Sunday, April 24, 2011

Zengo Happy Hour Review

781 7th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

Happy Hour Served Monday-Saturday from 5:00p - 8:00p
Neighborhood: Chinatown
Specials: $5.00 Speciality Cocktails, $4.00 Beer, $5 bar bites (served only in bar and lounge)
Restaurant Website: Zengo
Cocktail Menu
Small Plates Menu

Having been less than impressed when dining at Zengo for dinner a year ago, I was not too excited to come back for happy hour on the suggestion of a friend last night. As the happy hour specials are only served in the bar and lounge on the first floor of the restaurant I was surprised to find it not crowded, especially on a Saturday night. The atmosphere of the restaurant is reminiscent of a club with a DJ booth in the corner, lounge furniture, and low lighting. Now on to the most important part of the review, food and drinks. 

The happy hour drink specials included the simplest drinks on their cocktail list. I had the Margarita Tradicional and M. had the Caipirinha. Of the two the Caipirinha came out on top but that does not mean that is not saying much... both were far from good. Because of this we opted for water, rather than enjoying another cocktail. 

However the food made up for what the drinks lacked and at $5 a plate the price can not be beat. We tried four plates: Achiote-Hoisen Pork Arepas, Thai Chicken Empanadas, Pork Spare Ribs, and Crunchy Calamari. The best plate was the Achiote-Hoisen Pork Arepas, which unfortunately were so tasty we forgot to take a picture before devouring them. My least favorite was the Thai Chicken Empanadas, although M. thought they weren't too bad.  All the portions are full-sized which is a pleasant surprise so you leave feeling full.

Crunchy Calamari and Spare Ribs

Thai Chicken Empanadas

The Verdict: Come for the food but enjoy your cocktails elsewhere!

Stay tuned for my next post because happy hour is the best hour and there is no better place to spend it than in the nation's capital. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

BarTab - An App that Makes Every Hour Happy Hour

 The biggest complaint that hear with regards to happy hour is that it just doesn't run late enough. While don't fret anymore because the new smart phone application Bartab allows for happy hour prices long into the night. Using your phone you can send yourself and friends $1 drinks! When the receiver (whether yourself or a friend) redeems the drink at the bar they pay another $1. So all drinks are essentially $2... you can't beat that price. Bartab is available in major cities including Washington, DC. You can send anything from a beer to a shot of jager to to friends to be redeem at the bars below: 

  • Bourbon - Adams Morgan
  • District
  • The Reef
  • Club Heaven & Hell
  • Columbia Station
  • Grand Centra
  • Saki Asian Grille
  • Rumba Cafe
  • Hawk'n Dove
  • The Ugly Mug
  • Cleveland Park & Grill
  • Zoo Bar
  • Lou's City Bar
  • Black Rooster Pub
  • Sign of the Whale
  • Cafe Citron
  • The Front Page - DC 
  • Level One
  • Cobalt 
  • 30 Degrees
  • JR's
  • The Mighty Pint
  • McFaddens
  • Rhino Bar and Pumphouse
  • Bourbon - Glover Park
  • District 2 Bar & Grill
  • Breadsoda
  • H Street Country Club
  • Smith Commons
  • K Street Lounge
  • Recessions
  • Logan Tavern
  • Ulah Bistro
Stay tuned for my next post because happy hour is the best hour and there is no better place to spend it than in the nation's capital. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Hour at Home

It's clear from my past post that my favorite drink to enjoy at happy hour is a Margarita. But sometimes there is just no time to go to happy hour. Make any hour, happy hour by making a Margarita at home.

Stay tuned for my next post because happy hour is the best hour and there is no better place to spend it than in the nation's capital. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Vapiano Happy Hour Review

1800 M Street NW, 
Washington, DC 20036

Happy Hour Served Monday - Friday 5pm - 8pm and Sunday 12pm - close
Neighborhood: Dupont
Specials: Beer and Wine $3.95, Sangria $6.50
Restaurant Website: Happy Hour Specials

Vapaino is a great go to restaurant for a delicious meal at a reasonable price in a unique atmosphere... especially in Washington, DC. But how do their happy hour specials rank against the rest?

The best part about their happy hour is that it runs later than most, wrapping up at 8pm. So hit one of the other bars located on M Street for a bit before heading over to Vapiano for dinner and a drink. In my opinion, that is really what Vapiano offers, inexpensive drink options to compliment dinner, not really happy hour. I would never think to head to Vapiano specifically to enjoy happy hour but the enticement of dinner drew me to come. While all of the girls tried the house white I opted for the Pink Sangria. Do not order the Pink Sangria! It tasted like Hi-C Pink Lemonade and I am pretty sure they forgot the alcohol. 

Enjoying Happy Hour at Vapiano

The Verdict: Stick to a glass of wine or a beer and enjoy the atmosphere and dinner at Vapianos but don't make it your destination specifically for happy hour.

Stay tuned for my next post because happy hour is the best hour and there is no better place to spend it than in the nation's capital. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Acadiana Happy Hour Review

901 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Happy Hour Served Monday-Friday from 3:30pm - 6:30pm
Neighborhood: Chinatown
Specials: $5.00 Speciality Cocktails, $4.00 Wine, 1/2 Price Bar Food Menu
Restaurant Website: Happy Hour Specials

Acadiana is a a young professionals paradise. When I arrived on a Thursday with my friends J. and R. it was clear we were a little too young to be running with this crowd... but who knows in a few years we could own this joint. On top of the mature crowd the bar at Acadiana offered an air of elegance with great low mood lighting.

A Mature Crowd Hanging Out At the Intelligent Bar

Now on to the good stuff... happy hour food and drinks! I opted to try the Cajun Dark and Stormy. While you could tell the drink was potent it was mixed with a level of sophistication so it was not overpowering. J. and R. tried the River Tea, a high class John Daly. The best part of the happy hour was by far the great happy hour food specials. The girls and I decided to try 3 appetizers from the bar menu: macaroni and cheese fries, oyster dip, and shrimp skewers. The macaroni and cheese fries were out of this world! IT was a very balanced fried macaroni and cheese in any easy to eat steak fry shape. The oyster dip was also tasty and the portion was huge. The shrimp skewers were the most unimpressive of the three. 

My Dark and Stormy.

The Verdict: If a were a few years old and had a few more dollars in the bank Acadiana would definitely be a great go to happy hour spot especially if I wanted to grab a bite. For now it remains a happy hour for special ocassion where I see a glimpse into my future.

Stay tuned for my next post because happy hour is the best hour and there is no better place to spend it than in the nation's capital. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

La Tasca - Chinatown Happy Hour Review

722 17th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

Happy Hour Served Everyday from 4pm - 7pm
Neighborhood: Chinatown
Specials: $3.50 Draft Beer, $15.00 Bottles of Wine, $15.00 Pitchers of Sangria, Select $3.00 Tapas
Restaurant Website: Happy Hour Specials

When you walk into La Tasca you are transported to Spain! The restaurant is large and it is important to note that there is a second bar downstairs if the main bar gets too full. On a weekend night you can expect to find a live band performing Spanish music. 

You can't go wrong with Sangria and La Tasca offers 10 varieties! The refreshing Spanish concoction combines varieties of wine with fresh fruit and sometimes triple sec and / or brandy. If it's your first time visiting La Tasca stick with the originals first: Cava Sangria, a sparkling white sangria with triple sec, brandy, grape juice and blueberries or the  Traditional Sangria Tinta, a red wine sangria with triple sec, brandy, apples and oranges. If your looking to explore with your sangria, my all time favorite is Agua de Sevilla! It is a sparkling white wine sangria prepared with pineapple juice and whipped cream. A pitcher normally offers about 6 glasses. Don't forget to finish up the fruit in the sangria, it's the best part!

Enjoying our Sangria!

While typically happy hour is only at the bar, on Thursday half-price sangria is served throughout the restaurant until 9 o'clock. That makes a pitcher of Sangria even cheaper than it is at happy hour averaging around $11.50 a pitcher!

The tapas selection for happy hour varies but I have yet to encounter a tapas I didn't like. Many of the tapas tend to be fried (eggplants, calamari, potatoes, croquettes) but there is also a great selection of proteins and paella. If you are looking to fill yourself up for dinner, order about 3-4 tapas.

Stay tuned for my next post because happy hour is the best hour and there is no better place to spend it than in the nation's capital. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Nooshi Oodles Noodles & Sushi Crazy Hour Review

1120 19th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

Happy Hour Served Monday - Saturday from 3pm - 7pm
Neighborhood: Downtown
Specials: Crazy Hour Half-Price Drinks (does not include frozen)
Restaurant Website: Nooshi

To an outsider Nooshi is nothing more than an average asian sushi restaurant. To a GWU undergraduate, Nooshi is a local institution. GWU undergraduates flock to Nooshi Thursday through Saturday to enjoy the infamous "Crazy Hour." Nooshi does not provide the young professional afterwork atmosphere that many dc area bars and restaurants offer but rather a drink hard play hard student vibe. All drinks (excluding a few frozen selections) are half-off. Having frequented Nooshi many a times during my days at GWU, my go to drink is a margarita on the rocks; but you can't go wrong with the vanilla mango mojito, woowoo, or Mai Tai. Drinks come potent and relatively inexpensive. Towards the end of happy hour you can count on sake bombs being done throughout the restaurant. If your looking for a good night be sure to join in!

Girls Night Happy Hour!

Unfortunately, Nooshi doesn't offer any happy hour specials on food but it is definitely a good idea to eat something to soak up some of the alcohol. The sushi is not too bad but I would recommend the honey peanut chicken (if you like some thing spicy) or the eggplant for something on the healthier side. 

Stay tuned for my next post because happy hour is the best hour and there is no better place to spend it than in the nation's capital.