Freddie’s Place $2 drinks are almost too good to be true

April 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Weekdays 4-7pm, all day Monday
Half price appetizers
$2.00 Well Drinks
$2.00 Frozen Margaritas
$2.00 Frozen Jack & Lemonade
$2.00 Tall Boys (Lone Star, Hi-Life & PBR)

The backyard area of Freddie's Place was buzzing with activity during happy hour. | Photo by Thu Pham

The frozen Jack & lemonade was disappointing, but nonetheless cheap. | Photo by Thu Pham

I don’t know if I’m speaking too soon by saying that Freddie’s Place might just be my new favorite happy hour joint. Located on south 1st St between Monroe St. and Annie St., Freddie’s is a super casual American comfort food restaurant with good, simple food and drinks, a huge backyard and tons of fun events.

I went here with my roommates on Friday for happy hour and was overwhelmed at how packed it was—the place was buzzing with activity, live music and tons of pets roaming around in the backyard. The frozen lime margarita was a good size—not tiny, not exactly a red solo cup either. The Jack & lemonade was good, but there seemed to be more ice than drink. We slurped everything we could and there was a chunk of ice at the bottom. It also tasted overwhelming like Splenda, so I wasn’t too big of a fan.

The "three amigos" was a mere $4.50. | Photo by Thu Pham

The biggest win for Freddie’s, hands down, is their half off appetizers. The well-sized portions of chicken tenders, wings, and chips and dip were incredibly affordable—all the appetizers were under $5. I would highly recommend Freddie’s if you just want to chill outside (or inside) with cheap drinks and even cheaper food.

The 16 piece buffalo wings were extremely saucy and under $7. | Photo by Thu Pham

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$4 drinks, free quesadillas at Tacos and Tequila

April 18, 2011 § 1 Comment

Monday – Friday 4-7pm; Sunday 3-close
$4 House margs, mojitos, well drinks, martinis, house wine
$2.75 draft beer
Free quesadilla bar 4-6pm

TNTs bar boasts 100+ types of tequila. | Photo by Thu Pham

The $4 House Margarita is huge. | Photo by Thu Pham

Tacos and Tequila, or TNT for short, is one of my favorite happy hour hotspots. Conveniently located on west 5th St. and Pressler St., this new joint serves a bajillion kinds of tacos and over 100 kinds of tequila. For you margarita lovers, this is the place for you. While I will admit TNT’s regular menu is a bit pricey for my taste, its happy hour offerings are quite a steal.

You might think that $4 for a house marg is pricey, but trust me when I say that you might only need one to get the job done. Not only is the margarita gigantic, it’s also pretty strong. My friend Jacob and I ordered mojitos first, and after we got the marg, we both agreed that we should’ve ordered the margarita only. The mojitos, by the way, are pretty tasty—but again, I might be a little bias because mojitos are my drink of choice so I’m not very critical of them.

TNTs picturesque and delicious $4 mojitos. | Photo by Thu Pham

Another awesome thing about TNT is that you literally don’t even have to pay for any food to get full. Their complimentary chip-and-dip actually consists of 3 different kinds of chips and 3 different kinds of dips.  The sweet potato chips are on the greasy side, but they are fresh and oh-my-goodness delicious. However, their free quesadilla bar is the icing on the complimentary-food cake.  There’s always a mix—usually chicken and something else. They have veggie quesadillas also. You just go up and grab ’em.

If you want a bit more to snack on, I would highly recommend the guacamole, which is made in front of you. Literally, the waiter pulls up a cart with various toppings and scoops the avocado out and everything. It tastes like heaven—but be warned, it’s also about $8. For you fellow frugal drinkers, I’d stick with the drinks and free food.

One last plus: free parking garage. That should put a smile on everyone’s face.

The free unlimited quesadillas are great with TNTs margaritas. | Photo by Thu Pham

The complimentary chips and dips are incredibly fresh and tasty. | Photo by Thu Pham

Full, buzzed and under $10 at Sago

April 4, 2011 § 3 Comments

4600 W Guadalupe St (the Triangle)
Daily 2:30-7pm
reduced price appetizers and drinks
$$

I went to Sago Modern Mexican, located at the Triangle, on Friday with four other girlfriends and we all left more than satisfied with our meal. Their happy hour includes reduced prices for drinks and appetizers, most drinks falling under $5 and appetizers under $6. The best option they have are the 16 oz margaritas in selected flavors for $4.

Sago's hot-pink walls ring in Happy Hour

From their hot pink accented walls to the Victorian and mod décor, Sago is definitely trendy and while seemingly upscale, the menu prices are decent and during happy hour, their appetizer prices are ah-mazing.

When we arrived, we wanted to sit outside to enjoy the weather but it was full so the nice hostess put us in a private area that is sectioned off. Since we were a group of five, we opted to try every flavor of the $4 frozen margarita. The size (16 oz) was delightfully large. The group deemed the strawberry and raspberry the best. The blue was tasteless and the mango was without a hint of mango. The drinks were not strong, but since they were such a big size, the waiter jokingly said “no more margaritas for yall!” by the time it was time to get our check. The mojitos were medicore; I preferred the frozen margaritas.

16 ounces of frozen deliciousness: Sago's raspberry margarita

We decided to order several appetizers to share: deluxe tex-mex queso, stuffed nopales, quesadillas and flautas. To be honest, the free house salsa was delicious—I could have eaten that all day long. The tex-mex queso had a sharp cheedar cheese taste to it and had a strong bean flavor.  Nonetheless, it was gone in about ten minutes. The stuffed nopales dish, which was cheese and chorizo on top of a grilled cactus, was interesting at best. None of us had ever eaten cactus before, and we were all thrown for a loop when we tasted the slimy plant. It wasn’t bad nor good—we just couldn’t eat more than three bites. The quesadillas were average and so were the egg-roll shaped flautas. They tasted more like southwestern egg rolls.

Cheese and chorizo on grilled cactus

The best part of the evening was when our check came—a huge drink and tons of a food later, each of us only paid around $8. EIGHT! Next time, I would suggest ordering more drinks and fewer appetizers. The free salsa was the best dish of the night. I give Sago a definite thumbs up.

219West needs to turn the volume down

March 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Live music at 219West

All Day Monday, Weekdays 5-9pm, Saturday 5-8pm
$1 off draft beer
$5-8$ shakers of martinis (no shaker for straight alcohol matinis like Manhattans, Vodka, or Gin)
1/2 and 1/2 price American Tapas (half price plus 50 cents)
$12 wine flights

$5 martini shakers

219West is no doubt the happy hour champ of Austin’s Warehouse District. Located on Lavaca and Fourth Street, this traditional American bar is a bit more on the pricier range, but the location, atmosphere and quality of food is a good trade-off if you’re willing to dish out a couple more bucks.

I went on a Thursday night with several girlfriends, and luckily made a reservation since we were a big group. There was a 15-minute wait for a table otherwise. We opted to sit inside (there is a small outdoor area), and I was a bit surprise when our table was actually the height of coffee table. There is a full bar, and a good number of regular tables, along with our height-challenged table.

One thing that I couldn’t ignore was the blaring live music playing; it was incredibly loud and we were on the far end of the venue.  We were yelling just to hear one another. However, the two-person group took song requests, and the volume was great when our request came on and we were singing along. The man on the piano was lively and fun, and played mostly singalong-friendly oldies.

Chipotle mac & cheese

219West’s rather pricey menu was organized quite nicely—the drinks (beer, tequila-based, etc) were listedwith suggested appetizers, entrees, and desserts. I had a Georgia Peach martini and the rest had Mexican martinis.  The shakers were a pretty good size; I was able to pour about 3 drinks out of it. The Georgia Peach was sweet but had a more orange taste to it. The Mexican martinis were pretty standard.

Tuna and avocado tartare

In my opinion, 219West’s half-off tapas are more worth the visit than the drinks. Most of the appetizers fell into the $4-$9 range during happy hour. We ordered the chipotle mac & cheese, spicy cheese tater tots, southwestern mini burgers, and tuna and avocado tartare. I found the mac & cheese to be a little dry and could use more chipotle peppers. The tater tots were pretty standard and tasty, but yet again, I couldn’t taste the spice in it.  The mini-burgers came with four, and were amazing. Although the bun was a bit more on the greasy side, it made it so juicy. The tuna and avocado tartare was, hands down, my favorite dish because the tuna was incredibly fresh and the sauce really tasty. However, the chips we were given were basically crumbs, so it was a bit frustrating to eat.

Southwestern mini-burgers

If you want lots of energy and interaction with mediocre service and mid-priced drinks but amazing appetizers, then this is the place for you. If loud music isn’t your thing, I would suggest the outdoor seating.

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