13 Dollars: Many Mini Burgers

miniburgers.jpg

Where: Cascadia happy hour

What will $13 get you? Five miniburgers (sliders in White Castle parlance) with the fixin's but no cheese at $2.50 a pop. Two steak, two salmon, and one veggie if you need a little variety. The pretax total is $12.50 so I decided it counted, but grab the change in your ashtray before you head in as the actual ticket is $13.68. And of course there's the matter of the tip. In fact if you're playing the $13 game by the rules, you should probably go with four.

Recommend? If you've got two, each coming with your own $13, definitely. You can split the cost and tack on one of the refreshingly crisp Alpine Martini's ($5.50 at happy hour.)

A couple of notes: The Cascadia happy hour, the only time I've ever been to the restaurant, skews a little more to show than substance. The fries come in this adorable little cone, the burgers are just too precious and taste far better than the greasy pucks they serve at White Castle (for you midwesterners out there). But it's a little on the pricey side if you're actually trying to feed yourself and a friend on a tight budget. Add a slice of cheese to your three bite burger and your bill goes up by $2. Want onions? It's another dollar and pretty soon you might as well shell out and get the real deal somewhere else.

But the colors inside are warm, the acoustics keep it from getting too loud and if you're getting to know someone over a couple of bites and a strong drink, the teeny-tiny size of your food gives you an automatic conversation piece. "They're so little!" "I know, right?"

OK you might need a little more than that to keep the chit-chat rolling, but that's what those stiff martinis are for.

 
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