Thursday Nights at Tate's, Ladies Get Tipsy on the Cheap (and the Drinks are Damn Good)
"The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind," Humphrey Bogart once said. His wise words are printed on the menu at Tate's, a craft cocktail outpost housed in an old Victorian house on Mckinney Avenue that opened last December, and where I found myself in need of a beverage on a recent much-too-warm Thursday evening.
A zebra head kept a watchful eye on me from the back wall; save for this one taxidermied beast, the bar has a clean, classic feel -- white walls, lots of hardwood, and bar-top tables occupied by nine-to-fivers in blue button-downs.
At six o'clock theyed turn up the volume on the Earth Wind & Fire, then followed it with a Daft Punk track. The men loosened their ties a bit and ordered another round. Beers, mostly, or a G&T, maybe even a cocktail overflowing with fresh berries. Hey, why not? There were no PBR-drinking hipsters here to pass judgment, nor were there any girls to impress -- not yet, anyway. It may have been Ladies Night (select cocktails are half-price for the fairer sex), but the male-to-female ratio was roughly four-to-one, including the bartender and myself.
Surveying the cocktail menu, I ordered a Malaysian Mule, a globe-trotting twist on my favorite vodka drink. The ginger beer sparkled on the tip of my tongue while the chili-infused vodka left in its wake a slight burn that slowly traveled down the back of my throat; the velvet falernum (a sweet, syrupy liqueur flavored with lime and spices that pops up in many complicated Tiki drink recipes) softened the tang of the kaffir lime and spice of the ginger.
The Malaysian Mule: Looks generic, tastes fantastic.
The drink's flavor transported me -- not quite all the way to southeast Asia, but rather to my favorite Thai restaurant where I usually nosh on spicy chicken wings, chasing them with a glass of ice water adorned with a couple lime wedges. Sweet, spicy and tangy, but refreshing at the same time.
It doesn't come in the expected copper mug I spotted hanging behind the bar, but no matter -- the drink is only $4.50 on Ladies Night. (You know, if you're a lady.) If you lack a Y chromosome -- or if you're just prone to un-ladylike behavior -- it's still worth the $9 it usually commands.
I paid my remarkably cheap tab (thanks, ovaries!) and walked to my car with my tongue still tingling and a hell of a craving for Thai food.