Hard Times Handbook - Page 4

Our guide to living better, for less, in the recession

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I'll give you three words: bacon bloody marys. That alone makes it worthwhile trekking to Outer Sunset's Avenue Lounge on a Sunday. But it gets better: buy any of the $3 well drinks or draft beers ($5 to upgrade to Belvedere or Hennessy in your cocktail) and they'll throw in free brats and chips. Yes, you heard right: dogs, beer, and football on the flatscreens for $3. At that price, you could settle in all day.

Sundays, 10a.m.–2 a.m.. 1334 Noriega. 415-731-3757

NAMU'S FREE-FOOD MONDAYS

Monday night is free food night at Namu, the Richmond District's gem of an Asian fusion restaurant that combines Korean and Japanese cooking techniques with Cali-fresh cuisine. With an order of sake, beer, or glass of wine, you can nibble on what Namu is dubbing "drinking food": bite-size tapas, skewers, and spreads with Asian flair. If you can't stay out late on a Monday night, there's a weekday happy hour from 5-7 p.m.

Mondays, 9:30–10:30pm. 439 Balboa. 415-386-8332.www.namusf.com

DOSA ON FILLMORE'S SOUTH INDIAN HAPPY HOUR

This Pac Heights wing of Dosa has the feel of a chic London Indian restaurant, with striking chandeliers and gorgeous Indian-influenced cocktails. The happy hour rocks with a rotating selection of beer (like India's Kingfisher), wine (maybe a Dona Paula Argentinean malbec) and, yes, those cocktails (how about "Mood Indigo," i.e., Buffalo Trace bourbon, jackfruit marmalade, Angostura bitters, and a splash of sparkling wine) for a mere $5 each. For the same price, there's a range of South Indian snacks like cochin calamari sautéed in coconut milk and served with a julienned salad, or a mung sprout salad with fresh lentils, tomatoes, ginger, cucumber, grated coconut, chile, and mustard-seed oil.

Mon.–Thurs., 5:30–7 p.m. 1700 Fillmore. 415-441-3672. www.dosasf.com.

Virginia Miller writes about food for sfbg.com and offers advice for great meals at theperfectspotsf.com

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Drinks on the cheap

By Caitlin Donohue

"No nation is drunken where wine is cheap, and none sober where the dearness of wine substitutes ardent spirits as the common beverage." So said our illustrious forefather and part-time debaucher, Thomas Jefferson, on the importance of happy hour. We are proud of the brave bar-owning San Franciscan souls who have held true to his vision of a nation built on cheap booze and high spirits. Here assembled are their numbers, true patriots that they are.

BAR ON CHURCH

Some days you want to get drunk and throw peanut shells on the floor. This is a practice aided and abetted by the B.O.C., which serves up 50 cent PBR's (that elixir from the heavens for the broke-as-hell contingent) and free peanuts from 4-8 p.m. on Saturdays. Sit down, throw one back and get nutty with it.

198 Church, SF. (415) 355-9211. www.thebarsf.com

TSUNAMI SUSHI

With more than 100 sake bottles on the menu, Tsunami is usually off-limits to those with holes in their pockets. Not so during happy Hour (Mon.-Fri. 5-8 p.m., Sat. 6-9 p.m.) when all bottles and selected maki rolls are half off. Try the Sho Chiku Bai nigori sake, a sweet, creamy, unfiltered 720 ml that'll only run you $16 — ureshii yo!

Mon.–Fri. 5–8 p.m., Sat. 6–9 p.m. 301B King, SF. (415) 284-0111. www.dajanigroup.net

EL RIO

Ah, Mondays at El Rio. If shuffleboard and easy access to cheap burritos isn't enough to pull you Outer Mission-ward, than peep their very special Monday happy hour: $1 Pabsts, $2 wells all the live-long day. Get you in with that and then tell us you can't hang with the hipster hangouts.