Looking for some new Happy Hour spots, love margaritas, tacos, BBQ and wings? Check out these relative newcomers I hit recently…
The Garret’s slogan is No Bad Days and with their happy hour its possible. We had their Drunken Warrior a pineapple jalapeño mezcal frozen margarita which were far superior to your typical frozen Happy Hour beverage.
On a subsequent visit I had their Brisket Marrow tacos with a pretty spicy verde sauce from their Borrochito kitchen in the back. They were excellent and their classic happy hour Margarita was rock solid. The interior is pretty cool with some rather interesting tables.
Next up was Mace, which while rated top 50 Cocktail Bars in the World I found a little too chi-chi for me. If you like essence of this/that foam on your snail carpaccio this spot is for you. I had the Cardamon, infused with its namesake in reposada tequila with coconut, mango, and lime juice a twist on a Pina Colada which was pretty good. However their namesake the Mace a combo of Aperol, aquavit, Thai coconut, and beet juice was just too heavy on the beet juice (of note, they are owned by the same group that owns The BoilerMaker in the East Village that’s one of my fave spots).
The Black Emperor…Loved this place. It’s a Korean Itzakaya with very good drinks, great upscale yet very fairly priced Korean pubgrub menu. We shared the tasty Asian style glazed Wings and addictive brown butter fukake Tator Tots. Liked their cocktail list but their Frozen Hunter a great combo of tequila, pomegranate and some secret ingredients that rocked had my name literally on it. Very chill atmosphere with an almost Cheers like friendly vibe at the bar.
While the wings and tots helped we were still hungry and managed to get a walk in table at Madame Vo BBQ. Ordered up Shorts Ribs and Sirloin Steak served with tamarind, spicy pineapple and fish sauce to dip in. To wrap them up Vietnamese style we ordered the veggie platter with rice noodles, pineapple, green apple, mint and greens. The meat is grilled table-side and if you like Korean you need to try their Southeast Asian neighbors version. To drink Mango Cart IPA and Blood Orange Spritz Cider. They only have one desert that is pretty good especially if you’re bananas for coconut.
The Garret East is located at 206 Ave A
Mace is located at 505 West 12th Street
Black Emperor is located at 197 2nd Ave
Madam Vo BBQ is located at 104 2nd Ave