Cheapskate's guide to a fun time: Eat, drink and party every night of the week for next to nothing
Whether you’re a yuppie, a student partying on a string or looking for an early bird special, everyone loves a good deal. Drinks, eats and entertainment can really add up, and with holiday shopping in full swing, it's time to save all that you can without becoming completely antisocial. Here is a guide on how to take advantage of deals around town every day of the week (all bills not including tax and tip):
Having had a successful weekend of boozing, I started Monday morning like everyone else: wearing sunglasses in front of the computer to lessen the hangover headache while sipping on an extra large cup of coffee. Thankfully, everyone’s favorite worst day of the week has its perk: Danton’s half price oysters (currently at an amazing $6.50/dozen) from 4 - 8 p.m. go well with their $5 house wines, $3 domestic beers and $4 well liquors. I got there early because this deal only applies if you sit in the oyster bar, which can get quite crowded sometimes. A dozen oysters and a glass of wine later, my bill came to $11.50.
Feeling like a fancy lady and wielding my “in the Industry” status, I drove over to Latin Bites for their all night industry happy hour prices (50 percent off cocktails and appetizers). Two pisco sours and an order of empenadas totaled $14.50.
Total spent: $25.50
Alternatives: The best kept semi-secret around town is Beaver’s monthly speakeasy night. Rotating food trucks serve munchies while you sip on $5 cocktails and shoot $3 Bulleit bourbons until 2 a.m. If you’re lucky enough to have a Montrose zip code (77006, 77019, or 77098) your whole table eats for half price on Mondays at El Real.
Back when I was in college, The Marquis II was known for their extra potent two-dollar Long Island Ice Teas. They’ve sinced raised their prices, but on Tuesdays you can still get the beloved alcoholic “tea” for for $6. Considering that one iced tea is the alcoholic equivalent of four cocktails, this is quite a steal! I slurped down just one of them while gawking at the newly renovated interiors.
Feeling a bit woozy from said potent drink and needing a substantial bar meal, I remembered it's Test Kitchen Tuesdays at Bar Boheme. To say that Rishi Singh is the next big thing would be an understatement. Singh has turned Boheme’s Renegade Kitchen into a full-fledged test kitchen. I sat down and stuffed my face with a gigantic Thanksgiving Banh Mi (think smoked turkey encrusted with cornbread stuffing, deviled egg pate in a tumeric buttered bun) for a mere $12 and I washed it all down with a $4 frozen mojito.
Total spent: $22
Alternative: Upscale restaurant and bar Triniti offers happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. with $5 house wines, $3 Texas beers, and best of all, $5 cocktails. New bar manager Laurie Sheddan’s inventive cocktails, such as the Big Fig and Broken Clock, are a tasty as they are creative. You can also sample bar bites (3 for $10) such as Devils on Horseback, tempura Gulf oysters, and salmon and eggs.
Being in the mood for beer, I headed to the ultimate beerknurds headquarters — the Flying Saucer. Not wishing to compete with the line waiting to slurp down 23-ounce beers at pint prices, I opted to have one of the Saucer’s select beers for $3.
My buddy and I wait all week for hump day for Moon Tower Inn’s BOGO burger Wednesdays. The Cheech burger is well deserved of Alison Cook’s A+ grade, a feat hard to achieve in her famous Burger Friday series in the Chronicle. The burger is normally $9, but since it’s BOGO, the bill came to $4.50. Stuffed to the brim, we walked less than a mile to Moon Tower’s sister bar, Voodoo Queen and ended the night with a fireball and tequila shot, each for $3 on Wednesdays.
Total spent: $13.50
Alternatives: $1 expresso shots at Antidote from 4 to 7 p.m. Pistol Whip Wednesdays at Pistoleros include $2 Tecate and $3 Espolon Tequila. Don’t forget to order $5 appetizers from 4 - 7 p.m. Our favorites are the chips and cerveza queso (think beer-happy queso fondue) and the Pistol-elote Street Corn.
Ah, yet another college memory. Back in the day, Miyako used to give you one Miyako Dollar for every 10 dollars spent on food. Being a poor college student, I saved those coupons like they were actual currency. Even though they did away with that deal, Miyako still offer a discounted sushi rolls menu from 9 p.m. until closing with a $5 drink menu to boot. I’m not going to pretend that Miyako is even close to authentic Japanese food, but I cannot turn down delicious, albeit Americanized roll. I ordered the New York Maki ($6.50), baked mussels smothered in creamy caviar sauce ($4) and a Lychee Tini ($4.50).
Fully indulged and quenched, I drove to Studio Movie Grille for their dollar series.This week was one of my favorite movies, Swingers. Other features include classics such as It’s a Wonderful Life and The Holiday. I enjoyed a Coors Light (you know, watching my calories and all) for $3 (on Thursdays domestic beers are only $3). My girlfriend brought her kids, who ate for free with her pizza purchase.
Total spent: $19.00
Alternatives: If you want to branch out from domestic beers, stop by Hay Merchant where you can order any of their select 30 beers from their on-tap selection for the price of $3 each from 3 to 6:30 p.m. I wasn’t in the mood to dance, but if you are so inclined, stop by new club Barbarella in Midtown. On Thursdays you can order $2 well drinks while getting down to “Grits n' Gravy” music (soul, rock n roll, Motown, and disco).
It’s finally Friday! I normally eat at my desk or rush home for a quick sandwich, but on Fridays I celebrate early by going out to lunch. One of my favorite lunch spots is Thai Cottage where all lunch items are under $7. I chose the Chili Basil with chicken for $6.25.
I’m a big fan of the food at Goro and Gun, but I’m an even bigger fan of their drinks. I decided to take a half day and take advantage of their drink specials that start from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. I checked my Facebook and slowly slumped into a boozy slumber with a $4 Sazeracs and a $5 Line Cook (bourbon, tamarind bitters, ginger beer). They also have $5 Happy Meals (PBR+Jim Beam), $3 8th Wonder beers, $3 Bombshell Blondes, $5 house wines, $5 Southside (mint, lemon, gin).
A disco nap later, I was hungry and so I headed over to JR’s Bar and Grille and helped myself to complimentary happy hour hors d’oeuvres that start at 6 p.m. I pounded three $2.50 well drinks before calling it a night.
Total spent: $22.75
One of my favorite neighborhood haunts is Catbirds. They have a great happy hour until 8 p.m., which is later than most places. I downed a couple of $3 well drinks (two whiskey and diets, to be exact). Pi Pizza Truck was parked right outside so I treated myself to a slice of The Four Twenty for $6. The pizza was so good that it had me regretting not getting a tattoo for free pizza for life.
I love Poison Girl because I can walk there from my house so there is never any worries about drinking and driving. I start off easy with a $2 LoneStar, moved on to a $3 Shiner on draft, and finished the afternoon with a $3 Jaeger shot (I know, I know).
Total spent: $18
Alternative: You can get a huge frozen goblet of Lonestar or Shiner for $2 at Alice’s Tall Texan.
One of my favorite places to go to watch football is Local Pour. They have 10-feet projector screens and an amazing selection of beers. Sunday is the perfect day to go for their $1 off all draft beers and glass wine, $2.50 wells, and $3.00 select calls. In addition, Local Pour has 99 cent mimosas as part of their Sunday brunch specials. I tried the St. Arnold’s Belgian waffle ($8.99) and washed that down with three mimosas.
Continuing my boozey Sunday, I arrived at 13 Celsius for their glorious half price opened wines Sunday. You can pick from huge buckets full of chilled white wines or from the bottles of red wines that line the bar. I had an excellent glass of a heavy-bodied merlot to keep me warm for a mere $6.
Total spent: $18
Alternative: All day happy hour at AKA Sushi House.