Head to Chavez, on Capitol Hill, for a brand-new happy hour with some darned good margaritas.
Last Tuesday, a sunny day with a light breeze, a usually quiet stretch of 12th Avenue on Capitol Hill didn’t look so sedate. The draw: a new happy hour at Chavez.
The crowd, millennials mostly, trickled in, grabbing tables on the sidewalk or near the rolled-up garage door.
It didn’t take the happy-hour vultures long to figure out that Chavez, named one of The Seattle Times’ top 10 new restaurants of 2015, had started opening earlier (4:30 p.m. instead of 5), offering discounted bar snacks and margaritas to lure in the young and the hip.
The margaritas — regular or infused with serrano tequila — have a sharp bite and are a couple notches better than the cloying or watery variations served at Tex-Mex joints.
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And so the orders kept coming. A boisterous group of a dozen office workers downed a couple of rounds. Outside, folks in shades clinked glasses as if on a cruise bound for Cabo San Lucas.
The happy-hour grub is more to fortify you in between — fat tacos, brimming with juice-dripping strands of braised pork shoulder (better than the dry shredded chicken tacos).
To share, order ribbons of blue corn chips to dip into roasted jalapeño or tomatillo salsa, or totopos, a baked corn flatbread, to mop up guacamole.
It’s a fully stocked bar, as the bartender proudly pointed to four rows studded with booze. Still, order a whiskey on the rocks and folks might look at you funny.
As you would expect from a patio-weather evening in a Mexican restaurant, the bearded bartender was furiously churning out margaritas, assembly-lining the salt-rimmed glasses.
A tray of seven margaritas here. A line of four there. It wasn’t even 6 o’clock yet.
“Now you know why I don’t make margaritas at home,” he said.
Chavez, 1734 12th Ave., Seattle, offers happy hour Tuesday-Sunday 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. with $3-$5 tacos and snacks, $5 beer and wine, and $8 margaritas. Closed Monday (206-695-2588 or chavezseattle.com).