Mondays suck. Whether you attacked Sunday Funday too hard, or you’re dreading that fact that you’ll spend the next five days stuck behind a desk, rare is the person who looks forward to Monday.
Sensing a market for those who want to self-medicate on Mondays, Earls Kitchen + Bar recently introduced its Thank Goodness It’s Monday (TGIM) promotion. Earls generously hosted me recently to give the promo a test drive, and I came away secure in the knowledge that Earls would be an excellent place to spend a Monday acting like it’s Friday.
The promo is sparse yet powerful. The Mexican-themed TGIM menu delivers top-notch margarita deals that perfectly compliment the promo taco offerings. The margaritas are the highlight of the promo, and guests can choose any Earls signature margarita for just $5. That may seem like a good, but not great, deal, I urge you to remember what your mother said – you get what you pay for. Five dollars gets you a heavy-handed pour (always a good thing) and a perfectly fresh yet sour mixture of in-house made margarita mix that reminds you why $1 margarita deals are only good for hangovers and upset stomachs.
I have a philosophy when visiting a new restaurant or bar – if it can make the basic version of something perfectly, I’ll be comfortable trading up for one of its fancy specialty styles. This axiom holds true whether it’s cheeseburgers or cocktails. If a bar can’t make a basic margarita perfectly, run – don’t walk – away from any specialty versions the bar is offering. It will only go downhill from there.
Earls nailed the basic margarita, so we opted to try the Pineapple Ginger Margarita. As anticipated, it was more on the sweet side than the classic, but it didn’t hit a cloyingly sweet taste that can be expected in pre-packaged mixes from the supermarket. A well-created interplay between fruit juice and tequila was the hallmark of this version.
To soak up the booze and make sure we were ready for work the next morning (it was a Monday, after all), we paired the margaritas with Earls’ fish and chicken tacos. While the tacos were standard offerings for a higher-end establishment, it was the little touches that really made the meal.
Instead of simply warming the soft flour shells, the kitchen crew took the few extra seconds to ensure our tacos stood out from the normal bar happy hour tacos: the shells showed fresh grill marks, the mango and avocado salsa was hand-chopped just before arriving to our table, and each fish taco came with its own holder to keep the filling inside the shell not spilled all over the table. It’s the little things that separate the average from the memorable and the one-time from the returning guest.
If you’re looking for a high-quality margarita that’s paired up with some great tacos, thank goodness today is Monday and Earls is holding a spot just for you.