If Beethoven had eaten at Spring Hill he would've called his 9th Symphony the "Ode to Awesome Happy Hours."
Spring Hill has introduced a daily


Spring Hill Has a Happy Hour for Nine-to-Fivers. And Beethoven.

If Beethoven had eaten at Spring Hill he would've called his 9th Symphony the "Ode to Awesome Happy Hours."
Spring Hill has introduced a daily happy hour. You should rejoice, you motherfuckers, the way the people who heard Beethoven's 9th Symphony the first time it was performed gave him a longer standing ovation than they did for the Holy Roman Emperor. That's how you should be: You should applaud Spring Hill's Happy Hour because it's the Holy Roman Emperor of your stomach. Actually I guess you should applaud Spring Hill like it's the Beethoven of your stomach, and not the Emperor of your stomach, since Beethoven got more applause than the Emperor. Note: the preceding paragraph is dedicated to the dude who, when replying to Jason Sheehan's complaint about "foodies," commented that we talk too much about stuff such as "Napoleon's Hat," and that we don't get quickly enough to the descriptions of the food. That's YOUR paragraph, dude. You won a free paragraph! What's the actual retail price of a paragraph, so you know how much your winnings are worth when you want to report your income to the IRS?

Anyway, Spring Hill's new bitchin' happy hour is held Tuesday through Friday, 5:45 through 7:00 pm. This is, for once, a reasonable time to hold a happy hour. Many places have happy hour from 3:00 to 5:00, a meager afternoon sliver which could only be attended by hobos, vagrants, highwaymen, jackdaws, confidence men, and other sundry and unsavory characters. After all, the gainfully employed aren't likely to frequent purveyors of alcoholic spirits during the early afternoon hours.

The menu is cheap and masterfully prepared. A beet salad was only $5 and featured a pile of quartered baby beets, their pickled twang counterbalanced by sweet cubes of watermelon and diced bitter fronds of frisee. Cheesy grits were $6, and they were REALLY cheesy, as cheesy as an Oprah book club selection.

What are grits? In case Michael Pollan is reading, I should probably explain that grits are nothing more than polenta for people who don't have a master's degree. These were topped with a julienned pile of grilled porcini mushrooms and a generous snowdrift of parmesan. Eat the grits fast, though, because they congeal as they cool. Then you're left spooning up a perfect quivering gelatinous semicircular mold of your plate. You could even use cold grits to pick up the impression left by Sasquatch's foot, if you happened upon one, and happened to be carrying a pot full of cold grits. FYI. I like to give the people helpful household hints like that sometimes.

Beef fat fries ($4) came in an enormous silver chalice, as though you were eating french fries from the same serving vessel Jesus ate french fries out of. These were so good they could tempt militant vegetarians to break their vows of herbivorism. These fries were lightly salted and fried up crispy in rendered molten cow misery. But remember: It's not murder if it tastes good, which was Jeffrey Dahmer's defense. These karma-destroying fries were served with twin condiment cups: one house-made ketchup that seemed more like chunky marinara sauce, and one creamy house-made ranch dressing.

The ne plus ultra of happy hour, fried chicken wings, were only $6 for three wings, which came to the table battered in a shaggy brown crust that rivals the best carpets of the 1970s. The meat was so juicy you could put out a forest fire, if you were hoisted aloft in a helicopter and then bit into a piece of the chicken once overhead of the conflagration. No, these aren't prepared in exactly the same way as Spring Hill's vaunted Monday Night Fried Chicken, but it's close enough. And besides, you don't have to order a shitload like you have to do on Monday nights. This miracle chicken came with a spicy pink vinegar sauce and the aforementioned ranch dressing. The vinegar worked much better as a condiment since it cuts through the chicken's fatty succulence. Or you could dare someone sitting next to you to shoot the spicy vinegar as though it were a shot of Jagermeister, if you were so inclined.

Bottled beer is $3, and drafts are $3.50. Please don't ask me exactly which beers Spring Hill sells; I don't fucking know, it's a bunch of yuppie beer. They sure as fuck don't sell PBR or Hite. Wine is $3 off, and all wells are $5. I drank a gin and tonic. It was strong as hell.

My main complaint is that these specials are ONLY available in Spring Hill's miniscule bar, which, like the rest of Spring Hill's d├ęcor, isn't the most inviting in town. Spring Hill's architecture is like the mutant butt-baby of Peter Eisenman's House VI and one of those weird optical illusions that look like a three-pronged dowel. The food is good, though, and it's a stellar deal. This is interesting bar food. Beethoven would totally eat here if he hadn't been destitute.

Rating: 8 modernist interiors out of 10

Spring Hill is located at 4437 California Avenue SW.

To complain about the uncomfortable bar stools, call 206-935-1075.

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