Happy Hour: The only way I ever want to drink again

May 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Before we began this blog, I was never one to suggest happy hour. The idea of going never really crossed my mind, because I associated drinking with being more of a nighttime activity than an afternoon or early evening activity.

As this project progressed, I came to appreciate happy hour more. One of the major benefits, first of all, is the cost. One of the things I really hate now about going downtown is how easy it is to spend money on drinks that are often poorly made and end up tasting like rubbing alcohol. Although I probably need to take a short break from happy hours, simply because I went to so many over this period of time, I realize now how much more cost efficient it is.

The taste of the drinks was also another major factor in making me realize how much I appreciate happy hour now. Nearly every restaurant that I went to had well-made drinks that I actually enjoyed consuming, rather than tasting like the aforementioned drinks from downtown.

Especially in the last couple of months, I have had less and less interest in going downtown on the weekends because of the crowds, many of whom are clearly underage and often don’t know how to hold their alcohol very well. Happy hour offers the perfect solution for me now and I’m glad that this project sort of forced me to realize how much better of an alternative it is, especially as I get closer to graduating and no longer being a college student.


Polvo’s Mexican Restaurant: Even more margaritas

May 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Monday – Friday: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Polvo’s Mexican restaurant, located on South Lamar, is another great place to go for margaritas or beer at happy hour. The margaritas, which are only $4.50 at that time, are well made and strong without the taste of alcohol becoming overpowering. Unfortunately, though, they do not offer many flavors of margarita other than the standard lime. Domestic beers are offered for $2.75 and imported beers for $3.

With summer fast approaching, Polvo’s is a fantastic place to go. Customers have the option of eating indoors or outdoors, but the restaurant has set up the outdoor seating with fans so, despite the fact that temperatures are already in the 90s, sitting outdoors is still pleasant. The outdoor area is also covered, so customers are shaded. The restaurant is also accommodating to large parties of people.

Polvo’s is clearly a popular restaurant, as it is always pretty crowded. It is a refreshing change from the restaurants on campus simply because the crowd is more diverse than only college students.

Though the parking lot is small, because the restaurant is located in a somewhat residential area, street parking is available nearby. Overall, I really liked Polvo’s and I am pretty confident that I would return there in the future for happy hour.

Serrano’s free nacho bar, $2.50 margs = the happiest hour of all

May 8, 2011 § 3 Comments

Monday-Friday 3:00-6:30 pm
$2.50 margs, $1.50 appetizers

Serrano's cheap $2.50 strawberry marg is quite a treat. | Photo by Thu Pham

Serrano’s website dubs the Tex-Mex restaurant chain as “Austin’s best happy hour!” Well, I went last Friday to celebrate the last day of classes, and as it turns out, its happy hour IS pretty darn awesome. It was indeed the happiest hour of this semester.

Let’s start out with the drinks. Hands down, the best deal is the $2.50 margs. They’re decently sized and come in tons of flavors. I had the strawberry, mango, and amaretto frozen margs. The amaretto was my favorite, but to be honest, even the waiter couldn’t tell which one was which and it took us both a while to figure it out also. I will admit that they weren’t the tastiest margaritas I’ve ever had—they were actually really watery—but for that price, they sufficed.

My favorite part about Serrano’s happy hour is actually the food. They had a free nacho bar, which was awesome. The only thing better than their $1.50 appetizers is a free appetizer. My friend Ricky and I filled up on sautéed beef, cheese, and salsa…multiple times. If free nacho bars don’t impress you much, their happy hour appetizers include several tasty items, such as jalapenos rellenes, beef burritos, and chicken flaquitas. If you order a drink, they’re only $1.50.

Lastly, let’s go over the atmosphere. Serrano’s is very chill, relaxed, and has a huge outdoor patio. It was too hot for me to handle, so I sat inside. The only problem I had was parking, but there are plenty of metered parking spots around. In conclusion, two thumbs way the heck up.

Serrano offers a huge outdoor seating area. | Photo by Thu Pham

JAX Neighborhood Cafe

May 8, 2011 § 3 Comments

JAX Neighborhood Cafe — 2828 Rio Grande — Austin, TX 78705 — (512) 382-1570

My Top 10 Happy Hours in Austin

May 6, 2011 § 3 Comments

After personally attending and reviewing about 15 Happy Hours this semester, as well as the 30+ Happy Hours my partners and I blogged about, I decided to break it down for all you readers out there in search of the BEST places to go for Happy Hour. So here is a list of my top 10 Happy Hours that you should definitely go try if you are looking for new places to go:

  1. Waterloo Ice House
  2. Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill
  3. Jovita’s
  4. Baby Acapulco
  5. Maiko
  6. Cain & Abel’s
  7. Vino Vino
  8. The Dogwood
  9. El Arroyo
  10. Taco and Tequila (TNT)

I would recommend checking out all these places if you have not already! All of these restaurants have a different atmosphere to fit each and every kind of Happy Hour drinker. For more information, check out our previous blog posts and you can get specifics on each restaurant and how the drinks are priced as well as what kind of an atmosphere each place will have in store for you. If you come across this blog post and feel that there are other places that are not in this Top 10 that you would include in YOUR Top 10, please leave a comment!

Cinco de Mayo events, pubcrawl in Austin

May 5, 2011 § 1 Comment

Happy, happy Cinco de Mayo from all of us here at The Frugal Drinker. Lucky for all of us, it’s on a Thursday! I did a quick search of some things going around in Austin if you want to head into the madness to get your drink on. Santa Rita’s event and the Pubcrawl seems to getting a lot of attention, so check those out if you’re interested.

All of us here are just excited to bring our undergraduate careers to a close as this week is the last, and naturally most stressful, week of classes at UT. The moment I’m done with classes today, I’m cracking open a bottle of Dos. Have fun and drink responsibly!

Whole Foods
$1 Dos Equis at Bar Lamar starting at noon

Santa Rita Cinco de Mayo Party
Thursday, 6-9pm
According to Santa Rita Tex Mex Cantina‘s website, Ambhar Tequila will be having free tastings, and the restaurant is providing complimentary appetizers.

House Wine
Thursday, 7-10pm
House Wine will be having $5 Margs on the Rocks, $5 Sangria, Spanish wine specials starting at $5/glass and $18/bottle, $5 Micheladas. Like always, there will be complimentary appetizers, such as chips and queso, chili, and pan dulce.

J Black’s Feel Good Lounge
Drink specials all day,featuring Dos Equis and Ambhar Tequalia. Starting at 4:00.

Dirty Bill’s
511 Rio Grande, 6pm-2am
$1 Dos Equis served all day

Six Lounge Rooftop Patio
117 W. 4th St., 6pm-2am
$2 Dos Equis all night

2nd Annual La Condesa Cinco de Mayo Downtown Block Party
2nd St. between San Antonio & Guadalupe, 5-10pm
Food/Drink: Cazadores margaritas and tequila shots, Dos Quis, Tecate; authentic street foods from La Condesa and Malaga

Cinco de Mayo Pancho Villa Moustache Party
At Cedar Door, 201 Brazos St
There will be bands playing from 8-11pm with drink specials all day, including half-priced frozen mexmarts, half-off El Viejo Luis Tequila, and half-off Dos Equis draft pints. Extra incentive: if you wear a moustache and sombrero, you’ll get a free beer while supplies last!

Cinco de Mayo Pub Crawl
Today, Friday, Saturday/The Stage on Sixth/ $10-$25
Pubcrawl.com is putting this on, with the list of Dirty Sixth bars they are hitting up is unknown. According to Austin 360, you can buy either a one day pass or one for all three days and enjoy $1 drafts, half-priced Coronas and $3 margaritas or tequila shots at participating bars. Hit up Austin 360 for more deets.

Action Packed Happy Hour

May 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

Waterloo Ice House Happy Hour: Monday – Friday from 4-7 p.m.

Entrance at Waterloo

When I am in the mood for Happy Hour and I try to think of a new and exciting place to explore, I have to admit, Waterloo Ice House was never a place that ranked high on my list. However, this just proves why judging a book by its cover is wrong. In the last four years that I have lived in Austin, I have probably passed Waterloo while I drive a few hundred times. Whenever I would pass it, I never paid much attention to it because I always thought it looked like it wouldn’t be a restaurant I would be interested in eating at or having drinks at. But then once I started this blogging project and became more curious about new and exciting places I could possibly explore to find the best Happy Hours in Austin, and boy was I wrong about Waterloo.

One day about two and a half weeks ago I was driving down 38th St. and my boyfriend who was visiting from out of town said, “wow, look at that place” and pointed to Waterloo. “We should go check out their Happy Hour for your project.” What caught my boyfriends’ attention was the crazy amounts of people that were standing on the upstairs deck of the restaurant, who looked like they were having an awesome time. Right then and there I realized that I had been looking so hard to find a new and exciting Happy Hour that I had overlooked a place that had been right underneath my nose this whole time. Waterloo was definitely the place to be that day and I realized it looked like an awesome place to check out their Happy Hours because clearly it had to be good since there were so many people there.

So I went in to Waterloo this week for Happy Hour and it turned out to be probably one of the most fun times I have ever had at Happy Hour throughout the whole process of this blogging project!

First I will start off with the prices. If you are a college student and you are on a budget, this is the place for you to make your new Happy Hour go-to spot. If you look at the picture below you can see a Happy Hour menu from Waterloo and what all of their specials are.

Happy Hour Menu

Next, I think it is important to talk about the up-beat atmosphere you will experience during Happy Hour at Waterloo, especially on Wednesdays. The crowd during Happy Hour usually consists of people ranging from all ages. It is basically full of people who are trying to let lose from a long day of work by enjoying good drinks and good company at Happy Hour.

While I was observing the scene at Waterloo and hanging out with my friends at the same time, I totally forgot I was attending the Happy Hour to cover it for the blog and thus totally forgot to take pictures of the scene. As a result, I will be attending Happy Hour again tomorrow night and will create a Soundslides of the evening so you can decide for yourself if this is a place you’d be interested in trying out for Happy Hour.

I would recommend this Happy Hour to anyone who is looking for a fun place to let lose and be loud with your friends while sipping on some tasty and inexpensive drinks! I definitely would give Waterloo a thumbs-up.

Waterloo Ice House — 1106 West 38th Street — Austin, TX 78705-1005 — (512) 467-8776