Big Earl's BBQ: Happy Hour Report Card

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The Spot: Big Earl's BBQ, 7213 E. First Ave., Scottsdale, 480-947-6800.

The Hours: 2 - 6pm, Monday through Friday.

The Details: Happy hour at this BBQ joint is simple: Choose from 5 finger-lickin' appetizers priced at $5 each, plus $3 Bud Light drafts, red sangria and Rancho Allegre 100% Agave Margaritas made with a fresh-squeezed sweet 'n sour mix. We must mention the all day, every day booze deal on Busch cans for $2 and a "short pull" of any draft beer served with a shot of house infused cinnamon Old Crow Whiskey for $3.

Five for $5 grub choices include, Burnt Ends, Pork Butt Nachos (smothered in baked beans, sour cream, chives, jalapenos, and "Velveeta love"), Catfish Bites, Pork Rib Tips, and a "Louisiana Crawfish Boil," served with a small ear of corn.

Big Earl's "Old School 'Q" gets happy hour report carded, after the jump.

The Interior: The look and feel is clean, fam-friendly, and authentic to a BBQ joint. The decor has fun with a down-home "no bullshit, I heart America" theme, complete with an American flag, a banner that says "If you really were a good costumer ... you'd order more" and a framed picture of one former New Times writer with the words "BANNED, His Money Is No Good Here". Uh oh.

The service was spectacular. Our lovely bartender was sweet as pie, efficient and full of insight about our many menu questions, like, "Wait, is crispy pig tail actual crispy pig tail?" (You'll have to visit to find out!)

The Cost: Two Margaritas, One Bud Light draft and two filling appetizers came out to a smokin' $19, before tax and tip.

The Conclusion: Big Earl's stays true to Old School Q and their happy hour does the same while it also stays true to our wallets. The margaritas were the highlight of our Big E's happy hour venture-- a $3 price on a marg that uses quality tequila and house-made sweet and sour? Yeah, we'll take 10. 

Though we were fat and happy with our two happy hour appetizer choices of Nachos and Rib Tips, we would have liked to see a few of the regular menu's appetizers or side dish options offered in the 5 for 5 deal. For example, we'd replace HH features that border on unappealing like the Catfish Bites and Louisiana Crawfish Boil with crowd pleasers from the regular menu such as their fried pickles or chicken fried chicken wings. 

Overall Grade: B- 

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