Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tacos borachos

I apologize in advance for the lack of photos but I have to share with you the oddest happy hour I enjoyed yesterday with Mr.Mr. and some friends. I got out of work at 2pm (jealous?) and commenced to wander around downtown looking for interview clothes at the likes of Banana Republic and Ann Taylor Loft. It should be mentioned that I never shop at BR but the glowing orange "sale" signs beckoned me in and I've heard talk of deep discounts from friends and family. ...There's no way in hell I'd pay $78.00 for a skirt unless it was going to make me dinner, do the dishes and spoon me to sleep. Just for the record.

So like the annoying person that I am, when the phone rings in the dressing room and I'm partially clad, I make no bones about answering it. "Happy hour?" "Red Lion Hotel?" "Free tacos?" Hmmm.

I'm not generally the "free taco" type. Free cheese plate? Free fruit platter? Sure. But free tacos? I'm not entirely sold. Really, how good can they be? However- I have to tell you it was great. You ride the elevator up to the fifth floor of the downtown Red Lion Hotel where you have the choice of dining indoors in a pleasant hotel restaurant sort of setting (don't do it) or retiring to the spacious deck for drinks in the open air at cozy patio tables. Choose the latter. Trust me. Even when the five o'clock sun is beating down on you with no reprieve and the reflective exteriors of the adjacent high rises conspire to immediately give you skin cancer... just do it.

The $4.75 pint-glass margaritas are on par with any other place that has a free taco bar (exactly) but they'll serve a galvanized bucket full of coronas to your table and refresh your water every few minutes. The service can be a little slow and if you tend to linger like people who have been rescued from an underground cave who are seeing the sun for the very first time, the waitstaff may appear irritated. But the famed taco bar itself isn't bad at all. They keep it stocked with hard shell corn tortillas, saucy re-fried beans, taco meat, shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, jalapenos, olives and shredded lettuce. It's vaguely reminiscent of a high school hot lunch buffet but that didn't stop me from having three servings. They also serve oyster shooters but you know how I feel about those.

The non-free food we saw at neighboring tables actually looked good and I gather they run a couple of half-off specials on crab cakes and other typical NW eats. So swing by if you have the chance. It runs from 4:30-7:30pm and I think it's daily but you could always call to make sure. I'm sure they love those inquiries... "so, uh, yeah... when do you do that free taco thing?" Enjoy.

1 comment:

Mary T. said...

So funny -- this became a "thing" with people on Yelp for awhile, the Red Lion Free Taco Happy Hour. It was worth it to sit in the sun. And as far as free went, the food was okay. Their margaritas aren't bad, either.

Incidentally I also ended up at the Crab House which is the restaurant in the Red Lion in Port Angeles. They had free hot dogs -- and they rocked!