The Spot: Linger Longer Lounge
6522 North 16th Street #6
The Hours: Happy hour is Monday through Friday 4 to 7 p.m. and all day Sunday.
Perfect for: Happy hour with games and surprisingly good food
The Interior: After spending a Sunday afternoon at the Linger Longer Lounge, we get the name. Pretty much everything about this place makes you want to stay just a little longer than you originally planned — the dim lighting, the cushy cow skin bar stools, the easy-going waiters and bartenders mouthing the words to the '80s glam rock hits behind the bar. And believe us when we say nothing goes better with some discounted bar grub and beer cocktails than a heated game of Jenga.
The Food: A majority of Linger Longer's appetizers are discounted during happy hour, but those prices aren't actually listed on the menu anywhere, so be sure to ask your server. We decided to throw caution of heartburn and high cholesterol to the wind and try the fried pickles ($3) and loaded fries ($5). Our server said the baked brie ($5) was his second favorite dish on the entire menu, so we threw that in as well.
This wasn't just good bar food. This was just good food. The fried pickles were some of the best we'd ever had with perfectly crispy and salty panko coating and pickles that were somehow moist and sour without any sogginess. After a quick dip in some ranch, we dare say these fried treats were perfection.
We're glad we took our server's advice because the baked brie was excellent. The balsamic drizzle over the toasted crostini and the dried cranberries mixed in with the melty cheese ensure we'll remember Linger Longer's version of this comforting dish. Compared to the other two appetizers, the loaded fries were our least favorite, but if we'd order them alone, we would have had no regrets. How could anyone say fries covered in cheddar, bacon, chives, sour cream, and homemade ranch taste bad?
The Drinks: Linger Longer's discounts on drinks cover all the bases. House wine, the Linger Longer Lager, and well drinks will all run you $3, but there are specials on draft beers and cocktails as well. We went with a brew off the rotating list of draft beers for $4 and tried the Dutch Shandy for $7.
The shandy was as light and refreshing as we'd hoped with Ketel One Oranje, Aperol, fresh lemon juice, and Linger Longer Lager. Nothing was too sweet and the combination of liquors, citrus, and brew actually got us a little excited for the summer.
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Conclusion: We can't think of a happy hour situation for which Linger Longer Lounge wouldn't work. Your co-workers would be happy to dig into a heaping pile of cheesy fries after a long day, your friends would love to catch up in one of the cozy booths, and even your parents would appreciate the cheap but excellent drinks. Hell, we even think POTUS would be down for a $3 Linger Longer Lager and lively game of skee ball — you know, if you ever got the chance to take the president to happy hour in Phoenix.
Don't miss: The fried pickles
Skip this: The loaded fries