In the year or so it’s been open, business has been pretty steady at the South Street outpost of MilkBoy, per chef Chris Beyer.
But while the 11th and Chestnut location of the combination bar-cafe-music venue gets slammed for happy hour (twice a day, since third-shift Jefferson employees gather there for drinks when the rest of us are eating breakfast), the one at Fourth and South stays mostly empty during that post-work lull between lunch and dinner.
Which is a shame, because Beyer’s happy hour menu has some of the best snack food in the city — at crazy cheap prices.
His fried Brussels sprouts almost deserve their own post, because they’re better than most bar wings. (This statement is probably an invitation for death threats, but seriously, they are.)
Beyer doesn’t pretend that just because these nuggets are green, they have to be “good for you.” He lets them swim in hot bubbling oil long enough to turn dark and crunchy before tossing them in a sweet BBQ glaze. Pick one up, swirl it in the pineapple-Sriracha sauce, and pop it in your mouth. You won’t stop till the bowl is empty. On the regular menu, the Brussels are $8. During happy hour: $4.
Loaded nachos are also half-price, if that’s more your jam ($5 instead of $10), but the other don’t-miss order is the sliders.
Pulled pork and fried chicken are the move here — the crab cake isn’t horrible, but the other two are much better. Beyer’s Cuban-inspired mojo marinade infuses the pork shoulder with deep citrus-garlic flavor, and pickled long hots on top add tang and kick. The fried chicken is a hunk of buttermilk soaked thigh meat surrounded by a shatter-ready shell, placed over “cactus mustard” (honey mustard made with agave) with red cabbage slaw. Each one is way bigger than you’d expect for $3.
You’ll need drinks, too, and there’s plenty of that behind the colorfully lit bar, which had plenty of open seats around 5:30 p.m. on a recent weekday visit. Happy hour deals include $2 off every draft beer, $2 off wines by the glass and $2 off all specialty cocktails — which are much more refined and well-crafted than the address might suggest.
Also, if you want to make like the early-boozing hospital folks who flock to the Chestnut Street outpost, you can always pair your drinks with eggs instead of snacks. A menu of breakfast sandwiches is available all day, from a BEC with fries for $8 to a big ol’ scrambled egg and potato burrito for $9.
MilkBoy South Street happy hour runs 4 to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday.