The Blind Donkey - Happy Hour
By: Wendy Castellanos-Wolf
July 10th, 2013
Finding a Happy Hour should be a fairly simple process resulting in an enjoyable time spent with friends and colleagues. So why is it that I went to three different establishments in the span of twenty-four hours only to be turned away? It is partly my fault for not checking ahead, but mostly it's their fault for not participating in an activity, or tradition if you will, that not only boosts the economy but also a community's spirit. Needless to say, that particular Happy Hour adventure was a flop.
The following afternoon we spent some time at a friend's house, watching the home brewing process first hand. It was chemistry, math and cooking all at once and after bottling the beer but not actually being able to drink any of it, I decided it was time to give Happy Hour another go. Our friends recommended The Blind Donkey, which is a relatively new pub located in Old Town Pasadena on the corner of Union and Raymond. We arrived both thirsty and famished and right in time to partake in the deals of the hour.
The Blind Donkey offers Happy Hour 7 days a week. Monday through Friday the bar observes a traditional Happy Hour schedule, (4pm to 7pm), and on the weekend it has an extended schedule, (1pm to 5pm), which means that one can start a mundane, errand filled Saturday afternoon with a drink and a little pep. Penny, our bartender was very friendly and willing to encourage our 3rd grade humor as we openly joked and discussed what Fried Donkey Pickles, an item on the Happy Hour food menu, could actually be. At one point, as the laughter died down and we began to make decisions on what beers to order, Penny poured me a shot of Fried Donkey Pickle juice so that I could get a better idea of what it actually tasted like. I took it all in one swig as any real woman would when presented with her own shot glass of Fried Donkey Pickle juice. It was sweet and spicy and vinegar flavored and had no alcohol in it to speak of so I moved on to drinking beer and yes, it couldn't be helped, ordered a basket of the pickles.
The Blind Donkey offers $2 off selected draft beers, $4 well drinks and a Happy Hour food menu that includes items that one can snack on or treat as an actual meal (like the various burgers and wraps for only $9). Our group ordered the Chili Burger, Triple Fried Fries, two orders of Hot Nuts and an order of the Fried Donkey Pickles.
Here is the break down. Chili Burger: tasted like it was made with homemade chili. Fries: steak cut and crispy. I don't know why they call them "triple fried" when anyone who has ever fried anything knows this just means deep-fried. I guess triple fried sounds healthier than deep-fried? Hot Nuts: too sweet, not enough spicy. Fried Donkey Pickle: basically a pickle that has been chopped in rounds, battered, fried and then to be dipped in either a spicy or a sweet sauce.
Overall, I thought the beer list was too limited, the food was edible but not anything I will ever crave and look forward to eating again and top it off, there were not any real vegetarian friendly options on the Happy Hour Menu. The Blind Donkey has an impressive Whiskey menu though that is organized by region. They have Whiskeys from the Americas, Ireland and Scotland. If ever I go back, I will definitely try a whisky on the rocks instead of a shot of fried pickle juice.
The Blind Donkey
53 E Union St.
Pasadena, CA 91103
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