December 2, 2006
Finding great happy hour spots around town has recently become something of an obsession for my wife and me. I’m not talking about things like a buck off selected appetizers, or $3 well drinks. We’re looking for nice restaurants that offer really good food at a steep discount if you happen to show up at odd hours.
We live in Eastlake, so there’s a strong local bias, but I thought I’d share what we’ve learned so far. If you have any recommendations, we’re always looking for new places!
Serafina – We tried Serafina’s happy hour for the first time last night. We had the plin (little pork-stuffed pastas), the crostoni (they use the word “quivering” in their description of the buffalo mozzarella) and the calamari (sauteed, not deep fried). All three were great, and each was less than $5. The happy hour runs 4-6pm on weekdays.
Ponti – This is probably our favorite happy hour spot. You can cozy up at a little table by the fireplace. We usually order the salmon quesadillas (fantastic), the tempura prawns (yum – ask for some soy sauce and wasabi), the calamari and the fish and chips. There are half a dozen other items on the happy hour menu, and all of them are 5 bucks (except the fish and chips – worth it at $10). The other thing that’s nice about Ponti is the hours. Happy “hour” goes 4-6:30pm and then again from 9-close, 7 days a week.
Matador – It’s over-crowded, over-hip, and I wouldn’t bother for a normal dinner. But what a great happy hour! Tortilla soup, spicy prawns, nachos and guacamole and wonderful fish tacos. A bunch of other items. $4 each! Just 4 little bucks. Amazing. The hours aren’t bad – 4-6pm and 10pm-1am, 7 days a week.
Chandlers – This used to be an exceptionally good deal. Some of their best food, including the Tempura Prawns and Asparagus (wonderful), was on the happy hour list. Alas, they realized they were giving away the store. Still it’s a nice deal for the food they still offer (some sushi, calamari and crabcakes) and it’s fun to sit on the deck in summertime (oh so long ago). Happy hours 3-6pm and 9:30pm-close.
McCormick & Schmicks – Attention, bargain-hunters. McSchmicks has the cheapest happy hour we’ve found yet. Mountains of food for just $1.95. A big cheeseburger: $1.95. Fish tacos? $1.95. Quesadilla? $1.95. There’s only one small problem with this otherwise perfect arrangement. The food’s not all that good. Happy hour runs 4-6pm and 9-11pm. Except Friday’s and Saturday’s – then it’s from 8pm-10pm.
Of course, there are a ton of other places. I like Seattle Weekly’s happy hour guide, but it’s not comprehensive. Perhaps Urbanspoon should include a happy hour page…