In search of Happy Hour joy at Magoos: Joy denied.

The gals of Dames Drinking During Daylight Hours attempted a detour from our usual exploration of happy hour cheap eats at nicer eateries. We thought it only fair to check out the happy hour specials at a comfortable old local watering hole.

We met at Magoo's just after 4pm. "The most interesting part about it was to see it by daylight and see the afterwork crowd that looked like they just clocked out at the state or something," said Rebekah.

Indeed, that was the highlight. There were no food specials, and the drink special was $3 well drinks. As one would expect, the well drinks were small, mostly ice and made with low quality well booze. No surprise... but no real value, either. Considering many high end eateries will offer a special cocktail for happy hour in the $3-4 range that is the culmination of talented mixing and quality ingredients, that was a real bummer.

Karla enjoyed a hot toddy which she described as, "Meh."

Without a real kitchen, just a micro or convection oven in a corner behind the bar, the number of eats you can choose from isn't too bad. Karla ordered potato skins and while they were the best of the trio of things we tried, they were just average. My chicken nuggets and tots were uninspired. The nachos, which we were assured were awesome, were not. Somewhat stale tortilla chips with tasteless faux cheese sauce, dry beef topping and really strong white onions were served in a huge bowl. They were plentiful, and we agreed we couldn't stop eating them in that, "Why am I eating these?" sort of way. "It's like I have to keep eating it looking for some taste that is missing. I should learn," suggest Rebekah.

"Needs more variety than 'brown'," was Karla's summation of the kitchen fare.

Many people love Magoos as a comfortable, familiar watering hole, a great place to watch a game, meet with friends, or unwind after work with a beer, and there are no disagreements with that. Karla gave it a 4/5 for ambiance, with points for cleanliness. While it isn't fancy, it's spotless.

But these ladies are looking for deals; we are looking for a true happy hour that gives us a special treat, and things we cannot or would not make ourselves. I can throw frozen food bought at Costco into the oven. Every town is has a host of local bars that do a great job of doing what they do, but it's not what we were looking for.

The final verdict is very mediocre in large part part because there really isn't anything special about happy hour at Magoos.

Our search continues on in search of real deals that due justice to the original idea of happy hour. We'll be happy with cheap bar fare, but it's gotta come at a happy hour price to make it satisfy these women.


Michael said...

Good place to watch a game, but eat before you go. Basically very low end microwave food.

I always try to get friends to meet me there for a couple of pitchers after work/ or to watch a game and they always steer us away because they want to get some food in their stomach.

Magoos is a good place to meet friends for drinks (if you don't want food or have already ate).

I am still searching for a sports bar in Salem that has good food. Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

Not impressed with Magoo's.
I love good micro brews and they have very little choice, though that is oddly common in Salem.
They even serve it in plastic cups the last time i went there. Will not go back.

Anonymous said...

You should try happy hours at Newport Seafood Grill or McGrath's soon! I know I know, they're chains.... but their happy hours RULE. If my memory serves me correctly, Michael, both of these joints play the games in their lounges.

EazyMoney said...

The hong kong house has a good drinks and good food in the lounge. Give them a shot.

lavachickie said...

Thanks for the recommendations, Anon and EazyMoney. We'll add them to the list!