).


Shish Kebab House of Afghanistan

Shish Kebab House of Afghanistan
36 LaSalle Road
Happy Hours: 4-7 M-Sat

Scores:
Food Selection 2
Drink selection 2.5
Value 2.5
Quality 2
Bonus .5 for hours
Total: 9.5

What we ordered:
Food: bowlani ($3), samosas ($3), ashak ($3), hummus ($3), burgers (1 chicken, 1 beef- $5 each)
Drinks: 2 glasses prosecco ($5 each), 2 beers ($3 each)
Total spent: $38

Oh Shish. We wanted to love you. We wanted to be surprised and dazzled. Instead, we were mostly disappointed. First of all, this place is called "Shish Kebab House of Afghanistan." And yet, not a kebab in sight offered for HH. Not even a mini version. Most items are normally $5, so it's not much of a savings at $3 (But props for a variety of $3 items). Don't bother with the "burgers" served in a pita. (Honestly, if you want a happy hour burger, go to Flemings... see above). That said, the wine selection is pretty large. You can get any of the glasses of wine they offer on the regular menu (normally $8-9) for just $5. (And TWO sparklings... YAY). No mixed drinks offered, and there are 4 draft beers available. I think I enjoyed the "Ashak" the most, and this is normally $9 on the regular menu. (FYI... They are boiled dumplings filled with scallions and spinach, and topped with beef, yellow split peas, mint and yogurt). Additionally, if you are looking for a "scene" at happy hour, this is not it. (Unless your scene involves sitting by yourself at the bar).

13 comments:

  1. Hi Jaymee! Thank you for doing this. As a parent of two young boys, HH's are just about extinct. But, now, I feel empowered to get a baby sitter and go to the center immediately-probably a'Vert. (BTW, if you have nephew withdrawal symptoms, Zachary is 9 and a huge Giants/49ers/Dubs fan, and Malcolm is 1; and, I can always sous vide a meal for you in exchange :) )

    Keep up the great work! I always learn something.

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  2. Hi Jaymee, I just discovered your blog today and love it! I'm living in Great Falls, MT (a transplant going on 7 years now). I run a cooking school in our local kitchen retail store. Today we were doing lots of canning (mostly pickles) and had tons of jalapenos leftover. I used your recipe for candied jalapenos so excited to see how they turn out. If you are ever our way let me know, we can guest chef you at one of our classes :-) I'll be checking out more of your recipes for sure.

    Rhonda

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  3. Plan B Burger has a basic burger-y happy hour. Definitely not as elegant as some of the choices you list but a good deal and worth mentioning -- at least in the comments.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kate! Great point. I should've been more clear that we were specifically focusing on spots in the center for this particular post because you're right! Thanks for stopping by

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  4. "Thanks Jeremy for sharing this blog. I have been at Max Oyster for happy hour with my family. Ordered Fried Calamari and Los Vascos Cabernet
    and it was so yummy.

    "
    www.gameworks.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Any plans to post an update? Including new Bar Louie and Cuvees has closed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes!! Working on it currently :) waiting for a few other spots to open as well

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  6. Thanks for posting this..what a great idea! Love it! :) I've tried Flemings, Bar Louie and will be going to Besito! I love their sangria and table side guac! I liked the atmosphere at Flemings and the food was pretty good (I had the ravioli, calamari and burger; shared of course!) My one complaint is that my burger was kinda tough. Bar Louie served bruschetta in a huge martini glass which was a really cute idea!
    My personal opinion is that HH should be extended until 9...at least!

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    1. Happy hours on weekends ( those listed) still happening?

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  7. Thanks for posting this...love it! :) I've tried Bar Louie and Flemings. I like the atmosphere and the food was pretty good at Flemings (I had the calamari, mushroom ravioli and burger; shared of course!). My one complaint was that the burger was kinda tough. Bar Louie served bruschetta in a martini glass, which was a very cute idea! Next on my list is Besito-I love their sangria and tableside guac! Bar Louie did not offer a HH special for sangria (it was pricey!) and that's one of my favorite drinks.

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  8. Have you checked out Noble and Co? Its next door to the irish pub

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  9. Have you checked out Noble and Co? Its next door to the irish pub

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    Replies
    1. I have.. it was just OK in my opinion.

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I would LOVE to hear what you think. I read every comment and get a little giddy when I see someone has left one on the blog. Thanks for stopping by!

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