This is the third in a four-part series exploring happy hour across the city. Look for the “related stories box” in the text for more neighborhoods.
Happy hour is a time to shake off the day and enjoy bites and drinks at a discount. In this second story, we look at many of the options on the west side/downtown corridor and the southern section of the city.
West side (downtown)
The heaviest concentration of happy hours happens downtown, our restaurant cornerstone, where one can visit several in an afternoon, as they do across the globe. In the Basque Country (northern Spain/southern France), many dine at bars, grabbing one or two pintxos and a short pour of beer, cider or green wine for about $5, before moving on to the next bar. Each bar competes with the next to offer the most creative and delicious pintxos, which loosely translates to “small meals” unlike the Spaniard’s tapas (“small bites”). Pintxos tend to be more intricate and robust than a single bite.
Let’s start our west side happy hour tour on the north end, a bit too far to walk from downtown, where Wishbone offers an eclectic and healthy farm to fork “happiest of hours” Thursday through Sunday, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Drinks run from Olympia ($2) and Death and Taxes ($5) beer to house red and white wine ($5) to plenty of house cocktails for $7. The food menu consists of pickled veggies ($3), Shishito peppers ($4), maitake tempura ($5), B’s salad ($5), hummus ($5), labneh (Greek) cheese ($5), an excellent house-made chicken liver pate ($5) and dirty fries ($6) topped with beer cheese, buttermilk and crispy pork belly.
I was unable to confirm whether the Aquarium or Mike’s at the Crossroads have any happy hour specials before moving south, landing next at Rosen’s 256 North, which has another one of our favorite happy hours that runs Tuesday to Friday, from 3 to 6 p.m., and 3 to 5 p.m. on the weekend. Rosen’s happy hour is so good that it has become our home away from home. Running the gamut from the simple yet delicious pretzel ($3) to the most succulent shrimp rolls ($7) and tender prime rib sliders ($7), everything on Rosen’s menu had us returning within a week for more of the same. We also discovered the Snake River hamburger slider, meatball parmesan crostini, crispy artichoke hearts, Brussel sprout chips and Jan’s famous egg salad crostini. Drinks include house beer ($2), house wines and prosecco ($5), plus everything from a Grey Goose Moscow Mule ($6) to a Benchmark Martini ($6).
Next door to Rosen’s, Buffalo Billiards runs their happy hour Monday through Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m., with select draught beers ($3), house wine ($4) and an ever-changing snack menu, which at the time included fries ($3), mozzarella sticks ($3), chicken wings ($4) and pizza ($5).
Head to Brewsters Beer Garden for happy hour Tuesday through Friday, from 2-5 p.m., for $2 off wine, beer and well cocktails, plus St. Louis ribs ($2 each) and fries with aioli ($4).
Lemongrass Thai Noodle House presents an extensive happy hour Monday through Thursday, from 5 to 7 p.m. Because the menu in the window was slightly different than the one inside, do not get your heart set on any one of these items, although there are clearly enough to find at least half a dozen that will satiate any hunger. We enjoyed them all. Beer or a generous glass of house wine is only $3, with sodas and Thai iced coffee or tea for $2. All menu items are either $4 or $5 and include crispy spring rolls, chicken potstickers, chicken lumpia, crab Rangoon, imperial rolls, crispy tofu, veggie samosas, prawn wraps, coconut prawns, fresh summer rolls, chicken satay and deep fried ice cream.