House of Blues salad
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House of Blues

1055 Fifth Avenue, Downtown San Diego

Will somebody please tell me where there is a better happy hour deal than here at the House of Blues' Crossroads Bar? Two-dollar pints of Bud Light! Five-buck quesadillas. Free live music!

So okay, the standard menu food ain't the cheapest. New York Strip's thirty bucks, French Dip sandwich goes for $15.99, jambalaya with chicken's near enough to a Jackson. But then Brock the bar guy points out the special HH menu that starts off at $5 for corn bread with maple butter, jalapeño peppers and cheese. Also, and this may be the best deal, the Crossroads Quesadilla, $5 with cheeses, poblano chiles, red peppers, onions, salsa.

Brock

Also good: chicken tenders for $6, two tacos (your choice of blackened chicken or "char grilled citrus marinated" steak) in corn tortillas with Cotija cheese and avocado lime cream, $6. Two pork sliders are $6 too, and chicken wings go for $7. So there's quite a choice for poco dinero.

But, I ain't giving up on the quest for a 200-pound waistline (3.2 pounds away!), so I order a salad. Problem: none on the HH menu. They go from nine to seventeen.

Blackened shrimp salad's $16.99, Caesar's $9.99, but $4 to add if you want chicken on top, or $5 for steak or shrimp adds.

The two cheapest are the wedge and the House of Blues salad, $8.99. The House of Blues one has "field greens," red and yellow tomatoes, spicy pecans, and feta cheese crumbles with a vinaigrette.

I go for that, mainly to try the yellow tomatoes.

Latino-goth art is everywhere

And really, okay, no protein like chicken, whatever, but this is a feta-savory, pecan-sweet, totally filling ensalata. How filling? I have to go and order a second $2 Bud Light to help it down.

Like Humphreys Backstage, the live music at Crossroads is a fantastic plus that you don't have to pay no cover for. I come out, ears ringing, $13.71 poorer.

But you've got to time it right. The trick is, get here about 6:30, grab a couple of Buds, and be settled into the Lainto-goth atmosphere they've got going around the walls, in time for the 7:00 show. Once the live music ramps up at the little stage, you feel, well, hot and cool at the same time.

Local bands on Wednesdays.

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