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Drinking on a Dime

Cocktails for less than $1: Crazy cheap drink deals at top Houston restaurants and bars

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Brennan's of Houston people on patio with drinks
A not-so-kept-well secret is the 25-cent martinis at Brennan’s. The caveat is that you have to sit at the beautiful bar or serene outdoor patio (#firstworldproblems). Brennan's of Houston
Mojito drink cocktail
For the month of July, Cordua restaurants (Amazon Grill, Artista and all Churrascos and Americas locations) are celebrating their 25th anniversary by offering 88 cent mojitos and tres leches. TransformationWellness.net
Hay Merchant, taps
The term craft beer tend to bring on the sneers and fears from tight purse-stringed Michelob Ultra aficionados, but it’s hard to turn down Hay Merchant's weekday $3 beer specials offered 3-6:30 p.m.  Photo by Julie Soefer/Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
Brennan's of Houston people on patio with drinks
Mojito drink cocktail
Hay Merchant, taps
Amy_Chien

Sometimes you want to go cheap. I mean really cheap. I had my first experience with the famous “Dollar Wells” recently at Cecil’s Pub.

It was . . . interesting.

I love the dive bar feel, but I was a bit startled by the random cat lounging on one of the bar stools. If you prefer a non-crackhead, feline environment (trust me, I’m not against those, but time and place!), for the rest of July, the Cordua restaurants (Amazon Grill, Artista and all Churrascos and Americas locations) are celebrating their 25th anniversary by offering 88 cent mojitos and tres leches. That’s even cheaper than the one dollar wells, and these drinks probably taste a million times better.

 With its recent introduction of bottled beers, Hay Merchant is on to even bigger and better things. 

The "88" tie-in is commemorative of the year Michael Cordua launched Churrascos in 1988. If you’re craving more, try the $88 Chef Pairing Menu for two, which includes cocktails and wine at all Americas and Churrascos.

More Drink Options 

A not-so-kept-well secret is the 25-cent martinis at Brennan’s. If you don’t like the traditional martini, the 25-cent price also include cosmos or Commanders (made with blue curacao). The caveat is that you have to sit at the beautiful bar or serene outdoor patio. #firstworldproblems. OK, the real caveat is that you have to purchase an entree, which can be kind of pricey but completely worth it.

Bring your laundry quarters for this fantastic deal weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you can’t make it then, check out Brennan's Triple 7 menu: Seven appetizers (think buttermilk fried okra and shrimp and grits), cocktails and wines for $7 everyday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

 The interior of The Palm brings me back to a simpler time when going out to eat WAS the event of the evening. 

Newcomer The Rosemont offers an exciting happy hour menu weekdays from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and all day Sundays with items like Andouille mac & cheese and smoked hummus and a $6 cocktail of the day. If the cocktail of the day is anything like what star bartender Clint Roscoe (formerly of Absinthe) made me when I visited, you are in for a treat. Clint is a craft mixologist (yes I know, I usually cringe at the term mixologist too) embodied without any of the pretension.

Lounge in The Rosemont’s lush rooftop patio with $4 bottled beers and frozen Mai Tai’s after a hard day’s work.

Or go even more upscale — and revamped. The Palm launched a new Primetime at Palm Bar menu after its $5 million renovation reopening. It's half off food, beer wines, and premium liquor Sundays through Fridays from 5p.m. to 7p.m. Noshes include the slider version of the famous steaks, each bite juicier than the next, and a lobster and bacon fondue so good it will make you forget about the existence of The Palm's old neighbor, The Melting Pot.

The interior of The Palm brings me back to a simpler time when going out to eat WAS the event of the evening. Servers are beyond polite, drinks are stiff and the food is done right.

With its recent introduction of bottled beers, Hay Merchant is on to even bigger and better things — and it's already one of the best bars in town. The term craft beer tends to bring out sneers and fears from tight purse-stringed Michelob Ultra aficionados, but it’s hard to turn down weekday $3 beer specials from 3 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. From 11 p.m. until 1 a.m., it's Fatty Hour, with $3 food items.

In addition, the brilliant Erin Smith (formerly of Plonk and currently the culinary director of Clumsy Butcher) and high-profile Underbelly chef Chris Shepherd will offer belgian waffles with housemade breakfast sausage links, fried eggs and sorghum syrup. Summer favorites like hot dogs, watermelon and herb salad, and chicken fried steak will also be introduced.

The new Hay Merchant menu will be executed by chef Dax McAnear, who recently left Triniti to take over the position formerly held by Antoine Ware.

What are your favorite places to drink on the cheap? Know any secret deals I missed?

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