501 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
Hours and Details:
Monday - Friday, 5-7 p.m.
1/2 priced appetizers
2 for 1 Conga drinks: Mojito, Cuba Libre,
Daiquiri, Rum Punch, Caipirinha
2 for 1 Draft beers
Conga Latin Bistro is coming up on its tenth year and is known for their "Nuevo Latino Cuisine". But, will a trek out in the cold to this happy hour result in a hot hot time? Read on to see what we thought on the matter.
This combo restaurant/bar/dance club rocks on weekend nights, but during the weekday-only happy hour the crowd is sparse and the building shows its age in the early evening lighting. However, the conga drum-shaped bar seats are basically irresistible and it is a pleasure to hear mainly Spanish being spoken in a place that features a tasty range of Spanish, Latin American and Caribbean flavors. The bright decor can definitely pep you up after a long work day and the service is friendly and patient, even with goofy gringos (like us).
While we wish there were more hours a week to this particular happy hour, the sheer number of appetizers available at half price -- we counted 18 -- made our mouths water. We had the plantains with queso fresco which were really delicious. Our drinks were poured with a heavy hand (good) but lacked fresh ingredients (bad). Nonetheless, we felt a little like we were on "The Love Boat" -- possibly on the Lido deck with daiquiris in hand. Not a bad feeling, as we embark on a long, chilly winter. And, the price for four drinks and the app? A very reasonable $18. Come to this happy hour for the food deals and prompt, amiable service. And if the made-from-a-mix cocktails bum you out, go with the 2 for 1 draft beers.