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'Tis the Off Season for Happy Hours

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For this month's quick bites, we decided to celebrate the season of happy hour. Nobody makes much money in the off-season, especially the restaurants. Happy hour is a win-win for both parties: It gets patrons in the door, but gives them a break on the bill. Cheers to that!

A scrumptious deal awaits at Spindleshanks for happy hour. Two fish tacos with mounds of pico de gallo wrapped in corn tortillas, a pan-roasted artichoke, or perhaps a Caesar salad. The absolutely delectable ahi Napolean features seared ahi tuna seasoned with a splash of sesame, ginger, and wasabi on a thick bed of crunchy, not-so-thick jicama sticks with a fried gyoza chip. I love these messy, crispy, delicious, spicy bites. The rotating happy hour menu means you don’t know what's coming; you do know the four appetizer-size plates will be packed with flavor and will all be $6. Happy hour is 5 to 7 p.m. daily, all night Tuesday. Drink specials are $1 off beer, $3 oyster shooters, $4 well drinks, house wine, and $6 flights. Info: 6873 North Lake Blvd, Tahoe Vista, (530) 546-2191, ~Nicole Cheslock/Moonshine Ink

What is better than happy hour? Happier hour! Zia Lina Ristorante in Tahoe City offers both — happy hour from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and a happier hour from 8:30 p.m. to closing. The Italian restaurant, which opened earlier this summer, is my new go-to spot for a meal before a night out or a snack after a late-afternoon adventure. The menu features a pizza of the day ($5), which could be anything from tomatoes and bacon to artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and basil, a pasta of the day ($7), insalata caprese ($6.50), calamari fritti ($6), and a handful of other savory items. Pair your meal with a glass of vino ($4) or a selection from Zia Lina's solid beer list ($3). Buon Appetito! Open Tuesday through Sunday. Info: 521 North Lake Blvd, Tahoe City, (530) 581-0100 ~ Julie Brown/Moonshine Ink

Who makes their own sausage around here? Pacific Crest/Bar of America does, of course. Find it on the fennel sausage pizza, which can be devoured for half price ($7.50) at happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. All of the wood-fired pizzas on Bar of America's dinner menu, as well as many of the appetizers, are available half price. The fennel sausage pizza comes with sweet onions, roasted peppers, spinach, Gorgonzola cheese, and mozzarella on dough made fresh daily. Yes, it is yummy! Bottled domestic beer, draft, well drinks, and house red and white wine are all available at a discount as well. Info: 10042 Donner Pass Rd, Truckee, ~ Emily Dettling/Moonshine Ink

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Soul Kitchen dishes out one-of-a-kind recipes from Tahoe locals. Read about Tahoe Truckee’s local food culture, get a roundup review of local venues, catch a new recipe, and find out what's in season.

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February 14, 2019