The Spot: Kitchen 56, 3433 N. 56th St, Phoenix, (480) 994-5656
The Hours: 3-6 p.m., daily.
The Details: What's not to love about $5 appetizers and specialty cocktails? Choose from 15 progresive and delicious cocktail inventions, including "Adult Lemonades," and a wide ranging list of martinis and mixed drinks with clever titles. Booze discounts also include $2 off wines by the glass, $1 off draft beer and $2 PBR.
Yes, PBR is a happy hour must at Kitchen 56 but only when it's ordered as the "Pickle Back"-- a can of PBR, a shot of whiskey and a pickle back chaser for only $5-- trust us, it's delicious.
Foodwise, your options may be limited to five appetizers but each offer a generous proportion of fresh ingredients, great taste and a generous $5 price to match. Yes, we said all apps are only $5. We opted for the fish and chips, the chicken quesadilla, chicken wings and short rib street tacos (5 per order). Well, there's always a 5 dollar foot- long at subway, but we'll let you be the judge on the better deal here.
(The Kitchen gets graded after the jump.)
The Interior: What used to be 1960's gas station is now a trendy spot for daytime drinks. The bar area is cool and modern with large windows, retro signs and an oversized chalkboard with funky doodles and wine selections. The crowd seemed to be Arcadia neighborhood dwellers, both young and old.
The Cost: Four apps, two specialty cocktails and one pickle-back came out to $35 before tax and tip.
Conclusion: Thanks to Kitchen 56, the Arcadia Hood just earned some major happy-hour street cred. High quality cocktails and appetizers without high prices make for a high quality neighborhood restaurant experience.
Our cocktails, including the Pomegranate Martini and Back-Porch Lemonade, were light, refreshing and buzz inducing.
And ohhh, those fish and chips. These lovely pieces of moist white fish coated in a perfect crunchy batter and served with home cut french fries are worth a trip alone. The short rib tacos were fresh and surprisingly light-- a nice compliment to our cold adult beverages.
Our only grunt were the chicken wings-- the bleu cheese dipping sauce was loaded with bleu cheese but strangely lacking flavor-- but that just means we'd skip ordering it next time. The service added a final touch of excellence-- she was friendly, efficient, and unobtrusive.
Looks like "56" is far from where you're scoring, new happy hour friend.
Overall Grade: A