Sunday, July 08, 2012

TE: Bar

909 SW Park Avenue
Happy Hour: 4 - 7 and 9 - close


YUM is right! Tasting East has moved into the restaurant space at the Paramount Hotel and they know what they are doing. Like with the last restaurant, Dragonfish, the space is divided into two very separate sections. Happy Hour is served in the bar daily from four to seven and again from nine to closing. The pricing on most of the bar menu is already fairly low, but there are a few additional discounted items that can be found posted near the bar.

This was my second trip to Tasting East for happy hour. The first visit was made soon after they opened. (The restaurant sections hadn't even opened its doors yet.) They were still working on the beautiful mural that covers an entire wall. I remember it well because I spent the majority of that visit watching the artist work. This second visit was the first official happy hour of the summer with all three of us in attendance, making it extra special. (It's so nice to be on break.)

I recommend Tasting East--or the TE:Bar as they call it--as the place to go before any showing at the Fox Tower. It's so conveniently located. I would rather have a small plate of their cauliflower than a big tub of popcorn any day. (And I'm certain that it's cheaper.)


Not everyone likes cauliflower, I know. This cauliflower, however, is amazing. It's a small plate...so don't be afraid of giving it a try. If you like it as much as we did, you'll order a second. I can't say for sure what's on it. It similar to a sweet chili sauce...but I know that there's a lot more to it. If I had the recipe, I'd be making this dish weekly. Maybe even more.


The cauliflower isn't officially on the happy hour menu...and either is the veggie roll, but both are available at such good prices, it doesn't really matter. The sushi had great flavor and great crunch. It was a perfect snack for a summer afternoon. I remember it being one of the only veggie options on the sushi list, but I know I've ordered some of their other rolls with substitutes (or at least eliminations) without any issue.


Along with the cauliflower and sushi, I also shared some vegetable tempura. I've been a tempura fan all my life and rarely pass it up when I see it listed on a happy hour menu. I know it's not that good for me, but I do it anyway. This order of tempura veggies was a good mix, but I missed my all-time favorite, the sweet potato.


All three of us ordered the happy hour "drink of the day" when we first sat down. For just four dollars, it was pretty hard to pass up. After studying the menu a little more, I was intrigued by the name of a martini. (I also enjoyed knowing that it could be ordered by the glass or by the pitcher.) So I ordered one. (A glass, not a pitcher.) I ordered a Handsome Husband. It's a lychee flavored drink--so it might not be for everyone--but I enjoyed every sip.


Service at TE:Bar was pretty fantastic, too. It wasn't too busy when we first walked in but the place picked up over time and our server was able to keep up. She was super friendly and willing to make all sorts of suggestions. (She also answered all of my questions without hesitation...and if you didn't already know, I ask too many when it comes to ordering.)

This is one of those places that I know I will return to. It might be that I'll go when I next have plans to see a movie at the Fox Tower...or it might just be because I really REALLY want another plate of that cauliflower. Yum!

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Meets

-b

Tasting East

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