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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Happy Hour Food: Frugal Joie de Vivre

Mr FS and I are starting to go out to eat a bit more. Yes, one child out of college, the other almost out. We need to have more fun. The problem with going out to eat: it is expensive and sometimes it's bad. Frugal Son says that an occasional bad meal is an inevitable part of the overall experience. Unfortunately, we had a disappointing meal right off the bat at Brigtsen's, a New Orleans institution that gets ecstatic reviews on various sites. Oh well, but at over $100, I was miserable.

One good way to eat in restaurants without wasting $140.00 is to check out the Happy Hour offerings. We are going to visit Miss Em soon and she suggested we go to Happy Hour at Epiphany. The small plates are half price! Luckily for all of us, we have the metabolism of a 6 year old: we get very hungry very early and don't like to eat big dinners. This wouldn't work for a more European metabolism. I guess you could have a second dinner at 9 pm.

Check out the offerings. How will we choose? Have you found Happy Hours at your local restaurants? And--which 3 dishes would you pick?

Small Plates

Bread Service (Buhl, AL)
Whipped Berkshire Pork Butter and
Housemade Brown Sugar Bread
3(per Couple)

Steak and Eggs* (Cottondale,AL)
48 Hr Short Rib, Potato Hash, Rena's Soft Farm Egg

Pickled PEI Mussels
Basil, Warm Bread, Good Olive Oil

Housemade Local Berkshire Pork Sausage ( Buhl, AL)
Good People Brown Ale Mustard, Fried Brussels, Radish

Snows Bend Turnips (Coker, AL)
American Caviar, Tat Soi, Nori Powder

Oysters and Bacon (Appalachicola, FL)
Braised Bacon, Radish, Soy Caramel, Peach,

Snow's Bend Butternut Squash Soup (Coker, AL)
Red Curry ,Coconut, Apple, Bon Secour Shrimp

Organic Greens and Peach Salad (Coker,AL)
Benton's Country Ham, Coconut Milk Vinaigrette, Feta

Asher Blue Cheese Salad (Thomasville, GA)
Greens, Apple, Buttermilk Vinaigrette, Pumpkin Seed Oil

“Shrimp and Grits” (Bon Secour , AL)
McEwen and Son's Polenta, Dashi, Bacon

Rena's Farm Egg* (Cottondale, AL)
Farm Egg, Braised Bacon, Hon-shimeji Mushrooms, Kalamata Olive “Soil”

Baked Stones Hollow Goat Cheese (Buhl, AL)
Yellow Beets, Leek Ash, Purple Basil

Hay Smoked Scallop Crudo*
Cocoa Nib, Kumquat, Shaved Peach, Radish, Tat Soi

Oak Hill Beef Carpaccio* (Eutaw, AL)
Horseradish, Local Arugula, Salsa Verte

Local Cheese Tasting (AL)
Red Hill Cheddar, AA Creamery Cheeses, Warm Bread, Fruit

Local Vegetables and Sides

Katie Farms Roasted Sweet Potatoes (Coker,AL)
Berkshire Pork Fat, Kim Chi, Soy, Hot Sauce

McEwen and Son's Polenta* (Wilsonville, Al)
Rena's Farm Egg, Stones Hollow Goat Cheese, Maple

Miso Creamed Corn (Coker, AL)
Red Curry, Coconut Milk, Hot Peppers

Fried Brussel Sprouts (Coker, AL)
Snow's Bend Lardo, Peach, Soy

Local Collards (Coker, AL)
Ginger, Soy, Red Chili, Brown Sugar


Artful Lawyer said...

My one frugality tip for restaurant dining is to not order the mussels. At least in the Northern US where I live, these are plentiful (flow in from farms) and often cheap. $6 per bag of 2-3 pounds to steam at home makes me never order them steamed out.

Order things you'd never cook at home, right?

Artful Lawyer said...


Geez. I might actually be a robot. Now I'm worried.

Duchesse said...

Don't get me started on my rant. (Well,too late!). When I go out for dinner I want a *meal*, not a tiny plate I have to share with a bunch of other people (e.g., four)) who all want a taste.

I enjoy small plates as tapas or hors d'oeuvres, but it's not dinner, especially when there are 4 people

But for dinner, whether at 6 or 9 pm., if I'm in a nice restaurant (not pizza or Chinese) give me a proper plate of food that's mine. Grrr.

Renee @ AddMoreChocolate said...

The menu looks fun, but if I'm going to that city I head over to Dreamland BBQ. The best ever!

Shelley said...

The general tip is that having lunch at these high end restaurants is more affordable. Sometimes letting others test the new restaurant in town can save you the bother and expense. I find that eating out these days is only a mediocre pleasure. One thing that makes it more fun is to meet up with friends. Then if the food is only average there is at least the company to enjoy.

LeBonVoyage said...

Sometimes some of the nicer places will have a pre-curtain price fixed menu. Recently had a gorgeous three course meal for $34 (portions all a bit smaller than 'regular', but perfect and much less than the price of ordering ala carte). All of the things I wouldn't fix at home --- love to cook and have the same rule. If I cook it a lot at home, I typically don't want to pay for it. Typically.