Cornish Pasty Co.: Happy Hour Report Card
All draft beers are $1 off during Cornish Pasty Co.'s many happy hours. We added a side of garlic Oven Chips (ask for BBQ sauce as an extra dip).
The Hours: 3 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. until close every day; all day Sundays
The Details: We've worshipped at the altar of Cornish's $3 car bombs before, but that's not all there is to the Pasty Company's happy hour. They keep it simple: All draft beers, wines, shots, and mixed drinks are $1 off. There are additional drink specials on Monday through Thursday, like a 14oz Guinness for only $3 on Wednesdays, or $1 off all bottled beers (excluding the already $2 Mickey's Malt Liquor) on Thursdays. The discounts end at drinks, but with a regular menu of well-priced sides, soups, and salads (you know, all those tasty snacks you never get to because the pasties are so scrumptious and filling!) you can easily put together a satisfying happy-hour spread.
The Red Pepper, Black Bean, Rice, Chicken, and Jalapeno soup ($3.50 a cup) was rich and spicy. For a cheesy alternative go with the Cream of Leek, Potato, and Stilton.
We ordered a couple beers (your local draft of choice is the Four Peaks Raj I.P.A., $4 during happy hour) and filled out our table with the $3.50 Oven Chips: hand-cut British-style chips (that means fries to us) cooked in the oven with cracked pepper and sea salt. This is just one of many ways you can get potatoes (garlic mashed, roasted, or curried) on the Cornish Pasty list of sides. But for a really memorable mid-day or late-night snack to pair with your car bomb, check out the $3.50 cups of soup. Made from scratch and served with some of the best bread and butter you'll ever have, each of the four soups is warm, rich, and full of flavor. Or, in the words of our server, "Not bad for a bunch of dirtbags, right?"
Fans of Ricky Gervais's strange little round-headed mate, the incomparable Karl Pilkington, will understand why we ordered a side of Mushy Peas ($3.50).
The Interior: Come by Cornish Pasty on a typical packed evening, and you may be nudged into staring down a finished table who just won't leave, but during happy hour, slower pacing is a must. There's a relaxed, casual air, and the servers will gladly encourage you to hang out and have a few drinks and snacks. On a Sunday afternoon, our server has long dark lashes and an easy smile, his head wrapped in a colorful bandana and his fingers adorned with turquoise rings. His free allusion to the party-heavy lifestyle of the Pasty crew suggests a bonus function for the dim lighting and dark ambiance of the restaurant's decor: Like a back-alley pub, Cornish is all dark colors, with mahogany pews and candles balanced in bottles of Jameson Irish Whiskey. For those without a reason to fear the sun, there's also a large patio space with booths and high-top tables (smoking allowed).
The Cost: Two sides, a cup of soup, and two draft beers comes to around $18 before tip.
Cornish Pasty Company's large Mesa location.
The Conclusion: Cornish Pasty Co. doesn't tick every box on our ideal happy-hour checklist, instead focusing only on drink discounts. But for a place with no appetizer deals, Cornish still managed to make us feel like we had gotten more than we could eat for a steal (no matter which potato side you choose, good luck finishing the ample serving). These extensive happy hour times offer great opportunities to make yourself branch out beyond the signature pasties -- and take our word for it, you'll be glad you tried the soup.
Overall Grade: B+
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