By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
50 Carmine Street (between Bleecker and Bedford), New York, NY 10014, 212-929-5050, cabritonyc.com
There are conflicting claims as to the origins of the humble hot dog (Frankfurt? Austria? Coney Island?), but those beloved meat tubes were accessorized masterfully in warmer climes. On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., this Mexican sister restaurant to Fatty Crab and Fatty 'Cue slings "Border Dogs." Wrapped in bacon and deep-fried, they're served alongside a pint of Dos Equis for $8. Other deals abound: $5 margaritas, $3 drafts, and $3 tacos, best taken al pastor with pork and pineapple. On Monday nights at 9, Cabrito also airs cult flicks (like Caddyshack, Top Gun, and The Breakfast Club) and encourages gluttony with unlimited brew and tacos for $25 during the movie. Record to beat? Fourteen tacos and eight beers during Weird Science. "It's fun for groups of people to go into a beer and food coma together," says the bartender, who clearly enjoys the scene from Seven in which the gastropod gorges himself to death.
On Saturday evenings, this Greenpoint restaurant/bar is a sweaty sea of flannel, neckbeards, and enthusiastic dancing to Three 6 Mafia (credit the frequent DJ sets from East Village Radio's "Baller's Eve" crew for that). It's not as pumping on weeknights, but late-night discounts make a compelling argument that doesn't involve DJ Paul and Juicy J: The "second-shift" happy hour from midnight to 2 a.m. provides half-price drinks, a bargain that puts a bottle of Miller High Life at a laughably low $1.50. On Mondays, the deal runs all day. Even if you've blown your entire allowance on cut-off Jordache jeans, vintage New Order vinyl, and kickball lessons from an Argentine national in McCarren Park, you can afford to toss back a few brews here.
531 East 5th Street (between Avenue A and Avenue B), New York, NY 10009, 212-979-8476, acebar.com
There's something particularly delicious about getting shit-hammered and listening to Judas Priest on a Sunday. If blaspheming needs any excuse, the sinfulness starts here at midnight with a selection of cheap booze ($3 Pabst and Yuengling, $4 Guinness and Radeberger, $4 well drinks) and continues until 4 a.m. on the traditional day of rest. Leave the jukebox alone and let the bartender's iPod handle the heavy lifting with a playlist that includes Motörhead, Fugazi, Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, and the usual hardcore suspects. The array of games may seem a bit dissonant with the heavy vibe (despite the skeleton perched above one of the pool tables), but Ace Bar does have a pair of awesome vintage Skee-Ball machines. "People seem to obsess over those things," says the bartender with a bemused shrug. Hello: It's Skee-Ball!
999 Manhattan Avenue (between Huron and Green), Brooklyn, NY 11222, 718-349-7292, papacitosbrooklyn.com
Carried on the wings of stocky Pueblan angels, authentic tacos—doubled-up flour tortillas, clumps of shredded carne, splashes of salsa verde—are now easier to find in this town than a decent Tex-Mex burrito. This Greenpoint Mexican restaurant may have been more charming as a BYOB hole-in-the-wall, but with its expansion into a bona fide eatery came benefits: $2 Tecates and $1.50 tacos from noon until 4 p.m. on weekdays, and two-for-one frozen margaritas and $3 platters of gooey nachos from 4 to 7 p.m. daily. Plus, during Papacito's last hour of operation (3 to 4 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, and earlier on other nights), they cram the day's remnants of carne asada, talapia, and chili verde pork into patrons' gnashing maws by offering $1 tacos to anyone who buys a drink. Strangely, this sweet "fourth meal" concept was vile when proposed by the gristle-slangers at Taco Bell. Now, it's just happy hour.