The Porch Restaurant and Bar
1815 K St., Sacramento
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Happy hour: 3-6 p.m. daily
The real steal: Enjoy $1 off all 12 draft beers on tap, handcrafted cocktails, and wine by the glass during Social Hour that's happy hour at the Porch. The beers range from $3.50 to $7. The cocktails are around $7 each, and the wines by the glass range from $5-$13. Appetizers change daily, but some of the more consistent choices sweet potato fries and fried oysters, for instance, run about $5-$7 and are perfect to share.
The vibe: The Porch feels homelike. Wood floors, wooden tables, and a black bar top with contrasting white walls give the restaurant a laid-back feeling. The rain glass and dark wood dividers split the restaurant into sections for a dining and bar area. Fresh flowers sit in mason jars on every table, and against the back wall, there are faux "windows" with curtains and images of trees outside. There is also light music in the background that can be anything from folk to country to modern or even the blues, and by the entrance there is a welcome mat.
Signature drink: The signature handcrafted cocktail at the Porch is the Charleston. The Southern-style drink is made with Titos vodka, Madeira wine, sweet tea, lemonade, and mint simple syrup.
Bathroom break: The bathroom is tucked away in the back of the restaurant. The two-stall bathroom has blue walls and a black countertop and stalls. There is one sink with a framed mirror hanging above and on either side of the mirror is an electronic lighted candle. There also is a mason jar filled with fresh flowers on the counter.
Alternative libations: Try the Southern Mule, made with Absolut Apeach, ginger beer, lime simple syrup, and muddled basil and blackberries.
Something extra: Social Hour works at the bar and patio area only, but the most popular spot is the high tables behind the bar. Made for four, these wood-topped tables are close enough to the bar to easily order a second round of drinks or an additional appetizer and still cozy enough to have an intimate moment with friends. If it is a beautiful day, the patio becomes a popular spot. It is made for people-watching, and the wood tables and cane chairs give it a porchlike feel.
Chevy's Fresh Mex
1369 Garden Highway, Sacramento (at the River)
1234 Howe Ave., Sacramento, (916) 923-6574
7401 Laguna Blvd., No. 100, Elk Grove, (916) 691-3400
1919 Douglas Blvd., Roseville, (916) 784-9587
6604 Lonetree Blvd., Rocklin, (916) 773-2554
2220 Gold Springs Court, No. 109, Gold River, (916) 852-0344 2100 Grass Valley Highway, Auburn, (530) 885-7774
1730 Travis Blvd., Fairfield, (707) 425-8374
200 Nut Tree Parkway, Vacaville, (707) 469-0280
Hours:11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.- 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The Sacramento River and the Elk Grove restaurants are both open until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Happy hour: 2-8 p.m. daily. The Sacramento River and Elk Grove restaurants have extended late-night happy hours from 2-11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 2 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday.)
The deals: Enjoy original or fresh-fruit margaritas, domestic draft beers, wine by the glass and well drinks for $3.99 during happy hour. Food prices range from $3.99 to $13.99 and can be shared with friends. Some of the most popular choices are original fajita nachos, Dos Equis shrimp and crispy flauta rolls.
Blue Prynt Bar and Grill
815 11th St, Sacramento, (916) 492-2969
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-midnight Friday, 1 p.m.-midnight Saturday, 1-10 p.m. Sunday
Happy hour: 4:30-7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close daily
The deals: Select from $3 well drinks, $4 house wine by the glass, and a dollar off all eight of the draft beers. Appetizers are full price and range from $3 to $5 with options such as sliders, buffalo mac 'n' cheese, quesadillas, and blue cheese-mashed potato cakes.
The Merchant and the Main Grill and Bar
349 Merchant St., Vacaville, (707) 446-0368
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.- midnight Sunday. The bar stays open until around midnight or 12:30 a.m., depending on traffic.
Happy hour: 3:30-6:30 p.m. daily
The deals: Select from 12 draft beers for $3 or a well cocktail for $3. Selected appetizers are half-price and range from $4.25 to $5 with popular options such as nachos, tequila-grilled prawns and calamari. Appetizers are perfect to share, as well.
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