The Deal: Dot's happy hour, much like its overall setup, is non-traditional. The three table wines they offer aren't discounted--though it would be difficult to tell, since they are not priced on the menu. The single micro-brew offered on tap isn't discounted either, but for those on a budget, there's Rainier in the fridge. Instead, happy hour is limited to a small section of a chalkboard, offering a meaty menu of dishes, from $7 steak tartare to a $10 charcuterie platter, which are good values, though difficult to declare 'discounted,' as they're only on that section of the menu.
The Digs: Dot's Delicatessen is somewhere between a sandwich stand and a butcher shop. Despite the 'deli' moniker, the bulk of what's on offer highlights the skill of the butcher (house-made sausage, cured and smoked meats) or the provenance of the product (100% grass-fed beef, local meat). The butcher-shop atmosphere is further compounded by the use of the street-facing windows and open space for seasonal decorations instead of a light-filled seating spot. Seating runs along the wall in the back, with little view other than a peek into the open kitchen, on hard wooden benches, none of which makes for long happy hours of kicking back with a beer.
The Verdict: The joys of Dot's for a quick lunch of Italian sausage sandwich, juices dripping into your napkin as you walk back to work are hard to reconcile with the half-hearted happy hour effort. At $12, the marquee Steak Frites, served with Roquefort butter, seems like a steal (compared to $24 for steak frites at nearby Bastille's back bar). In reality, though, the four-ounce steak was a mediocre piece of meat. It was well cooked and served with a crisp, hot pile of frites, but the amount of Roquefort butter required to make the meat appetizing was astonishing. For Dot's, happy hour seems to be a way of pulling people in for an early dinner, but the food and drink are neither cheap enough nor good enough. Dot's is a worthwhile shop, but presents itself best when sticking to its core product: lunch.