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!

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

The Best Salad Dressing I Have Ever Had

May 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

Mother’s Café & Garden

Today I went to Mother’s Café & Garden, as I usually do at least once every two weeks, to check out their Happy Hour. To my surprise though, Mother’s does not have a Happy Hour! While this restaurant, located in the heart of what is considered to be one of the oldest neighborhoods in Austin, has an amazing Vegan menu, I was somewhat disappointed to find out they did not have Happy Hour.

Entrance to Mother's Cafe & Garden

In response to when I asked them what their Happy Hour specials were, the host told me they do not have Happy Hour, but that their drinks are “pretty reasonably priced to begin with”. While the host may feel this way, I would have to disagree. If he is comparing their drink prices to other restaurants in Austin who have Happy Hour, then the answer is no, the drinks at Mother’s are not reasonably priced. But if the host was comparing it to how expensive the meals are at Mother’s, then I guess the drinks would be considered somewhat well priced. All the drinks on the menu at Mother’s are around $3.25 to $4.50. If you are planning on only ordering one drink then this price is OK. But, this does not seem reasonable if you are planning on having more than one drink. If you are looking for a place to go and have a few drinks with your friends I would not recommend Mother’s to you for that specific occasion.

Nevertheless, because of the fact that I never really got to enjoy Happy Hour at Mother’s, instead I will give a basic review on the restaurant, since I do feel that Mother’s is definitely worth your time if you are looking for a good place to eat.

My roommates told me about Mother’s at the beginning of this year and would always say how good their salads are, in particular they would go on and on about the salad dressing that Mother’s uses. So I went to Mother’s for the first time in September 2010. When I got there I had no idea what to order so I got exactly the same thing my roommate got: the Garden Path Salad with the Cashew Tamari dressing to start and the Spinach Quiche for my main entrée, which comes with fruit on the side.

All the food I ordered was delicious, but I feel the need to go into the amazingness of the salad. I have never been a salad person. I would only order salad to force myself to be healthy, and I would usually go with a Caesar Salad, which in the end is not so healthy. The Garden Patch Salad at Mother’s Café & Garden, with their home made Cashew Tamari dressing is literally to die for. This dressing made me obsessed with eating salad. Luckily, if you want to buy the dressing to make the salad at home, Mother’s sells the dressing at Fresh Plus supermarket, which is located directly across the street from the restaurant.

While I could go on forever about how amazing and delicious this salad is, I will spare you the details and leave it to you to decide.

Now to get into the prices at Mother’s, which is definitely a sore subject to bring up after boasting about how great the food is. Mother’s is definitely on the pricy side. While this restaurant is pretty casual, the prices match up more so to a restaurant you would probably go to on a Friday or Saturday night. The appetizers or starters are usually around $3.50 for a regular size and $7.95 for a large size. While $3.50 may not seem too expensive for a regular size, keep in mind the regular size is pretty small. The entrées usually range from $7 to $10. However, in defense to what some may perceive as an expensive menu, Mother’s Café & Garden is a totally Vegan restaurant and they have their own garden in back of the restaurant where they use all of their specially grown lettuce and vegetables for the salads. So going back to the salad conversation, the salad is probably one of the freshest tasting salads I have ever eaten in my life so while $7 may feel a little pricy for a small salad, in my opinion it is worth every penny.

I give this restaurant a thumbs-up overall, but a thumbs-down for not having Happy Hour. I feel that if Mother’s would consider creating a Happy Hour, it could really create a lot more business for the restaurant.

Mother’s Café & Garden — 4215 Duval Street — Austin, TX 78751-4341 — (512) 451-3994

Dolce Vita’s Chill Happy Hour

May 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Happy Hour at Dolce Vita

Entrance to Dolce Vita

Located in the heart of what is considered to be one of the oldest neighborhoods in Austin, Dolce Vitais one of my favorite spots for Happy Hour.

Specials at Dolce Vita

Conveniently located around the corner from my house, my roommates and I have made it somewhat of a new tradition to go to Dolce Vita every Sunday.

The Happy Hour goes from 4 – 8 p.m. during the week and it goes all day on Sundays. Their specials are all Wines are $5 by the glass, White Russians are $3.75, Well High Ball Spirits are $2.75 and all Beers are 50 cents off. In addition, on Mondays, Dolce Vita has a Mystery Beer Special for $2.75 a beer.

Something that really attracts me to Dolce Vita is the fact that you can decide whether you want to sit indoors or outdoors. This restaurant has both an indoor and outdoor dining area so on gloomy days it is nice to be able to sit inside, while on very sunny days, it is fun to sit outside for Happy Hour.

Going back to the prices of the drinks during the Happy Hours at Dolce Vita, while for some this Happy Hour may be considered a little pricy, I like to come here more for the atmosphere. It is one of those very “Austiny” feeling places. The restaurant is very chill and relaxing. If you are looking for a place that is crowded with an upbeat atmosphere I would not recommend this place for you. If you are in the mood for a Happy Hour that is laid back or a place that would be good if you are not in the mood to get very dressy, I would recommend Dolce Vita.

I really enjoy going to Happy Hour at Dolce Vita. I definitely would give this place a thumbs-up.

Dolce Vita Gelato & Espresso — 4222 Duval Street — Austin, TX 78751 — 512- 323-2686

Live Music Spices Up The Night

April 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

Jovita’s is an awesome Mexican restaurant located at 1619 South First St. What makes Jovita’s such a special place, other than it’s great food and Happy Hour, is the live music scene it has going on pretty much every day of the week.

I went to Jovita’s for Happy Hour on Wednesday night and this was probably one of the best times I have had at a Happy Hour in a while. Ali Holder and Karin Gustafsson performed the entire Happy Hour from 6 to 8 pm. It was definitely a treat to have a live show going on while I got to drink with my friends. The atmosphere there was amazing. Everyone was enjoying themselves to the fullest. The type of people here are, I guess what you would call, your more “authentic Austinites”.

Jovita’s is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am until Midnight. The venue has three different indoor dining rooms, an outdoor patio that faces the historic South 1st Street, and a really beautiful outdoor seating area, which consists of a stage where the bands perform.

Another great thing about Jovita’s is there is a dance floor. So if you are in the mood to not only go to a great Happy Hour and see music but dance too, this is the place for you. The biggest thing that stuck out to me about Jovita’s is the fact that there is so much enthusiasm going on in this one place. Everybody seemed to genuinely be enjoying his or her time out. Although the drinks were a bit on the pricy side, if you are looking for a place to go to have a good time with friends, listen to live music, and be surrounded by the authenticity South 1st Street has to offer, Jovita’s is where it is at. I would give Jovita’s a thumbs-up.

Jovita’s

1619 South First St.

Austin, TX 78704

512-447-7825

Open Tuesday – Sunday 11:00am until Midnight

99 Cent Margaritas

April 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

El Arroyo

Entrance of El Arroyo

1624 West 5th Street, Austin – (512) 474-1222

El Arroyo is one of my favorite places to go for Happy Hour. There is always such an awesome crowd at this place, especially on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The crowd usually consists of people at every age range, usually at least 21 and up. El Arroyo is a hot spot on Thursday’s for people who are planning on going downtown later in the night. It is usually the first stop of the night for people to have dinner and drinks before they go out on the town.

The most appealing thing about this restaurant is how amazingly priced everything is. In addition to great prices, the crowd is always pretty enthusiastic. El Arroyo is definitely a fun place to go have drinks and watch a sporting event with your friends. In the inside dining room, there are four big flat screen televisions above the bar. As well as an indoor dining room, there are two outdoor patios, so you can choose whether you would rather be seated inside or outside.

The Happy Hour schedule and specials are as follows:

Mondays 2 pm to 7 pm: $2.75 House Frozen and Margaritas on the Rocks, $1 Tecates from 5 pm to closing, Two for one burger special from 5 pm to closing

Tuesdays from 2 pm to 7 pm: $2.75 House Frozen and Margaritas on the Rocks

Frozen Margarita at El Arroyo

Wednesday’s from 2 pm until 7 pm: $2.75 House Frozen and Margaritas on the Rocks

Thursday: $.99 House Margaritas from 2 pm to 6 pm, $1.99 House Margaritas from 6 pm to 7 pm

Friday from 2 pm to 6 pm: $2.75 House Frozen and Margaritas on the Rocks

Saturday & Sunday: $2.50 Blood Mary’s, Mimosas, Poinsettias, Screwdrivers All Day.

I think the most appealing thing about this Happy Hour menu is the $.99 House Margaritas on Thursdays. I would say the best day of the week for El Arroyo is definitely on Thursdays. If you are looking for a place to start your night off before you head downtown, El Arroyo is the place for you. I give this place a definite thumbs-up.