Happy Hour of the Week: La Sandía


April 26 2010, 8:38 AM
As soon as winter begins morphing into spring, my craving for margaritas commences. The refreshing drink---my fave is frozen strawberry---takes me to the beach, even when I'm seated firmly on a patio swarming with people. La Sandía, a Mexican kitchen and tequila bar, has two outposts---one in Northfield Stapleton and the other at Park Meadows---but the latter offers an all day, every day happy hour that my friends and I can't resist. Energetic Latin music greets you on your way up to the tequila lounge, where the open space features long wooden tables for large groups, four-top bar tables, a lengthy bar, and a hodgepodge of patio furniture with brightly colored, comfy cushions. When I arrived at 6 p.m. on a recent happy-hour excursion, I was surprised to see the lounge already jam-packed with working folk and a few large groups celebrating birthdays. Still, it didn't take long for our four-person group to be seated amidst a loud din of friends chatting away. The friendly waitstaff and extensive happy-hour menu are good distractions, and I was soon miles away, relaxing on that sandy beach with my prickly-pear-blueberry margarita, a bright, not-too-fruity combination of el Jimador tequila, sour mix, and fresh blueberries. Add free baskets of chips and salsa (a chunky, fresh blend of fire-roasted Roma tomatoes with just the right kick of spice) that keep coming, and you'll find it hard to leave. Happy hour at the Park Meadows location runs daily, from 4 p.m.-on in the bar and upstairs lounge. Cocktails, wine, and sangría are $5; beer is $3. All appetizer specials, from mahi ceviche to nachos, cost between $3 and $6. 8419 Park Meadows Center Dr., Lone Tree, 303-586-5511 and 8340 Northfield Blvd., Unit 1690, 303-373-9100