This weekend BF and I went to check out the Happy Hour menu at Fleming’s Steakhouse. Titled “5 for 6 until 7,” the phrase is catchy and easy to remember. Basically, seven days a week, Fleming’s offers 5 wines, 5 cocktails and 5 appetizers, for $6 each, served from 5 until 7pm.
The Happy Hour is offered in the bar area as well as the outside patio area. I had been curious about the happy hour menu for a while. The prices seemed very reasonable and I especially like that it is offered on weekends as well, whereas most happy hours are not.
BF and I actually first got a chance to preview the happy hour menu through a media dinner invitation. I did not blog about this media dinner because we were seated outside on the patio and the lighting was very dim. I didn’t want to have everyone at our table wait while I attempted to take photos of the food. Our meal was wonderful though and we were wined and dined like stars. You can read about my first media dinner at Fleming’s here.
Anyhow, we left that media dinner very impressed and wanting to check out the happy hour menu on our own. Plus I figured this would give you, the readers, a better perspective of what the happy hour menu is normally like.
BF and arrived on a Sunday night. Apparently we weren’t the only ones impressed from the media dinner because upon arriving we ran into someone else we had met from the media dinner.
The bar area was full, so we went to sit out in the patio, which had plenty of open seating. There are heat lamps outside as well, so that you don’t get cold eating outside.
Once we were seated, we were immediately given some cold water, and the server turned on the heat lamp for us.
We started off with a cocktail each. Luckily the sun had not yet completely set when our cocktails arrived so I was able to take some decent pictures of them. The tickled pink is their new cocktail on the menu. I really liked it when I tried it at the media dinner, so I ordered it again. It’s nice and fruity but still has enough alcohol to give me a slight buzz. It also is only 99 calories for those who are counting.
BF ordered the tropical martini. He likes his drinks fruity too. This one had a strong rum flavor, whereas the one he had the night of the media dinner was more like fruit punch.
For the appetizers, I chose to order everything except the shrimp cocktail, mainly because this is something I can do at home myself. I liked all the appetizers from the media dinner, so there wasn’t any I wanted to leave out.
One of the things I was most curious to find out was whether the portions would be as big as at the media dinner. I had been really impressed with the portions at the media dinner and when we had asked Chef Chris, he informed us that the portions we received were the same as the ones they usually serve (but I was still a little skeptical).
As our food began to arrive, sure enough, the portions were just as big. Basically it is the same portion size they serve on their normal menu. They don’t reduce the portion size for happy hour, only the price.
Unfortunately the sun had set by this time so I had trouble getting good shots and there was some funky lighting going on with some of the food dishes as a result of the surrounding light sources. First to arrive was the calamari. Out of all the happy hour appetizers, this one is definitely is the biggest. A huge plate of lightly breaded calamari, cooked with sweet peppers, peppercinis and a sweet chile glaze. It was way too much for us to finish.
Next was the seared ahi tuna, served on a bed of shredded vegetables. I liked the dipping mustard that goes with the ahi tuna. The bed of vegetables, served raw and plain are surprisingly tasty and the BF –despite disliking vegetables most of the time– ate this whole plate including the vegetables.
The beef carpaccio. Thinly sliced pieces of raw beef are served with some shredded greens and toasted baguette slices topped with cheese.
Bistro burger. Our burger arrived with the vegetables on the side, which I liked, since it prevented the burger patty from getting soggy. The burger is topped with your choice of either blue cheese, cheddar or swiss and served on a brioche bun. We also got three onion rings with the burger as well. The burger patty was very juicy and cooked to a medium as requested.
Mushroom ravioli. This is also a new item to the happy hour menu. If you are a mushroom lover, I would recommend this. Three raviolis come in one order. Each one is bursting with buttery roasted portobello and shiitaki mushrooms. Since BF doesn’t like mushrooms, I got to enjoy this dish all to myself.
Before this meal, it’s been a while since I’ve attended happy hour. When I was in school I loved it. But gradually I got sick of the long waits and poor service. I was worried that I would be enduring something like that here, but I was pleasantly surprised. I really liked our servers: Sara and Eliza. We didn’t have to wait forever for our food and we were constantly checked on. If you don’t want all the crowd, I would recommend coming here on a Sunday or another less crowded day. My little brother came on a Friday and of course it was really packed and as a result the service was much slower.
Another great thing is that you can order off the regular menu in the happy hour area. There’s a few side dishes I really like at Fleming’s, so it’s nice to be able to order them without having to order a full dinner. Or perhaps ordering a steak to share.
Also, now on Sunday, they offer a prime rib dinner. You can get this in the dining area or the bar. For $35.95 per person, you get a cut of prime rib, and you get to choose a salad, a side dish, and a dessert. We were tempted to try it out when we went but we were quite full from our appetizers. We definitely have plans to try it in the future though.
Fleming’s Steakhouse & Wine Bar
8970 University Center Lane
San Diego, CA 92122