Here's a Happy Hour spot worth your time and your money! El Parador has a killer happy hour from 3-7 each weeknight: 5 dollar margaritas and sangria, and super-affordable appetizers! I've been here a few times but this was only my second visit for Happy Hour.
El Parador's claim to fame is being the city's oldest Mexican restaurant, and they tout their margarita as one of the best in NYC, and most of the time I agree! I've been one night when it was all tart and no sweet, and that was tough. Way too acidic for me. Generally though, they are AWESOME. And five dollars!
Chips and salsa are on the house--note they serve their salsa warm! It took some getting used to for me, but not long. I could swear the last batch had pumpkin in it, but don't quote me. There was a very atumnal, squash-type flavor going on there.
You should definitely get the house-made guac to share--it's a steal at 8 bucks, and it's muy delicioso. I prefer this to the salsa no question! The happy hour portion is plenty for two people.
Another winner for me were the chicken wings. The menu says they are baked, but they are so delicious you won't miss the frying. Normally I leave half of the meat on the bone because I get all freaked out by fat, tendons, etc., but these wings are so succulent, the meat falls right off the bone. So good.
On my most recent visit, I shared the fajita dish with a friend. It's not what I would call 'cheap' at 21 dollars, but sharing it breaks it down to about ten bucks each, and that is a delicious thing. I loved the chicken--normally fajita chicken is the throwaway--it's usually overcooked and dry and tasteless, but this was moist, seasoned to perfection, and oh-so-good. The refried beans had an off-putting spice in them, so I didn't really eat those. The rice wasn't bad, but I've never been a huge fan of the stuff.
325 E 34th St
New York, NY 10016