Paragary's Bar and Oven
1401 28th St., Sacramento
Hours: 4:30-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 4:30- 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Happy hour: 4:30-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
The real steal: Bottles of Bud Light and Corona are $3. Draft beers are $4. Wines by the glass range from $4 to $5. Cosmopolitans, lemon drops and Maker's Mark Manhattans run $5 to $6.
Appetizers such as housemade beef and pork meatballs, french fries and aioli, and cheese pizza run $3 to $5.
The vibe: You can spot the restaurant from down the street. A bright-red door greets you, while the ample windows give you a peek inside the inviting space. Once inside, the atmosphere is fine dining, but with a family and neighborhood feel.
The bar is topped with granite and there are plenty of wooden tables. A mirror behind the wall of alcohol gives patrons a slight glimpse of themselves as they sip their drinks. Gold-beaded lamps hanging near the bar-lounge area provide ambient lighting.
The most prized area, however, is the patio. The backyard oasis comes equipped with a full bar open during happy hour as well as a fireplace, three cascading waterfalls and plenty of flowers and foliage to provide enough shade and the feeling of a getaway right in midtown Sacramento.
Signature drink: Drinks are traditional, with a twist. Paragary's is best known for its Maker's Mark Manhattan, which is $6 during happy hour. The drink has a nice balance of sweet vermouth and bourbon, is stirred instead of shaken, and is topped off with brandied cherries made in-house.
Alternative libations: If the happy-hour or regular-menu drinks don't tempt you, you might try the daily cocktail. Every day, Paragary's offers a cocktail not on the regular menu. These drinks range in price, but tend to be around $8.
Some have ended up on the regular menu due to their popularity. An example is the pomegranate lemon drop, a daily special that skyrocketed in popularity and became a regular menu offering, at $9.
Something extra: The building that houses this restaurant was built as a hotel, restaurant and saloon in the 1890s. It was bought by Randy Paragary in 1975, and after hosting two other restaurants the Fort Sutter Club and Lord Beaverbrook became Paragary's Bar and Oven in 1983.
HAPPY HOUR ON THE CHEAP
Los Reyes Restaurante Y Cantina
21A Town Square Place, Vacaville
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.- 9 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Sunday
Happy hour: 3 p.m.-close Monday, 3-6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday
The deals: Select from $1-off draft beers, $3.50 well drinks or a $4 margarita on the rocks. Appetizers include barbecue pork and tri-trip sandwiches, sweet-heat wings and grilled shrimp with chipotle barbecue sauce, all for $4.99 each.
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