alexandra sieh

G oing big every weekend isn't sustainable -- even at 23.

Let me back up and explain.

In my group of friends, teasing and witty repartee comprises half of our communication. The other half? Obscure quotes from TV shows and movies that, when threaded together, barely make a cohesive -- or legitimate -- conversation. Our own (nerdy) language, of sorts.

Well, with this fluid stream of mocking dialogue comes a fair amount of finding the big red button you know will set off the other person, verbally pressing it, and then just sitting back and enjoying the ride.

Ah, the bonds of true friendship, strained by the joy of being a wise ass.

Well, just like in the office, my "young" age is always worth sarcastically mentioning, and in retaliation, I've come to press the "soon to be turning 25" button two of my closest friends find, well, less than amusing.

Fun to joke about early-bird dinners and retirement-home bedtimes? Yes.

But with the morning-after-drinking drag worsening even for me at 23, I've realized that going big isn't always best.

My 21-year-old self is ashamed, trust me.

So I've found that sometimes it's good to get out of the Pearl Street fast lane every once in a while and enjoy a little time in the outliers. Part two of the happy hour honor list.


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Take Rueben's , for example. The burger bistro's got quality grub, especially when jones-ing for a giant burger and fries in a semi-hung-over state.

But 9 p.m. to close, it's an even happier occasion, with 50-cent wings, $4 shots of Patron and $1 off any of their thirst-quenching 42 drafts.

It's not the fish bowl at the Walrus...and that can be a good thing. The straws may be cool -- I've got 'em sitting in my drawer at home -- but beer is a far more forgiving friend the next day.

Info: Rueben's Burger Bistro, at 1800 Broadway. With happy hour specials from 9 p.m. to close every night.

 

Not far from stop numero uno, Rio Grande sits with a set of deals just as happy as the last.

I'll even raise you rooftop seating. All the better to enjoy these last few weeks of fine fall weather (and with the drunken show unraveling below at Absinthe and the Walrus).

Take the high road, my friends, and sip back the (in)famous Rio margs. A deadly cocktail in my already highly sarcastic group, but a fine way to spice up your night.

Tequila, folks. 'Nuff said.

From 9 p.m. to midnight, it's $4 for a margarita and $4 more for half a quesadilla. Dinner, drinks and a floor show.

And for anyone thinking this sounds too old-school, or just plain old, for them, trust me. Three Rio margaritas, and you'll fit right in with the folks straggling in from Pearl.

Info: Rio Grande, 1101 Walnut Street, happy hour from 9 p.m. to midnight.

-- Follow Alex on Twitter: @ansieh.