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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Easy Street - Downtown

I'm Nacho Friend.

Occasionally, happy hour can be a scam. What I'm referring to of course is when a decent bar has a decent happy hour and then they slowly whittle away at all the frills. This results in a phenomenon I describe as Urban Happy Hour Decay, or UHHD. Urban Happy Hour Decay is one of the biggest problems we face in modern times.

I personally attribute a largely unnoticed instance of UHHD in the 1980's to the current popularity of corporate happy hours offered by bozos like Applebee's and T.G.I. Fridays. Was this really Ronald Reagan's vision for America?

SCENARIO: A once thriving local bar offers a slew of happy hour specials. The food is well prepared and delicious, people enjoy the food while consuming libations. Business starts to slow. Rather than making proper adjustments or finding ways to drive new business, management decides to gradually reduce portion size and the quality of ingredients. The result? A bunch of terrible appetizers that aren't even worth the discounted happy hour price, let alone the actual menu price.

I feel that the quality of the food at Easy Street has declined significantly over the last four years. When they opened, the cuisine was quite remarkable. After our visit in January, I left hungry, angry and depressed. (Ok, you caught me. I was already depressed when I got there.) Several different apetizers are offered at a happy hour price of $6. This wasn't a terrible deal for the nachos.

However, for many of the other items on the happy hour menu, this was a real scam. For instance, if you order the happy hour chicken tenders you will receive three pathetic looking chicken strips that make the plate look awfully lonely. When we commented on the portion size the bartender reassured us that it was cool because we could have any type of sauce we wanted. That's $2 a chicken tender!!! I might as well just go eat at the country club. The country club I can't afford to join because of my outrageous chicken tender bills. 

Here is my advice. If a restaurant has a special happy hour menu, and the items on the happy hour menu aren't on the normal menu - don't be a chump. These items are put on the menu to distract you from the fact that management thinks you are a big drunk slob.

I told Uncle Larry I'd share my pizza with him. Uncle Larry died that night, of starvation.
I wouldn't recommend visiting Easy Street for happy hour unless you are forced to attend for some business function. Just pop across the street to the Grant Street Tavern where the snacks are free. I've had everything from free sandwiches to chicken wings, meatballs and hard boiled eggs at the Grant Street Tavern. The GST is basically the counterpoint to UHHD. Take that ghost of Reagan!

Easy Street on Urbanspoon Grant Street Tavern on Urbanspoon

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