I don’t normally drink during the day. Certainly not on weekdays, at least. But after a particularly long and stressful “ship week,” the time each month that we proof and edit every page of the magazine multiple times before shipping it to the printer, I couldn’t find it within myself to decline the offer of a media Mid-Day Happy Hour from Daily Dose Kitchen & Bar, which has locations in Old Town Scottsdale, Midtown Phoenix and Tempe. “Hopefully day drinking is a part of your quarantine lifestyle,” Daily Dose’s PR rep Elaina joked with me. It is today.
What is Mid-Day Happy Hour, you might ask? Since Daily Dose is a breakfast and lunch joint, owners Matt and JenLyn Long moved the traditional happy hour (4-6 p.m.) up in the day so their patrons could enjoy deals on their most popular items. It’s super sweet, and something I wish more places that close by 2 or 3 p.m. would do.
I’m still self-quarantining as much as possible, so JenLyn Long was kind enough to bring takeout Mid-Day Happy Hour to me. The Daily Dose Burger ($2 off during happy hour, regularly $12.50) was a juicy beef patty topped with fresh basil (yum; why don’t more places do this?), onion, tomato, harissa aioli, Cheddar-Jack cheese and crisp yet chewy (aka perfect) peppered bacon on a pillowy pretzel roll. In a fun homage to breakfast, the turkey burger (also $2 off during happy hour, regularly $11.50) tasted pleasantly of breakfast sausage thanks to its house seasoning blend. Slices of fresh avocado, melty Swiss and zippy chipotle mayo provided creamy contrast for the surprisingly succulent patty.
My favorite dishes, though, were the Mexican-inspired ones. Crispy polenta tacos ($6.75 for two; other fillings include grilled, pulled or crispy chicken, chorizo and carne asada) are the kind of carbs-on-carbs delights I wish more restaurants would get down with. Cubes of ever so slightly spicy polenta (are there green chiles in there?) are fried until they’re beautifully bronzed all over, satisfyingly crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. After they’re piled into flour tortillas with melted Cheddar-Jack, they’re topped with cabbage, avocado, pico de gallo, tomatillo salsa and cilantro sour cream. Ay dios mio. Italian and Mexican foods should be blended more often. Sides of beans and grains are fun little dishes of their own, both well-seasoned and nutritious, but no less tasty for being so.
And then there’s the nachos. The Longs are known for their breakfast nachos ($9.50, regularly $12): corn tortilla chips drizzled with white and red cheese sauces, jalapeños, chorizo scrambled eggs, tomatillo salsa and pico de gallo, sided with sausage gravy. But I’m a breakfast buzzkill who doesn’t like eggs, so I ordered the lunch menu’s chicken nachos ($7.50, regularly $10.50) – the same white and red cheese sauces, jalapeños and pico de gallo, but topped with some of the juiciest grilled chicken I’ve had in my life instead of eggs. I took advantage of the takeout setup and drizzled the juices pooled in the chicken container all over my nachos. Heaven, for a chicken lover such as myself. I will be ordering these again.
Fortunately for my afternoon productivity, the drinks were potent but not bulldozing. My beloved enjoyed a craft beer ($4.75) while I sipped red sangria ($5.50), its fruit, spirit and wine flavors completely integrated and leaving a velvety plushness on my palate. Fresh peach nectar is boosted by bubbles in a lightly sweet bellini ($6, $1 off during happy hour). And Irish coffee devotees will love the Smooth Irish, a spiked coffee drink uniting Frangelico, whipped cream vodka and Baileys Irish Cream ($6.50).
Mid-Day Happy Hour runs from 12-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. It is not available on weekday holidays.
- Chicken nachos – $7.50
- Breakfast nachos – $9.50
- All burgers – $2 off
- All tacos – $6.75 for two, can mix and match
- Straight Shooters – $8.50 (two eggs and choice of meat, toast, potato and fruit)
- Canals + Nubiola cava – $16.50 per bottle
- Champagne cocktails – $1 off
- Deep Eddy Bloody Marys – $5
- Craft beer pints – $4.75
- Sangria – $5.50 per glass; $20 per pitcher
- Deep Eddy vodka (cranberry, grapefruit, iced tea, orange, peach and traditional) – $5
- Grown-Up Coffee (alcoholic) drinks – $6.50
- Specialty coffee drinks (nonalcoholic) – $4.25