Betty Danger's Dartmouth Margarita
Cruising down Marshall in Northeast, I was trying to recall the last time I'd visited the old Psycho Suzi's location, the one where the new Betty Danger's Country Club now stands. Suddenly, the enormous Ferris wheel came into view. There is no missing that thing. It's almost as if the Lowry Bridge is built to spill into this enormous structure adorned with dazzling, colorful lights. It's so wonderfully odd, silly, and a little bit thrilling.
On this visit, we were so warmly welcomed that it's enough to make me want to trade in my worn-out Ramones T-shirt for argyle socks and a sweater vest. (Almost.) We were greeted at the door, on our way to the bar, on our way to the restroom, and at the bar, and, somehow, each welcome felt... genuine. It's possible the employees are having just as much fun as the guests that were crowded around the bar.
The country-club vibe is strong and real. I had a couple of flashbacks to the clubhouse I used to accompany my grandmother to when I was a kid. We would eat stacked white bread, bacon, and cold-cut-stuffed sandwiches swiped with mayo while she daintily sipped her gimlet.
The drinks inside Betty Danger's are powerful and sassy. The cocktails arrive in glasses the size of goblets and packed with a powerful punch. During happy hour (or "Tea Time," as they call it) from 4–6 pm Monday through Friday, the Alma Mater Margaritas are just $6 (or a couple of bucks more outside of those early hours). The Dartmouth delivers a bracing, tart blow at first sip, tempered with a judicious amount of salt and followed by smoky heat from a Fresno chili. Inside the massive glass is half a lime. "Whatever happened to that lime shortage?" my drinking buddy quipped. There's none here; the fresh juice kicks up the dark, deep flavors from the Cazadores Reposado and a clean swipe of cucumber washes the whole business over the palate.
It's not surprising that the same people who brought us the tiki drinks at Psycho Suzi's would know how to build a cocktail, but this particular bevvy feels a little more sophisticated with a naughty little wink and a promise of wild nights to come.