One would think that finding a decent happy hour location in Old Town Scottsdale would be easy, but in fact, it is not. There are places that seem to have great prices, or great atmosphere, or great food, but it seems none of them ever go together. Why is that?!
Recently, we visited Mabel’s on Main, which is located on (wait for it), Main Street in Old Town Scottsdale. Mabel’s is typically a great bar to check out on a Friday or Saturday night if you are looking for a club-like atmosphere, but not real busy during the week. Some may appreciate that, especially for happy hour. The rectangle bar is located in the middle of the space, surrounded by dark woods, leather booths and a few dining tables. It’s quite dark and dingy, which lends to the loungy atmosphere. The service is always friendly and attentive, which is good. But it’s the food on their happy hour list that needs improvement. And be careful to try to understand how their happy hour operates when you look it up online. Their website boasts that their is in fact a happy hour menu, and their Wednesday special is $20 bottles of wine. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it is. Once we got there, turns out that you can’t order the $20 bottle of wine AND also enjoy the happy hour food prices. You can only have one or the other. What? Isn’t saving money the point of happy hour for customers?
Anyway, of the 13 items on their happy hour “matinee” menu, we tried four. First we ordered the butter lettuce with beets and sherry vinaigrette, but sadly, they said they were all out. Didn’t they just open? Okay, so next, after needing more time to reconvene our decision, we started with the deviled eggs three ways. You get six, and we have to say, they are just okay, they don’t suck, but it’s not like you couldn’t make them at home the same. Moving on, we tried the wedge salad. I traded the blue cheese dressing for the sherry vinaigrette on the side, but my friend stuck with the blue cheese, which was literally drowning the lettuce. Honestly, wedge salads are so boring and have no nutritional value. I would be much more impressed if they offered a spinach salad option.
Oh, let me mention here that of all the options on their menu, the ONLY vegetable choices were the butter lettuce and wedge salad. Not cool for someone who wants to stay away from bread and is trying to consume more veggies. Anyway, I digress. We also ordered the Swedish meatballs and the chicken lollipops. The meatballs were decent, but small, but tasty. The chicken lollipops were poorly described on the menu, only indicating that they came with a house ranch sauce. I had imagined some chicken skewers coming out with a tasty dip, but that was definitely not the case. What showed up was four fat little drumsticks, buffalo wing style. By that I mean that they were covered and cooked in some sort of buffalo sauce. This should have been mentioned on the menu, because I do not like anything buffalo sauce flavored. And their ranch sauce was pitiful, in taste and amount supplied, so I had to dig into my friends extra slop of blue cheese dressing left behind from her wedge.
Other menu choices we could have picked included flatbreads, burgers, grilled cheese, mac n’ cheese and soft pretzels. All great bar food I suppose, but then why the dining tables? However, what I will say is that if you like this type of food then the happy hour prices are definitely right, ranging from $4 to $11. And glasses of select wine for only $5. We walked out of there having two appetizers and two glasses of wine for only $22 each. Not a bad deal. I was just disappointed in my food intake. I really don’t like to be disappointed about that. It’s the one thing I hope to count on when I go out. Unfortunately, we decided we probably won’t be back there anytime soon for their happy hour food.
Mabel’s on Main
7018 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ