On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina3521 Truxel Road, Sacramento (916) 928-0867 www.ontheborder.com
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Happy hour: 3-7 p.m., 9 p.m.-close daily The real steal: During happy hour, drink specials include domestic draft beers ($2.50-$3.50), the house margarita ($4-$5) and the house fruit margaritas ($4.50-$5.50). Appetizers such as stuffed jalapeños, grande fajita nachos and chicken flautas average $5 each.
The vibe: A cozy Southwestern feel greets you as you step inside this Natomas restaurant. (Other locations are in Roseville and Elk Grove.) A window in the back tiled wall gives you just a glimpse into the kitchen. On one end of the restaurant, the bar has five flat-screen TVs, two hanging lamps made from empty bottles and plenty of seating.
On the other side is a fireplace, adding a slightly romantic and definitely cozy atmosphere to the place. The wooden mantel is filled with framed photographs, as if you're in someone's warm and inviting home.
A blend of a Southwestern and Mexican artifacts adorn the walls. Exposed ductwork, wooden beams and hanging lamps lend an industrial yet homey feel. Brick walls and signs in Spanish add to the "on the border" feel.
Signature drink: The house fruit margarita suits a Mexican grill and cantina. The favored strawberry margarita ($4.50- $5.50) is a sweet drink made from tequila, On the Border sweet and sour, triple sec and strawberry purée, more often ordered blended.
The fruit margaritas tend to be seasonal: blood orange in the fall and a watermelon in the summer. At present sangria margarita is also offered.
Alternative libations: The smooth Borderita Grande margarita is made with Sauza Conmemorativo and Gran Gala orange liqueur and is $8.25 all the time. The sweet-and-sour Tequila Smash comes in two flavors: a blackberry and mint or orange and tarragon. This herb-fruit fusion is shaken with premium Milagro tequila and a fresh lime agave sour ($9.50).
Something extra: The Natomas location is next to the Sleep Train Arena, convenient for Kings home game nights. A raffle offers the chance for a goody bag filled with gift cards, coupons, bottle
Happy Hour On The Cheap
Buffalo Wild Wings
2759 E. Bidwell St., Folsom (916) 496-8700 Hours: Folsom: 11-1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 11-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday
6301 Sunrise Blvd., Citrus Heights (916) 729-9464 Hours: 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-midnight Sunday
3600 N. Freeway Blvd., Suite 100, Sacramento (916) 928-5748 Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday (This location also opens an hour before any major sports game.)
Happy hour: 2-7 p.m., 10 p.m.-midnight Monday through Friday
The deals: Select from $3 domestic drafts and $3 select appetizers such as mozzarella cheese sticks, chips and salsa, and mini corn dogs during happy hour. If you're looking for wings as their name boasts, wings are 60 cents on Tuesdays, and boneless wings are 60 cents on Thursdays.