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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