Blue Margaritas and Picadillo Sandwiches

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Photo by Phaedra Cook
This new picadillo sandwich at El Real will NOT leave you hungry and is a phenomenal happy hour deal. Good luck finishing it.

Picadillo is ground or minced seasoned meat. Colloquially, many of us refer to it as "taco meat" but picadillo is a more accurate term. Tacos can be filled with all kinds of stuff and picadillo can be used for much more than filling tortillas. The name comes from the Spanish word picar, which means "to mince."

Everyone who makes picadillo probably has their own recipe. The ingredients, proportions and seasoning can vary. A Cuban version might include raisins and sliced green olives, but the picadillo that most often shows up in Tex-Mex cuisine usually hold the line at tomatoes or tomato sauce, onions, peppers and spices.

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Galleria Happy Hour Ideas for the Fatigued Shopper

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Photos by Mai Pham
Check Beverage Director Kimberly Paul's new "Green Hour" at Etoile from 4:30pm to 6:30pm Sunday-Friday, which includes a killer steak frites for $19.

Originally published in January, we're bringing this post back from the vault with some updates, because, you know, everyone can use a good happy hour when they're tired from shopping.

We've all been there. We've shopped for hours on end, until we're dry and parched, our feet can barely move and we're desperately in need of revival. We get in the car to drive home, and get stuck in the middle of rush hour, a sea of cars sitting between relaxation. As we're sitting there, listening to the radio, in a car that's moving more slowly than the person walking the street, we have an epiphany: "This is the perfect time for a happy hour." We know just the place.

Etoile. Sunday-Friday from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Stop by Etoile for a taste of beverage manager Kimberly Paul's newly introduced "Green Hour," so named because many of the drinks feature absinthe. The social hour features four absinthe cocktails and six drinks made with pastis ($7 to $8), red or white wines by the glass for $6, and a stellar bar menu. Indulge in a killer French-style steak frites for $19, and nibble on other specials ranging from $6 to $10, including an excellent brie tartin or basque crabcake lollipop ($6), a house-ground burger or merguez sausage sandwich ($7), and sauteed shrimp ($10).

Kona Grill. 4 to 7 p.m. and 9 to 11 p.m. Located inside the Galleria itself, Kona Grill offers an abundance of drinks and happy hour appetizers at half off. The choices are rather heavy on the carb side, but the margaritas and mojitos make up for it. Prices range from $3.50 to $6.


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The 5 Best Happy Hours in Pearland

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Photo by Troy Fields
Celebrate Oktoberfest any day of the week.
If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced wine to dives with cheap beer and burgers, we've got it all. See the complete list at the end of this post

This week, we're moving on to Pearland.

Honorable mention: Fajita Wednesdays at Emma's Mex Grill and sushi at Sakura Japanese Restaurant.

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The 5 Best Happy Hours in Memorial City

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Photo courtesy of Vallone's
Vallone's plump and tender meatballs are one of the restaurant's most popular items.
If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced wine to dives with cheap beer and burgers, we've got it all. See the complete list at the end of this post

This week, we're moving to the 'hood of Memorial City.

Honorable Mention: Build your own antipasti at Ciro's and fancy pants social hour at Eddie V's.

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The 5 Best Happy Hours in The Woodlands

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Photo by Omar
Enjoy stellar drinks and bar bites at some of The Woodlands' finest.
If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced wine to dives with cheap beer and burgers, we've got it all. See the complete list at the end of this post

This week, we're moving on to the bar and restaurant-packed 'hood of The Woodlands.

Honorable Mention: Craft brews at The Refuge Bar & Bistro and Italian bites and wine at Pallotta's Italian Grille (which is located just east of I-45).

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The 5 Best Happy Hours in Garden Oaks/Oak Forest

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Photo by Troy Fields
We don't know what's nicer. Cottonwood's bar or the giant outdoor patio.
If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced wine to dives with cheap beer and burgers, we've got it all. See the complete list at the end of this post

This week, we're moving we're moving just outside the loop to the neighborhoods of Garden Oaks and Oak Forest.

Note: For purposes of this post, Garden Oaks / Oak Forest is defined as north of Loop 610, east of Highway 290, south of Tidwell and west of Shepherd.

Honorable Mention: Free wine tastings at Plonk Beer & Wine Bistro (follow them on Facebook for updates).

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The 5 Best Happy Hours Near Highland Village

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Photo by Troy Fields
This handsome bar has all-American class.
If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced wine to dives with cheap beer and burgers, we've got it all. See the complete list at the end of this post

This week -- since many of these fell outside the scope of our neighboring lists -- we're moving on to the bars and resto's around Highland Village.

Honorable Mention: $8 happy hour pizzas at Capone's, which is moving to a new location in Upper Kirby soon (the last day in current location is November 29).

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The 5 Best Happy Hours in River Oaks

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Photo by Mai Pham
These sweet, spicy, and ethereally light chicken wings are just $6 during Américas' social hour.
If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced wine to dives with cheap beer and burgers, we've got it all. See the complete list at the end of this post

This week, we're moving on to the chic 'hood of River Oaks.

Note: For the purposes of this post, River Oaks is defined as south of Buffalo Bayou, west of Dunlavy, east of Willowick and north of Westheimer. This intertwines with Montrose and Kirby, so be sure to check out those lists at the end of this piece and look out for our upcoming list covering the bars/restaurants near Highland Village.


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The 5 Best Happy Hours in Rice Village

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Photo by Mai Pham
Step inside for a happy hour with Southern charm.
If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced wine to dives with cheap beer and burgers, we've got it all. See the complete list at the end of this post

This week, we're moving to the bar and restaurant packed 'hood of Rice Village.

Honorable Mention: Kubo's Sushi Bar & Grill for cheap apps, rolls, and beers.

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The 5 Best Happy Hours in the East End

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Photo by Brooke Viggiano
These are no ordinary dogs...
If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced wine to dives with cheap beer and burgers, we've got it all. See the complete list at the end of this post

This week, we're moving east of downtown to the area known as the East End.

Honorable mention: Voodoo Queen.

Note: For the purposes of this list, the East End is based off of this official map, which roughly places its boundaries at Clinton Drive to the north, I-45 to the south, 610 to the east and parts of 59 to the west.

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