The Independent’s barfly guide to the happiest hours of all by Hope Rurik and Mary Tutwiler Photos by Robin May
Monday at Cafe Habana City
Monday is for mojitos. Cafe Habana stirs up 2-for-1 mojitos every day from before noon, if you’re needing it, till the kitchen closes at 10 p.m. That’s a two-fisted 10 oz., one for each hand, which will set you back $6. Cafe Habana introduced us to Ernest Hemingway’s favorite drink five years ago, and we’ve been happily idling in the stream of rum ever since. We’re huge fans of its bar food as well. Tostones rellenos, green plantains fried in the shape of small cups, filled with enchilado de camarones — shrimp in a Spanish sauce — is distinctly Cuban, not Mexican. At this point, your soul should be twitching to a Latin beat. Dance classes and drink specials are on Thursdays, to get you ready for Latin Night, Fridays, 10 p.m. till 2 a.m. Happy Hour is all day, every day. Wow.
Tuesday at Tsunami
There’s not necessarily much going on Tuesday nights, but judging from the crowd at Tsunami, discounted sushi and cocktails are a great excuse to look weekend-ready before the week even gets under way. Huddled around huge plates of sushi are business partners and coworkers with ties loosened. Groups of girlfriends laugh and chatter over colorful cocktails and wine at the bar. It’s a rare opportunity for foodies to satisfy pricey sushi cravings when the price is right, which it certainly is: An eight-piece roll and a cocktail weigh in under $10 on Tsunumi Tuesdays.
For its extended happy hour, Tsunami offers 25 percent off all rolls $9 and under, and with its selection, sushi lovers have 17 rolls to choose from. Over the bar a chalkboard suggests the restaurant’s signature cocktails like its blood orange creamsicle martini, $4 during happy hour. Happy Hour 4 to 10 p.m.
Wednesday at Jolie's Louisiana Bistro
All the women sitting on bar stools at Jolie’s look beautiful. It’s just the nature of the place. On a buzzy Wednesday night, when drinks dip to half-price and the Jolie crowd gathers for glasses of bubbly Veuve Clicot for a mere $8, one can imagine another French coquette singing about the night they invented champagne. Jolie’s bartenders love to tint the champers with a drop of flavor, be it the elderflower-scented St. Germaine or a pretty Cassis-colored pink. But there’s more to love than liquor alone. Nightly, inventive bar snacks that incorporate house-made charcuterie run for about $5 — a steal folks, and during Happy Hour all appetizers are half price. That’s enough to make a meal, or at least keep you from swaying on your stool as the evening progresses. Happy Hour 5-9 p.m.
Thursday at The Bulldog
There’s something to be said for weekly rituals, especially if that ritual starts with 2-for-1 drafts and liquor and ends in a free pitcher of beer or a $25 bar tab. That’s what teams of regulars and rivals play trivia for every Thursday night at the Bulldog on General Mouton Avenue. While its location lends itself to a large student following (for the burgers of course), the crowd on trivia nights is a blend of all sorts ready to test their wits and alcohol tolerance.
At 7 p.m., teams are huddled in their respective zones around the bar with a drink and a note pad ready to write down and submit answers to life’s hardest questions: “How many points did Michael Jordan score against the Cavaliers on March 28, 1990, for a career high?” or “What was Toto’s real name?” or “Why does it take so long to get a shot down here?”
Every week, Jason “JT” Thomas is the man at the microphone armed with 10 questions pulled in advance from Trivial Pursuit. Once all answers are in and the points are tallied, the top three teams are announced, with third place receiving nothing more than a pat on the back. Maybe.
Thomas says there are about 15 teams that play every week and, generally, teams “Dadats” and “Beardos” are the ones to beat. For regulars like these, the Bulldog is planning to award a cash prize of $250 for the team averaging the most wins over the course of a few weeks.
After the game, winners and losers alike stay in place as the bar fills for beers, burgers and games on the big screens. Drinkin’ and Thinkin’ 4 to 8 p.m.
Friday at Philippe's Wine Cellar
Philippe Simon has spent the last decade educating Lafayette’s palate. Local wine drinkers know that the Languedoc, heretofore a wasteland of wine, now produces indie garage wines, that good burgundy often has a barnyard nose, and that Sancerre, a wine some of us love the way a trout loves a shady hole in a cold stream, tastes like cat piss, according to Simon.
It takes a lot of sipping and spitting to develop a head for wine, but Simon makes it easier for us by offering free Friday night wine tastings. He takes us around the world, Oregon one week, South Africa the next, flights from a single winery or thoughtfully chosen companionate bottles. Once a month, Simon concedes to the whiskey and beer drinkers, pouring brewskies and single malts, or whatever is au courant in the spirits world.
The gathering is always interesting. Aficionados often bring their own glasses and use the occasion as a way to connect with friends and head out afterward to dinner. Newbies get a chance to taste and learn the lingo. Wines tasted that evening are always discounted, making it a good opportunity to pick up a mixed case of wines you know you like. Best of all is the spirited attention of Simon, who mingles, comments, jokes and cajoles. It pays to get there early, precisely at 5 p.m., because Simon always lays a nice spread of cheeses and charcuterie, which go very fast to first comers. Happy Hour 5-7 p.m.
Saturday at Pete's
Pete’s isn’t really a place people stumble into on accident. It’s set back from Johnston Street, and if not for its marquee, it would be easy to just drive by without noticing. But Pete’s has a loyal following of night owls. Starting at 10:30 p.m., Pete’s has possibly the latest happy hour in Lafayette, where nocturnals and service industry folk can get $2 drafts and $3 wells until 2 a.m.
At Pete’s, there’s pretty much something to fit whatever mood strikes in the middle of the night.
There are high-walled booths for a quiet drink. There are bowling, golf, car and motorcycle racing and shoot ’em up arcade machines lining the better part of the north wall for when the beer sharpens up that competitive edge. There are more than 24 televisions where sports are always on. The burgers, homemade potato chips and fried pickles are served until midnight. Another unique thing about Pete’s:
It’s non-smoking. “It’s like Cheers,” says frequent visitor Steven Laborde. “I walk in the door and they have my drink ready.” Happy Hour 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Sunday at Zea
Zea Rotisserie and Grill brought a combination of class and comfort food to Lafayette. Its all-day drink specials make it easy to slip into a cocktail before noon or at noon or any time.
On Sundays, lunch comes sizzling off the rotisserie. A classic rib and chicken barbecue plate is elevated by Zea’s choice of sauces and rubs: roasted garlic and herb, sweet and spicy chili, hickory, Thai or a Memphis dry rub. Add in the killer grits, sugar snaps and buttered sweet potatoes and you’ve got a traditional meat and three, Zea-style. The drink special Sundays is a sunny Mimosa — what better way to make rise and shine. Happy Hour 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stoned driving a concern when pot is legal; Detroit's bankruptcy trial; speed trap scandal in Florida and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 02, 2014.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
Three bedroom Port Barre cottage or three bedroom historic district Opelousas home
No laboring for shoppers this holiday
It will be next month before Gov. Bobby Jindal will likely get a chance to change the membership of a South Louisiana flood board that is suing dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
The Acadiana Center for the Arts and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority have announced a new artist stipend program, ArtSpark, designed to offer financial aid to local artists.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Three bedroom traditional or two bedroom Victorian cottage