Margaritas, tortillas and more margaritas (happy hour in SF via iPhone camera)

Chris and I discovered a couple of fun little happy hours in San Francisco yesterday that I thought I’d share.  I really wish I had my real camera, but alas, the iPhone will have to do.

After having a few mediocre dinners around our hotel, I mentioned to one of my Bay Area Brides to Be during lunch yesterday that I wasn’t all that impressed with the food in this neighborhood.  She suggested a Mexican restaurant called Colibri, so we decided to check it out.  Turns out that many of their appetizers were half price during happy hour, which I was planning to try anyway, so we headed out for an early dinner at 4:50.

We both started with the house margarita, which was pretty darn tasty.  I’m not usually a fan of straight up margaritas, but it reminded me of hot summer nights in NYC and was pretty enjoyable.

$5 house margarita

Since all appetizers were $6 during happy hour, we started with Chris’ favorite.  Queso fundido con chorizo.  It also had mushrooms in it, which made it taste a bit like the innards of a Mexican pizza (in a good way).

queso fundido con chorizo

I wasn’t sure if ordering two appetizers would be enough for my meal, but it actually turned out to be way too much!

The tamales I ordered were gorgeous, but lacked a lot of flavor.  Needless to say, I didn’t finish these beauties.

tamales

On the other hand, the fish tacos were amazing!  I’m a sucker for anything with pineapple, so I instantly knew I wanted these.  They were less pretty but light and fruity and delicious.  Since I’m nice, I spared one for Chris.

fish tacos

Somehow I didn’t photograph the best part of this restaurant, which was the warm delicious corn tortillas.  They brought them at the beginning of the meal, along with three salsas, one of which was to die for.  I think it was mango or pineapple or something.  Whatever it was, I couldn’t stop.

Since we had a really early dinner, we felt we had to do something after, though I think we both probably just wanted to go sleep off the tortillas. And no, “tortillas” isn’t code for margaritas.  The tortillas were way more dangerous.

After seeing the San Francisco episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “The Layover” a few weeks ago, I’ve been really wanting to check out The Tonga Room, so I was excited to learn it was nearby. If you’re not familiar, Tonga Room is a Tiki Bar/Restaurant in the basement of the luxurious Fairmont Hotel.  The hotel’s old pool is still in the middle of the restaurant, which acts as a catch basin for the restaurant’s “thunder storms” (think grown-up Rainforest Cafe). That’s right kids, it actually rains in the restaurant!

Had I known what a giant hill I’d have to walk up to get there, I probably would have passed, but Siri doesn’t tell you about those.

Nobb Hill (we started down at the bottom left where all those lights are)

After burning off at least four tortillas, The Tonga Room awaited us.

dining room at The Tonga Room (much cooler than the iPhone camera can capture)

As it turned out, it was still happy hour there too, which meant most drinks were only $7.50.  I don’t know exactly what that means in San Francisco, but that’d be a serious steal in Manhattan. They also have a happy hour buffet for $9.50, which we obviously skipped (give us some credit), but I might have to go back for it another day.  It looked like it was mainly greasy egg rolls and noodles, which I think would pair perfectly with strong fruity drinks.

Anyway, seated at the bar, I ordered my first drink.  I forget what it was called but in involved rum, pineapple juice and banana liquor. Yum!  Unfortunately it was sans umbrella.  I was a little bummed but figure they probably save those for Mr. Bourdain, or when drinks don’t cost $7.50.

mystery drink (rum, pineapple juice and banana liquor)

We also tried out a pina colada and coconut margarita.  Both were delicious, though tough to finish after our Mexican feast … and that’s about where our night ended.  We returned to the hotel before 9 pm feeling fully satisfied with our night out.  Too bad I’ll have to fast for the next six days to make up for it.  C’est la vie.

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2 thoughts on “Margaritas, tortillas and more margaritas (happy hour in SF via iPhone camera)

    • Thank you! I’ll definitely have to check out Mexican in the Mission. We found a place in Santa Clara that has decent street tacos and California burritos, but we’re always looking for something new.

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