Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Happy Hour at Mason's and Husky Hour at, Well, Husk

Posted By on Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 7:38 AM

I'm always hunting for a good happy hour. Since I work at home, I get to decide whether to start work at 7 instead of 8 or skip lunch so I can knock off a little early and meet some old (or new) friends for a quick hour of happiness. I've discovered a good one lately that is worth sharing.

Until Sept. 30, Mason's Bar at Loews Vanderbilt is offering a heckuva deal every day from 4 to 6 p.m. in their lounge. Their entire selection of draft beers — which include local favorites Yazoo Pale Ale, Mayday Angry Red Head and Turtle Anarchy IPA, plus others like Stella Artois, Sam Adams Boston Seasonal Lager and Blue Moon — are available for just $3, which is two bucks off the normal pricing. They are also featuring all appetizers at half price during the happy hour. Parking is free with validation, and you don't want to be driving around Midtown at that time of day anyway, am I right?

The restaurant side of Mason's is also featuring a burger special for lunch or dinner on Wednesdays that is worth checking out. Not only can you enjoy one of those $3 drafts, but their fine burger is selling for just $5 instead of the usual price of $14. The burger is served with arugula, garlic aioli, pickled squash, bacon, Kentucky white cheddar, tomato and onion. Diners can add a cage-free fried egg for $1 more. It’s served with served with your choice of Garden Radish Potato Salad, Truffle Fries or Market Fruit. Sounds like a reason for a long lunch...

This next little bit is controversial, and friends have begged me not to share this information. But I have a mission to spread the good news to you Bitesters, albeit below the fold so that folks have to click through to see it. Here's the deal: Even though reservations can be elusive, it's really not that hard to eat at Husk just about any day that you want. (As long as you don't mind eating like an old person like me.)

About once a week, my friends and I convene downstairs at the bar at Husk around 5 p.m. The bar actually opens at 4:30 p.m., but we try not to get too tanked before enjoying a good meal. The daily menu usually comes down from the kitchen at about 5:30, or within a beer or two of our arrival. If you get your order in quickly, you can enjoy a great meal of anything off the menu at the still-not-crowded bar and be home in time for Matlock.

We usually order a selection of starters, which are plenty filling, always creative and very delicious. The fried chicken skins are the perfect "man food" bar snack, crispy and salty and addictive. Husk's wings are slow-smoked, then quick-fried and finally dusted with a spicy powder made from the mash left over from the making of their house hot sauce. Now some might consider $6 for a beer and $10 for an order of wings a bit pricey for happy hour, but you could do a whole lot worse for the same price.

I'll probably get kicked out of the Husky Hour Club for spilling the beans, but I've never noticed the service slowing down much that early in the evening even when the bar is a little crowded. The more the merrier, I say!

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