Happiest Hour 

Outback Steakhouse

Claim to Fame: This chain steakhouse has all the generic trappings for its Aussie theme, including Aboriginal-style art and boomerangs on the walls. The real claim to fame, though, is the Bloomin' Onion—a large deep-fried onion appetizer that looks like a greasy golden flower and tastes delicious in the way all fried things do.

What you're drinking: In keeping with the Aussie theme, Foster's Lager is choice even though it's comparable to any American domestic. Little Boomey Australian wine takes the class up a notch when paired with steak. For your Outback sweet tooth, the Wallaby Darned is a peachy cocktail. But if you're feeling like an exhibitionist, you might just order the 'Rita Trio: three glasses hung on a spiral tree, each with a sizable sampling of the lime, mango and pomegranate margaritas, for $8.25.

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVE KNADLER
  • Photo courtesy of Dave Knadler

Happy hour: Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., you'll drink two for one of any Bud, Bud Lite, Miller, Foster's or house wine, plus margaritas. If you're a late-nighter, you can get happy Sunday through Thursday evening from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Who you're drinking with: If you've come for happy hour, sit at the wooden square bar in the middle of the room where all the action happens. You might meet some regulars, and you'll for sure end up chatting with Outback staff who take advantage of the drink specials once they get off shift.

Happy eating: You can use a little lingo during happy hour when you order the trippy sounding Bushman 'Shrooms for $3, the half Alice Springs Quesedilla for $4 or the half Kookaburra Wings for $5. Just don't try out your fake Aussie accent. You will sound ridiculous.

How to find it: 2415 N. Reserve St., next to Radio Shack.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, e-mail editor@missoulanews.com.

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