Bartender Chat: Lacey of Felix 55

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This week, I paid a visit to Felix 55, something that had been on my "to-do" list since Mihn's happy hour post back in September.

Sandwiched between D'Amico's and Baker Street in Rice Village, Felix 55 may have the upper hand when it comes to post-work nibbles and cocktails. Sitting at the beautiful marble bar top, I ordered a glass of Cabernet, the pulled pork tacos (with cotija cheese, red cabbage and avocado crema) and Gulf shrimp fritters (with ponzu and peanut sauce), all for $5 each. Those shrimp fritters, y'all. I want more.

While I inhaled snacked on my shrimp fritters, I got to know a little about friendly Lacey behind the bar.

How long have you been bartending at Felix 55? I've been here for about six months. Before that I was at Hotel Granduca. I was the captain at Ristorante Cavour there.

What other jobs have you had besides bartending? Well, I've been in the service industry for about 12 years, but my grandmother owns an antique shop and my uncle is a hairdresser, so I've worked in the shop and the salon, too.

If you weren't bartending, what would you be doing? If I'm not behind the bar or on the floor...I have a five-year-old son, so I'd probably be hanging out with him.

How would you describe the bar's vibe?Some nights it's really chill but even then, it's got a great energy. We get a lot of singles that come in and sit at the bar, and they always end up meeting someone or just talking to someone else. We also get a lot of birthdays and people celebrating...big parties just having a great time. The energy stays pretty high.

At the end of my shift, I pour a _____. A glass of wine, we have a great Petite Petit, or maybe a Pimm's cup.

Do you have a specialty or a drink you pride yourself on? My favorite drink here is the cucumber martini. We have a great recipe; we use rosemary in ours and a lot of people say it's like a spa in a glass, but I make mine with mint. We have some great cocktails. If a customer is undecided and asks me to recommend something or to make a drink for them, my go-to is the Southside. It's a simple drink, not too tart or too sweet, but a great combo of both. It's made with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and mint. It's kind of a take on the mojito.

Do you have a favorite menu item? Our ceviche is really good; it's so refreshing.

*Wildcard: What's your favorite thing about your country? I think this country has amazing diversity...more than any other country I've been to. Every culture is represented here. You can go to any bar and you might meet someone from the other side of the world.

Felix 55, located a 5510 Morningside Drive in Rice Village, is open for dinner daily and for brunch on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Happy hour is daily from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Stop in, say hi to Lacey and try a few things of their 5-5-5 menu. You can visit Felix 55's Facebook page for more info.

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