This post comes from my mother, Babs, and my sixth-grade homeroom teacher, Nance. I’ve been told my mother’s nickname is “Bargain Barbs,” and Nance is a numbers whiz who helped cure my math anxiety—so you can trust these two to find a deal. When my mother started patronizing happy hours all over Portsmouth a few years ago, I was honestly a bit concerned. That was until she convinced me that eating out from 4-6 pm was more affordable than cooking at home. Below is Babs and Nance’s review of happy hour at The Rosa in Porsmouth, New Hampshire.
ANOTHER FRIDAY NIGHT—BUDGET STYLE IN PORTSMOUTH (their title, not mine)
Happy hour at The Rosa (or Rosa’s for people who have lived here more than 5 years)—another night out on a budget for Nance and Babs. Upon entering the restaurant, it seems unusually crowded for 5:15. Most of the people that frequent that time slot are either a) very elderly b) having surgery early the next morning and can’t eat for 12 hours before c) cheap. We would fall into category C, although we are getting frightening close to category A. The crowd, we then realize, is attributed to holiday gatherings, which is great because we enjoy the holidays as much as anyone. Bring on the festivusness.
After scanning the bar, we realize the only place there are two seats together are crowded between two different parties. This means we may not have what could be called our “personal bubble space.” Throwing caution to the wind, we do a little juggle and shuffling and manage to squeeze in. OK, we now have 45 minutes until the end of happy hour—plenty of time to order food and drink at bargain prices.
We order our usual two house white wines, which is delicious by the way. Something akin to a pinot grigio with a twist of a chardonnay. Really, we don’t have much of a clue. But it is good.
ND Note: Babs and Nance texted me these two photos at about 6 pm. My first thought: Who is that sir waving in the background? Babs reports he was a “REAL nice guy from Boston” who surprised them by picking up their tab. Also, I thought the second photo looked totally staged. Babs confirmed my suspicions. Last, she said, “Make sure you tell people it is a VERY generous wine pour.” I’m sure it is, Mom.
Now on to the food. We go with our usual: splitting the $5.00 pizza and house salad. Before you think that that’s what a bird would eat, think again. (ND Note: Babs and Nance probably have a combined weight of 150 lbs.) While not gigantic, when split in two the house salad fills two good size bowls with plenty of tomatoes, shredded carrots, zucchini, and red onion. Toss on the house dressing and you have a very respectable salad. The only possible suggestion we would have is the iceberg lettuce could be spinach, but perhaps we are being too demanding for the price. (ND Note: Gotta agree with you, B & N. The salad goes for $4.00, so spinach might be a stretch).
ND Note: Let me reiterate: This is one happy hour salad divided in half by The Rosa kitchen staff for two people. I apologize to whoever plated this for my mother. It was very kind to give a side of dressing for both Babs and Nance. I’m sure the ladies tipped you handsomely.
The pizza is a good 12 inches of deliciousness. Again, if you are a big eater you could order one just for yourself, but half of this certainly was filling without the wave of regret you might have if you stuffed it all in solo. As the evening progressed, other friends arrived which provided us with another fun night on the town that fit within our wallets quite nicely.
Total bill for pizza, one salad, and four glasses of wine: $24.50.
Thanks again to Babs and Nance for this budget-friendly review. Plan to see more posts from these two ladies in the future.