I've found it. For sure. Casa Rubia's Pintxo Social Hour is the greatest happy hour to ever happen ever. I'll preface this entire blog post by noting I'm incredibly late to the game -- the early evening bar special has been going on for some time now. But it's better late than never, and this is a happy hour event that's worth your time and effort.
Everything kicks off at 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and you'll have until 7 p.m. to pack in as much as you can. A wide range of cocktails are available for just $5 a piece and a bottle of Estrella beer is just $3. This is already a solid deal. You've paid more than $10 for a comparable cocktail, and a bottle of cheap beer can go for as much as $5 to $6 depending on the whims of an establishment's owners.
But the drinks at Casa Rubia are just the start. Look at what else you get.
Admittedly the food photography is less than average -- I am the guy who takes the worst food photos imaginable -- but the image is clear enough. That's a quail's egg that has been gently cooked until the white is completely solid while the yolk remains fluid. The anchovy adds salt and fishiness and the pepper adds vinegar. I stripped the entire skewer in one bite and then asked my bartender "what's next?"
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How about a hunk of grilled bread topped with marbles of blue cheese and olives puréed and sweetened so they spread like marmalade? It's a small bite, but it's mighty. And while other restaurants would typically charge a few bucks for such a snack, it's absolutely free when you're getting your Pintxo on at Casa Rubia.
Order a drink, get a plate. I don't know how many you can polish off in the two-hour period before the staff gets irritated and throws you out for being a cheapskate, but I think it's somewhere between four and six. And by then you'll be so drunk that you'll crave a slice of pizza, anyway.