Last Monday, I took my mom out for a night on the town.
She met me at my office and for dinner/happy hour we ended up at Pickwick & Frolic. Despite hearing only good things about this East 4th staple, I had not yet been there. I had, however, perused the menu online several times and wanted to check out the happy hour, so I was excited to go.
There were few people at Pickwick aside from my mom, James (who met us there) and I, but we were there quite early (I think we arrived at 5:15). Though our service was not stellar, overall it was a good experience, and I managed to get my meal and a couple of drinks for just about $20.
I started with a Fruli Strawberry beer (which wasn’t on the happy hour menu and set me back $5.50 for a smallish bottle), a strawberry Belgian witbier. It was very strawberry-y without much of a beer taste. Maybe a little on the sweet side, but good and surprisingly refreshing.
Next, I tried one of of Pickwick’s happy-hour-special $5 martinis, the Citrus Drop, which tasted strongly of grapefruit and was sweeter than both mom and I expected. (It also was not as strong as I would have thought for a martini, as I left Pickwick with no buzz whatsoever.) However, the regular price for martinis is around $10, so it was a good deal, and I’m definitely glad that I tried it during happy hour. I’m not sure that I’d pay full price for it, especially considering the killer cocktails offered by The Greenhouse Tavern across the street in the same price range.
For dinner, I had a margherita pizza (happy hour special price of $5) and a house salad ($3.95 if I recall correctly). The salad (mixed greens with cucumber, carrots and grape tomatoes) was fresh, and the pizza (garlicy with good quality cheese, sliced tomatoes and basil) was yummy. Still not as good as the pizzas at Bar Cento/Bier Markt, but $5 for a fire-cooked (I think!) flatbread pizza is a great price. I’d go back for another one.
Thinking of checking out Pickwick & Frolic’s happy hour yourself?
Here are some tips:
- Happy hour runs 4-7 Mondays through Fridays.
- Be sure to sit in the bar area if you want to take advantage of the happy hour specials.
- They offer a couple of free appetizers, set out at one of the bar tables. Mom sampled one; I did not (because I didn’t know what they were and am mostly a vegetarian). She said it was good, and described it as “like a chicken cordon bleu croquet.”
- Happy hour specials include $5 martinis, $3 house drinks, $2 domestic (aka mass-produced American) beers, and a couple of pizza and appetizer options for $5.
- Their beer selection is rather limited, especially if you want happy hour deals.
After dinner, mom and I headed to the main event: the Jason Mraz concert at the Tower City Amphitheater. She had been wanting to see Jason Mraz in concert for literally about 3 years, and I was so happy to be able to get tickets and take her out. I’ve seen him a few times in the distant past, did not really love the sophomore album, and have been waiting for him to come back to town for a show that I could take my mom to.
Sidenote: I hate paying ticket fees. I would be so much more likely to go to a concert if the fees were included at the get-go, and I didn’t think “sweet, I can see [INSERT ARTIST HERE] for $20,” only to have Ticketmaster or Live Nation be like, “actually, you see can see them for $30.” Why so steep? I will never know. But I run with Pearl Jam on this one, and often only go to shows when I can buy tickets straight from the venue. On rare occasions I deviate from this plan and pay ticket fees, but I honestly can’t remember the last time that happened.
How I got tickets that should have cost me about $60-70 for $35.
This summer, Live Nation ran a promotion where they waived ticket fees on Wednesdays. Not sure if they did it every week, but there were at least a few times I saw this offer. (I hope they keep this up.) Tickets for Jason were still around $35… kind of steep for a date with my mom, especially considering that I paid something like $15 the last time I saw him (yes, it was that long ago).
But then, Live Nation ran another deal where general admission tickets to some shows were sold on Wednesdays for only $25. And still no ticket fees. Score!
(Tip: sign up for Live Nation emails or follow them on Twitter. That way, you’ll be in the loop when they offer any money-saving deals.)
At the concert, I suddenly realized that my mom isn’t 40 (or even 50) anymore, and standing around in general admission might not be the best idea. Luckily, there were seats available and I was able to upgrade our tickets on-the-spot for only $10 each at the information booth.
So I ended up paying $35 per ticket, but that was for seats that I think were going originally for $45 or $50 each, and I still avoided paying any ticket fees. Plus, my mom got to sit during the opening bands (K’Naan and G Love and the Special Sauce, both pretty freaking incredible) and dance around with a good view when Jason took the stage. Boo-yah.
Photo courtesy of PickwickandFrolic.com