Saturday, January 16, 2010

Jumpin' Janets

547 Vista Avenue

Time: 4-7 M-F
Special: wells 2 for $3 (really a very strong double for $3!)
Rating: 4 martinis
Smoking: no
Other mentions:

My friends and I decided to pop in here for happy hour yesterday. I was very happy to see the "no smoking" sign on the door when I entered. I was also pleased to find happy hour is a double for $3- M-F 4-7.

This particular evening table service was provided. The server was friendly and quick. After a couple of drinks, we thought it would be smart to order some food and were surprised by the menu options available- sandwiches, salads, and burgers. One friend ordered the spicy chicken sandwich ($6.75), while i shared a prime rib dip ($7.75)with the other friend. Both sandwiches came with a side salad.

This being somewhat of a dive bar, we really didn't have high hopes for the food but were hungry. Well we were VERY surprised at what we got. The salad had romaine lettuce with tomatoes and grated cheese (no iceberg in sight!). The chicken sandwich wasn't a fried chicken patty but a chicken breast with a tasty sauce. The dip was an amazing amount of sliced prime rib, not deli meat in the least, served up on a tasty roll with a very nice au jus.

I came here for the happy hour; I will return for the food!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pho Nouveau

780 W Idaho Street

Time: 4-6 M-F
Special: All beer and wine 2 for 1; ½ off appetizers
Rating: 4 martinis
Smoking: no
Other mentions: outside seating during warmer months

This little gem opened up in the old Falcon location in the heart of downtown but I had yet to visit so I made a point to pop in on this brisk winter’s eve. The restaurant is decorated modestly with plenty of seating for such a small establishment. The lay out is still very much as it was with the previous folks but modernized just a bit.

I was very surprised to find all of their drinks on the happy hour specials, even bottled drinks. I ordered up a sake which came in an individual bottle warmed, while my friend enjoyed the plum wine. The menu offered up a nice selection of beers with options spanning Asia. The wine selection was also nice but most options from the U.S.

With ½ off appetizers we would be crazy not to try at least a couple. We ordered the Summer Rolls with Tofu (normally $5.50) and the Sizzling Saigon Crepe (normally $5.75). Both were fantastic. The Summer Rolls came with a very light peanut sauce that provided a delicate flavor without over powering the rolls. The crepe was something I had never had before. It was filled with shrimp and chicken, served with herbs, cucumber, and carrots, and lettuce to wrap around it. Very tasty.

When we first arrived, our service was great with the server being very attentive. But as our time there progressed, the service got a little spotty. I couldn’t tell if a different server had taken over and we were just forgotten about or if our server had just gotten overwhelmed with tables. We still very much enjoyed the food, drinks, and atmosphere. We would definitely return and try some of the other tasty offerings on the menu!