The Place: Gringo (398 North Euclid Avenue; 314-449-1212)
The Hours: Happy hour is offered Monday through Friday from 3 to 6:30 p.m. as well as Monday through Thursday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
The Deal: $3.95 appetizers and discounted draft beers, canned Mexican beers, margaritas, wine and mi cheleda (described as a "Mexican hangover cure" made with a can of Tecate or Modelo, housemade chile de árbol-tomato sangrita, fresh lime and a salt rim).
The Scene: Gringo's bar and dining room appropriately corresponds with its namesake, providing a tropical-vacation-vibed dining destination for foodie tourists out on semi-adventurous eating excursions (grasshopper tacos, anyone?). One of our favorite features of the space is the floor-to-ceiling windows that wrap around the corner, providing plenty of natural light to accentuate all the sunny yellows, mellow blues and funky swordfish that line the restaurant's insides.
The Food: The $4.95 happy-hour appetizer menu includes the following options: queso fundido, nachos, a quesadilla and taquitos. The first item that arrived on our table were the taquitos: two crispy, handmade corn tortillas filled with bacon, red potatoes, grilled corn, wild mushrooms and Chihuahua cheese. The cigar-shaped fried snacks quickly sated our savory snack-time appetites with gooey, flavorful filling and a satisfying crunch. Of the three accouterments, which included creamy guacamole and Mexican crema, the guajillo chile sauce didn't work for us owing to its bitter flavor and lack of punch.
Did Gringo make the grade? Find out on the next page.