Happy Hour at T-Mex Cantina in Fort Lauderdale: Loco BOGO
The hours: 4 to 8 p.m.; 4 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday.
The deal: Buy one drink, get one free (of equal or lesser value).
The digs: Formerly San Loco, this location and its South Beach sister store broke off from their New York dons in 2008 and became T-Mex Cantina. The T doesn't stand for what you'd expect -- but for tyrannosaurus.
(The expected word comes in the tag line: "Evolutionary Tex-Mex.") Other than the name, not much has changed. The walls are still covered in a mix of standard and antiquey bar signage with an occasional dollop of Southwestern in the cow skull and saloon doors. It's Texas icehouse meets shanty-style beach bar in Mexico, in the Disney sense.
T-Mex attracts the expected crowd, since it's downtown: the after-work crowd still in their suits and ties, downtown pregamers dressed in their best and ready to party, and your standard Floridian in shorts and sandals. They're all kicking back while Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Bob Marley provide the soundtrack. Tables can be hard to get on Tuesdays when the BOGO deal also applies to tacos.
The verdict: There's nothing wrong with a dozen types of margaritas (or macho ritas, as they call them), eight Mexican beer brands, five domestics, two imports, and a full liquor bar to choose from at half-price. Especially if you come on Tuesday (or Taco Twosday) and get some cheap tacos too. I like that the chicken in the tacos is pulled apart and shredded instead of sliced or cubed. And the use of fried catfish in the fish tacos is different in a good way. For vegetarians, the avo tacos, filled with avocado slices, are an excellent choice.