The Spot: Rokerij 6335 N. 16th St., Phoenix http://www.burningembersphoenix.com/
The Hours: Happy hour is from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily at the bar.
See also: Dick's Hideaway: Happy Hour Report Card
The Interior: Rokerij is known for its cave-like and cozy ambiance, but it should be noted that the happy hour at the bar is the perfect spot to catch some sports on the bar's TVs. The bar stools are surprisingly comfortable and sitting in front of the vast menu with real silverware on the copper-top bar is a step up from most joints.
The Food: For happy hour, nearly all of the appetizers are discounted and range between $6 and $15. We knew immediately we needed to try the beef tenderloin skewers (4) for $8, since they came with Rokerij's signature sauces. The evening we visited they were red chile, tomatillo sauce, onion sauce and hollandaise. They came out first and they were perfect, easy to eat, a delight to try with the sauces, moist and deliciously full of flavor.
What goes better with beef than shrimp? Next up it was the bacon wrapped shrimp (5) for $15. These babies were huge and cooked perfectly. Sadly, the bacon didn't seem to add any flavor to the shrimp and we were left trying to pile on the sauce. Truly disappointed with what should have been a highlight of the menu at $15.
For something with vegetables, we tried the mushroom toast ($7), which quickly redeemed this establishment and made us remember why we came. The toast was filling, not too crunchy, and topped with a mixture of brie and sautéed mushrooms. Definitely a silent star on the menu. Creative and simple, perfect for happy hour.
The Drink: Rokerij lays it on thick with $5 margaritas (house and prickly pear), $3.50 draft beers and $5 selected wines. If you're here to drink, you can do so affordably and find something sure to please. Our beer and wine were served quickly, at the perfect temperature and in a large portion--perfect for enjoying the rich food at Rokerij. You could spend so much time drinking copiously at Rokerij you might forget that happy hour ends at 5:30 p.m.!
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Conclusion: As far as favorite Phoenix places go, Rokerij is still near the top of our list for something slightly different and an upscale vibe. Most of the dishes are stellar and beverage prices can't be beat.