HHH: Morton's

Morton’s doesn’t proclaim a happy hour; it’s THE Steakhouse, after all. They do, however, have a Power Hour. And, quality considered, it’s a real deal. You may, however, have to endure a discussion on the relative merits of the Charger, the Camaro, and the Corvette in the clubby, wood paneled, and dimly lit space.

The regularly priced drinks at Morton’s are not cheap: the house gin Mortini (with Gordon’s) is $12.50, and the tab escalates to $15 for the likes of Hendrick’s, served with blue cheese-stuffed olives, to be sure. To set the parameters, I started with a Bombay Sapphire Mortini ($13) gently shaken with vermouth, and served with a shaft of pimento-stuffed olives. It was classic, no complaints, I felt suitably suave.

Power Hour, however, in addition to some $5.50 beers and $7 ho-hum wines, does offer a few basic cocktails at $8: a Manhattan, a cosmo, and a mojito. And then there’s the Palm Beacher, produced from a glass container of Skyy vodka infused with smartly stacked wedges of pineapple. Seduced by the visual (and the bartender’s claim that “it’s dangerous”), I bit. It didn’t bite back, but the frothy drink was appealingly fragrant, just sweet enough, and a great companion to a trio of mini crab cake BLTs.

And here’s where the real deal emerges: yes, the bacon was cold, but the excellent cakes were almost all-lump crab, and they were only $7. A smoked salmon pizza, three prime cheeseburgers, and four petite filet mignon sandwiches cost the same. Six dollars gets you fancy fries, among other items. Note that the offerings may change, and brush up on the latest college sports gossip before you go. Rivercenter Mall, 300 E. Crockett, (210) 228-0700

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