Rainbow Chinese's new happy hour menu--worth a trip to Eat Street?

This way to $5 Szechuan Chopped Ribs...

This way to $5 Szechuan Chopped Ribs...

Rainbow Chinese

2739 Nicollet Ave. S.


Hours and Details:

Sunday - Thursday, 4:30-6 & 8:30-9:30 p.m.

Friday - Saturday, 8:30-11 p.m.

Steamed vegetable dumplings on the bar

Steamed vegetable dumplings on the bar

$3 tap beers

$5 wines by the glass

$5 White Rabbit (until Feb. 14)

$5 Yaegaki California Ki-ippon Hot Sake

$5 Pomegranate Punch, Rainbow Martini

$5 Szechuan Chopped Ribs, Tachien Wings

$5 tofu with fresh cilantro salad, sesame noodles, fried shrimp, green beans

$5 pork dumplings, vegetable dumplings, cream cheese wontons, chicken wings

Tammy's famed Chinese restaurant has graced Nicollet Avenue since 1987. Remember when it was across the street and way in back? But all nostalgia aside--does Rainbow's new happy hour menu merit a trip back to deepest, darkest Eat Street?


Venue: We all suggest Rainbow Chinese to people who move to town or come for a visit, but be honest--how long has it been since you've been to this old fave? The place is still hopping and presently festooned with red New Year's finery, featuring a special Year of the Rabbit menu until February 14. There is the usual dining room seating, as well as a few precious seats at the bar, which are surprisingly comfortable and afford more familial treatment by the staff (which is a bonus in our book).

Verdict: For happy hour, the tap beer selection was more than we hoped for (Blue Moon Ale, Surly Cynic, Surly Furious, Sapporo, Guiness, Black & Tan, and Surly Bender) and the special White Rabbit cocktail of vanilla creme vodka with maple and cardamom was spiced in a fresh way that is a welcome departure from sweet dessert drinks. But let's be real here. We're in it for the cheap eats at a not-so-late hour. We rolled in at 8:30 p.m. and ate ourselves silly, downing Szechuan Chopped Ribs, veggie dumplings, and the tofu salad (a refreshing accompaniment to the ribs), plus a few cocktails. Sated and feeling smart, our only complaint about the "late-night" Rainbow deals is the fact that from Sunday through Thursday it is quite literally available for just one nighttime hour. However, we reminded ourselves to make a mental note to revisit this happy hour on the weekend. For our money, we can't think of a better food and drink-centric happy hour at 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

But we're open to suggestions...