Dick's Hideaway: Happy Hour Report Card

The Spot: Dick's Hideaway 6008 North 16th Street 602-241-1881 richardsonsnm.com/dicks-hideaway/

The Hours: Happy Hour is available from open to 6 p.m. daily in the bar area only

Perfect for: A cozy happy hour in the middle of the day

Interior: Unless you've been there before, chances are you'll walk right past the entrance to Dick's Hideaway multiple times before noticing the name painted on the glass of a pair of wooden double doors under an "Additional Parking In Rear" sign. But once you get inside, the reason for the restaurant's name is easy to understand. This offshoot of Richardson's is tiny -- just a bar, a few high tops, and a compact connected dining room with wine bottles lining the walls.

See also: Sa Bai Modern Thai: Happy Hour Report Card

Even in the middle of the day, the lighting inside the bar is dim with the only natural light peaking through the foliage-covered windows near the entrance. Chalkboards alerting customers of the daily specials face the wooden bar. What looks like the original wooden floor creaks under guests' feet as they pull up stools.

This place is cool. Sitting at the bar and rubbing elbows with the regulars joking with the bartenders, you feel like you've finally made it into an exclusive club. The staff is friendly but in a genuine way. Our bartender joined in when he overheard our party joking.

Dick's Hideaway is the kind of effortlessly welcoming place where you could sit for hours without realizing time slipping by. And with mouthwatering food and well-mixed drinks, we'd be happy to do just that.

The Food: Dick's offers about $2-$3 off appetizers, or Botanas, during happy hour, but just a couple of these huge portions could easily be a meal for two. We went with the New Mex. Con Queso and Oscars Mexico City Ceviche, both of which cost $7.

The ceviche was full of citrus and tomato flavor but was a little runny. It seemed more like campechana than ceviche and was somewhat difficult to eat with the provided chips. Nevertheless, the chunks of white fish were tender and juicy from the marinade and the avocado placed on the top of the dish provided the fat needed to balance out the acid.

The queso came out of the kitchen piping hot and required a minute or two to cool down before we could dive in. The cooling also allowed the dip to solidify more into the perfect consistency to string from the bowl to our chips. The flavor was addicting with the salty cheese, the spicy chorizo and chile, and just enough spinach to cut through the guilt of devouring a heaping bowl of cheese.

The Drinks: It was the $5 house margarita that first caught our eye and inspired us to try Dick's out for happy hour. We're happy to report it did not disappoint. Served in full size glasses, the margaritas at Dick's are exemplary versions of this classic drink. There are no frills here -- just the perfect proportions of tequila, fresh lime juice, and a touch of sweetness topped with a salted rim.

Dick's Hideaway also offers $2 off draft beers and $5 glasses of select wines during happy hour.

Conclusion: Dick's Hideaway isn't pushing the limits or wowing guests with the newest, trendiest ingredients, and that's perfectly fine with us. They call them classics for a reason, and we respect that Dick's isn't trying to fix anything that isn't broke. The southwestern food for which the restaurant has come to be known has a stick-to-your-ribs goodness, and the drinks come fresh, fast, and right. We just have one request of Dick's Hideaway: Don't ever change. And we have a feeling you won't.

Don't Miss: New Mex. Con Queso (and everything else, really) Skip This: Losing a seat at the bar

Grade: A

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