by Liz Miller
The Crow's Nest (7336 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-781-0989)
The Hours: Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., with late-night specials Monday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and Sunday from 9 p.m. to Midnight.
The Deal: Drink specials include $3.00 rail drinks, $2.00 PBR and Miller High Life and $1 off drafts. Deals on food include $4.00 Caesar salad, house salad, hummus and truffle frites.
The Scene: The Crow's Nest is a no-frills dive bar in Maplewood occupying prime real estate along the popular Manchester Road strip. It offers a wide array of draft and bottled beers, cheap well drinks and regular specials during the week. On Tuesdays it offers a "Taco Tuesday" special with $4 sixteen-ounce margaritas, $3 Tecate tall boys and a rotating $10 taco plate special all day. In a dive-y twist on weekend brunch it serves "Metal Brunch" on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. And every other day of the week it offers some sort of happy hour special, discounting its already inexpensive food and drink options.
Why You'll Go Back: In warmer months its spacious outdoor back patio makes throwing back one, two or ten beers all the more pleasant, while inside its excellent jukebox selection -- named "Best Jukebox" in RFT's 2012 Best of St. Louis Awards -- keeps a party going all night long. Food at the Crow's Nest goes beyond the average selection of bar food; its truffle frites might be the most satisfying grub to drunkenly wolf down in town.
The Verdict: With rock-bottom food and drink prices and a laid-back, dimly lit vibe, the Crow's Nest makes a comfortable, casual and billfold-friendly place to get soused with friends, or even solo -- its friendly bartenders easily engage in conversation and experiment with drinks when business is slow.