705 J St., Sacramento
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 a.m Sundays
Happy hours: 4-7 p.m. Mondays- Fridays
The real steal: Where can you get a restaurant burger for $2.99? Here. During happy hour, as long as you are dining inside the establishment and you order at least two drinks, you can choose from their traditional burger, sliders, wings, mozzarella sticks or onion rings for $2.99. What if you like to partake of an adult beverage while tasting loaded fries? The PBR draft will cost you $2, and the loaded fries will add another $1.99.
The vibe: Depending on which night you choose to visit Shenanigans, you may get an entirely different experience. The large stage at the back might be featuring the latest downtown band, or you could catch them on a quiet night and play some pool. The bar is 6,000 square feet and has two levels. On many nights, you can choose from going downstairs, where you will find a brick basement that feels "exclusive" with low ceilings, a large dance floor and cute private tables or remaining upstairs, where it's either live local music or a sporting event on one of eight big-screen televisions. Check the calendar at the website to help you pick an upcoming event. On weeknights during happy hour, you will likely see local friends and state workers watching a game and having an after-work drink.
Signature drink: Eric Shaffer, one of the co-owners and a lifelong bartender, suggests you try the Rainbow Shot. He describes it as 10 tropical shots that change color before your eyes.
Take a seat: Since happy hour prices and specials are good no matter where you sit, I would suggest diving into the large, red leatherish booth that's in the far left corner perched above the rest of the bar, so you can listen to the band and scope out the scene. If you are hanging on a mellow night, though, sitting at the bar talking to Shaffer might not be a bad choice.
Bathroom break: A medium-size bathroom at the rear of the building contains a few ample stalls, and the women's restroom has a good-size mirror for checking your hair in case you've been rocking out to the music. If you are downstairs, there is another smaller bathroom for your needs.
Alternative libations: If you aren't feeling courageous enough for the Rainbow or would like to stay on budget, the happy-hour selections are $2 PBR, $4 rum and Coke, or $4 vodka and cranberry.
Something extra: If you go downstairs and look toward the street side of the closest wall, you will see a door. It takes you a minute to realize that you are below street level. In fact, it is one of the entrances to Old Sacramento's historic underground spaces, created years ago when the district was raised by one level to combat flooding. You can reserve a visit to the space through www.historicoldsac.org, but don't ask Shaffer to go through the door. He will just look at you like you are crazy.Mandango's
106 N. Sunrise Ave., Suite B, Roseville
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturdays-Sundays
Happy Hours: 3-7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays
The deals: $3 will get you all kinds of specials at the Mandango's just off Interstate 80 and Douglas Boulevard. Play pool, shuffleboard or darts, and watch any sporting event you can think of as you enjoy $3 well drinks, $3 domestic drafts, 50-cent wings and $3 appetizer specials. Those specials include carnitas tacos, pulled pork sliders, garlic or blue cheese fire fries, chicken or beef burritos, fried mushrooms or zucchini, or onion rings. For $3.75 you can also have a personal pizza of your choice. Before you leave, try the Gummy Bear shot. It's not on the happy hour deals, but it's quite tasty with a mixture of grape vodka, peach schnapps and lemonade.
6524 Pony Express Trail, Pollock Pines
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays
Happy Hours: 3-6 p.m. daily in the bar. (The restaurant also offers daily specials from opening until closing in the bar.)
The deals: At happy hour, take $1 off house margaritas or $1 off draft beer (more than 25 on tap). And, check out a menu of items ranging from $2 to $6. Buy a nacho plate, toothpicks (a combination of fried strips of jalapeño and onions), quesadilla or hot wings for $2. Or pick up a combo plate nachos, toothpicks and a quesadilla for $2.50. Other possibilities: $3.50 for potato skins, $3.95 for a chimichanga; and $5.95 for a riblet basket or guacamole dip. The guacamole, made at the table, has always been a favorite, and all of these prices are good from 3 to 6 p.m. every day in the bar. Los Hermanos also has all-day specials in their bar. On Mondays, cut $1.50 from the price of tacos. On Tuesdays, you'll receive a free taco with the purchase of every adult beverage. Get over Hump Day with two-for-one drinks any drinks. Pay just $2 for enchiladas on Thursdays, and on Fridays well, on Fridays, you should go out of the bar and into the restaurant. Experience the El Francisco burrito special for $8.95, and ask for extra parrilla sauce on the side. The bar is large and features more than 85 beers. On select Saturday nights you can catch live music. The restaurant supports its cantina-ism with a faux-sand floor, giant fish tank, enormous indoor palm trees, large ceramic water fountain, and deep-set booths. Even though you are in Pollock Pines, where the snow can be knee-deep in December, you will swear you are sipping cerveza in Cabo.Do you know of a bar that has amazingly good deals on drinks and food? Share the scoop with The Bee, and we'll highlight it as part of this Night Life feature. Email email@example.com.THIS WEEK'S FEATURED BARGAIN