The Place: BB's Cafe
509 Louisiana St.
The Hours: Monday through Friday 3-8 p.m.
The Deals: Domestic beers are $2.50 and imports, along with Abita beers, are $3. Calls are $3.50 and BB's "signature" drinks are $5.
The Scene: Certain areas of downtown, like the "theater district," kind of puzzle us. Last night, for example, just before dark, there was a group at Jones Plaza singing Christmas carols, and moving slowly along Texas Street was a horse-drawn carriage. It eventually stopped at the light next to a delivery truck.
For a random Thursday night, it was a little bizarre.
Since we happened to be in that area, we decided to check out what, if any, bars had a good happy hour going on. BB's Cafe, at Texas and Louisiana streets, seemed the perfect place.
BB's downtown, which has been open for about three months in the same space as the old Longhorn Cafe, is quite different from the Montrose location. It has a large dining room with dark hardwood floors and a small bar.
When we first walked in, there was no one in the dining room, but a small group of 30-somethings was drinking at a table behind the bar. The bartender told us that the place gets fairly busy when there's an event at the Alley or Verizon theater, but other than that, it stays pretty quiet.
Our second question for the bartender was which "specialty" drink is the most popular, and she served us the Bri Bri's Creed, a "skinny" margarita with only 120 calories! It was light on the tequila.
During happy hour, BB's also offers food specials. The bartender suggested the bar's take on chili-cheese fries that featured chili and roast beef. But considering she also suggested a skinny margarita, we went with the chicken and sausage gumbo ($2.50) instead. It was good.
About halfway through our margarita and cup of gumbo, two older men walked in dressed in slacks and sports coats. The bartender asked for their drink orders.
"Let's play a game of 'do you remember me," the one with a mustache said.
Apparently, both had been to BB's before, and he wanted the bartender to guess what drinks they like. She did and served them a Makers and Coke and Bacardi and Coke.
Then he started a joke: "A Mexican, a Cuban and a black guy walk into a bar...."
After the punchline, the bartender told him that she had heard it before, only a little bit different.
Seemingly discouraged, he asked her, "You aren't Hispanic, are you?"
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"So the state of Arizona declared war on illegal immigrants, right?"
She told him she was aware.
And with that, he launched another joke.