Tuesday, November 21, 2006

An early holiday respite at Can Can's happy hour

At this point in the calendar year, I think we're all pining for those soon to come days off of work. Personally, Karen and I talk about x-mas break as it were heaven's gates. Luckily, to the rescue comes high-brow happy hour at Can-Can to occupy us until we can savor the savior of free-time. Stiff drinks and a raw bar at an affordable price - mmm, delightful.

I've never been one for drinking during the daylight, but hey, it's dark out at 5pm this time of year. And I've hardly ever been lured into a watering hole for happy hour that didn't feature a complimentary taco-bar. So, why Can-Can? Well, the problem with bars and bar food at happy hour is that it's cheap and nasty. Some would say that these attributes explain the charm as well and maybe the clientel. But how many stomach-aches from cheap rail liquor (meaning that they keep it just under the rail of the bar for easy access - often Aristocrat brand) does one have to suffer before learning to seek out more discriminating drinking venues?

At Can-Can, the happy hour is from 5-6pm and features $3.50 hi-balls. Karen's regular drink is a gin and tonic (G&T) that she usually orders by name, "Tanqueray and Tonic" to avoid getting some painful cheap liquor that tastes bad and makes you feel bad. At Can-Can they make this popular happy hour drink with their rail brand of gin which happens to be Bombay Dry - Karen's favorite, the one she keeps ample amount of in the kitchen. When the bartender spoke those words, I could see it on Karen's face, "Um, hell yeah."

So, when you're at work and dreading the rest of the week, or counting the days until vacation or retirement, here's something you can do right when you get off work to lighten your load. No, don't get drunk. But yes, do enjoy a tasty bev at Can-can during the sale hour, because you can bet that it'll be a quality worth paying for at a price that makes you feel drunk before you drink (maybe that's just me). The venue is pretty, as are the variously gendered servers. In short, it's relaxing, therapeutic, and somewhat economical. Just remember not to drink and drive. I prefer to bike, myself.

To keep from getting too tipsy too early in the day, you might consider a bite of food, some sustenance to soak up that alcohol. Well, happy hour at Can-Can also features 1/2 price raw oysters, shrimp cocktails, and burgers. Karen and I enjoyed a 1/2 dozen oysters and a 1/2 dozen shrimp for $12.00. Personally, I think this price was semi-extravagant, but the presentation was awesome and the quality of the seafood was top notch. Considering that it was on sale, I savored it all the more (bargains taste better in my book - you'll learn this about me in due time).

Maybe the burger will prove to be a better deal for you, if you're an omnivore. Considering my dietary restrictions, I enjoyed the oyster adventure quite a bit, slurping them down and nauseating Karen who can hardly look at the slimy innards of the oyster shell.

At really nice places, like Can-Can, oysters are served with minuet in addition to cocktail sauce. Since this was my first time with the vinegary diced red onions, I heaped them on my first crustacean. Yuck! You should have seen the wincing and puckering I performed in public at the bar. Maybe it's an acquired taste, but you can count me out. I'd rather go with the ketchup and horseradish concoction every time.

But hey, it was an affordable experience. And my pronouncement that oysters are an alleged aphrodisiac didn't make Karen wince or pucker. Wish me luck with that.


  1. Vicky S2:29 PM

    Can Can's Happy Hour are well worth the crush of standing in a crowd. I love their hors d'oeuvres and their splashings of wine are surprisingly generous.

  2. Vicky S2:29 PM

    Whoops, Happy Hours. I should have checked my grammar!

  3. I love the zinc bar at CanCan. They have a great kir royale. And they also have the best burger and fries in Richmond.

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