Friday, June 15, 2007

Happy Hours?

Well, it's Friday, which means time for some sort of Happy Hour outing. We have been searching in San Diego to try and find a really good Happy hour. A recent internet search came up with an article from the UT which suggested Zoccalo Grill as having the best Happy Hour in town. The review was incredibly good so we decided to give it a shot.
Entering the restaurant we asked the host outside what hours happy hour ran- he didn't know. This didn't seem like the best sign, but undeterred we walked on in. The restaurant, although almost empty of people was awash with servers, hostesses and cooks. There were actually 4 people standing at the greeting point, not knowing quite who to address, we were told by 2 of the 4 that they knew nothing. Eventually we managed to get the attention of the other two who were chatting away and were taken to a table.
Finally seated, we told out server we were just here for happy hour, and he presented us with the menu. We were severely disappointed. The margaritas were still pretty expensive (even the 'house' variety), as was the food. Most things seemed maybe a couple of bucks cheaper than usual. The only thing I could see in a usual happy hour price range were some sweet potato fries, so we settled on these and a couple of house margaritas. Several servers passed our table over the next few minutes, although ours was not to be seen. eventually he did appear, took our order and then returned into the sea of staff, that were standing around in all sorts of places, some watching TV some leaning against the bar having a chat, some crowding the greeting point.
With so many staff, and two or three bartenders in the vicinity of the bar we didn't think it would be long before our drinks arrived. Unfortunately however there was a good 10-15 minute wait before some miniscule glasses with weak watery margaritas arrived. Our food meanwhile was nowhere to be seen. The waiter informed us it would be 'right out', and then returned 15 minutes later baring a tiny little plate of some deep fried sweet potatoes, just like the ones we make at home- there was maybe half a potato worth of fries there. The dipping sauce was not especially pleasant. This being 15 minutes later we had of course finished our drinks before the pitiful fare arrived. The waiter asked if we would like another and was met by a resounding "No Thank You" from the both of us. We finished up, waited another 10 minutes for our check, watched the hoards of staff standing around, and speeded over to Cafe Coyote where we new we could at least get a good sized cheap margarita, and a dollar taco.
So- not a good experience, and we are still on the search for a good Happy hour. I have been told McCormick and Schmicks is exceptional, so we shall try this soon. Any other advice would be wonderful. Here are some places we like:

Lot81- cheap (good) beer, a $5 burger and other great happy hour food.

Gulf Coast Grill- some very nice happy hour food ( we like the fried green tomatoes and the quesadilla). Great prices on drinks. Monday night is all night Happy Hour.

Basic- $5 martinis and free pizza

Kensington Grill- changes each night of the week. Usually has a good quesadilla going. A very chill more classy happy hour.


Anonymous said...

McCormick and Schmicks does have a good $1.95 food happy hour, but no real drink specials. Chive has a really good happy hour, but their web site is not updated. My favorite happy hour is at Donavan’s Steak House…free filet sandwiches between 4-6, Monday–Friday.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like that place really blows. Q:How many servers does it take to give good service to an almost empty restaurant? A:One that gives a damn. Thanks for steering us clear of that crappy joint.