The Hours: Happy Hour is offered Monday through Friday from 3 until 6 p.m.
The Interior: Located on the second level of downtown Phoenix's CitysScape, Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails is sandwiched between the Hotel Palomar and the hotel pool and Lustre Bar above. The lux, modern bar area and restaurant are a great place to bring someone to impress, but comfortable enough to relax and have a drink or two. The dog-themed décor doesn't overdo it, but comes through in cute cameo portraits of dogs in Victorian garb and a blue hound statue.
The Food: While we've stopped at Blue Hound for a Happy Hour Report Card before, new menu items piqued our interest, so we decided to give them another try. Fortunately, some of our complaints from the last visit were fixed. The plate of three deviled eggs, which was priced high at $6 (or as we previously mentioned, "$2 per half egg"), are now $4 for the plate. While the price point is better, the quality of the ham on top of the egg trio was the only real stand out component of the dish.
The $6 flatbreads are still a great deal with lamb meatball, marghertia-style plum tomato and seafood options. The crispy-crusted pizza-esque flatbreads are large enough to be a meal for one. While we wanted so desperately to like the cheddar scallion biscuits with a fried duck egg and bacon jam, the adorable tiny breakfast sandwich presentation didn't make up for the fact that two of the little buggers cost $6. Plus we expected a much more savory experience, but were met with a slightly sweet biscuit with little cheesiness to speak of and the bacon jam was just too much sweet and not enough smoky.
Finally, we sampled the Kennebec potato fries, which were decent and had good flavor due to the rosemary and Parmigiano Reggiano topping, but for $5 we could get Bink's insanely flavorful award-winning fries or Bourbon Steak's addicting duck fat fries.
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The Drink: While the food at Blue Hound still didn't really blow us away, we love the drink offerings during happy hour. $6 craft cocktails, like the refreshing summer smash with basil and citrus and the sweet and tart brown derby with grapefruit, bourbon and honey, are surely the way to go. Though we were sad there wasn't a gin cocktail, the house margarita, fresh daiquiri and old fashioned options are great standard drinks that will please most pallets. The drafts are $4 with a selection of light, dark, fruity or hoppy options. Blue Hound also offer half-priced wine on tap for you aspiring somms.
The Conclusion: While we loved our cocktails, the happy hour food specials didn't blow us away. The options are good, enough but the price to serving size ratio for most options is way off kilter. Nothing we ordered was necessarily bad, just not good enough for us to add it to our roster of favorite happy hour spots.