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One of the best new patio bars in town, the Biergarten is inviting, with a friendly staff, tons of beer options and a great atmosphere. Expect a mixed crowd of all ages, especially on the weekends when folks are day-drinking.

The King of Reggae's open-air Kingston home has been resurrected. Live bands wail in the courtyard, while the laid-back bar staff serves up Red Stripe, rum concoctions and jerk sandwiches. It's one of the smaller CityWalk venues and weekends are frequently jammed and jammin'.


Teaser: The king of reggae's open-air Kingston home has been resurrected for the real Rasta experience (sans ganja, natch). Live bands wail in the courtyard, while the laid-back bar staff serves up Red Stripe, rum concoctions and jerk sandwiches. It's one of the smaller CityWalk venues and weekends are frequently jammed and jammin'.
Chow down on a plate of bangers and mash or fish and chips at Cricketers Arms in Festival Bay Mall. This deceivingly authentic English pub has a selection of 15 imported beers and features nightly entertainment by many local acts.
Teaser: There are 'footballâ?� games on the 'telly,â?� draft ale flowing freely and traditional English bar rags on the bar. But the music is of the local singer-songwriter type and the crowd is mostly local. That's not to say you can escape the tourists, but in this friendly atmosphere, they're likely the type you don't mind bumping into.
The speakeasy theme has been done to death, but Hanson’s does it right – you have to call ahead to get a password; only a limited number of people are allowed into the dim, narrow, impeccably designed space; and the craft cocktails are out of this world. No vodka served here – vodka wasn’t part of the American cocktail lexicon during the Prohibition era – but the bartenders will be happy to mix you something that’ll prove even more satisfying than that Cosmopolitan you may have had in mind.

To celebrate their third birthday, House of Blues has strayed a bit from its Southern menu, introducing dishes that might be based on Delta traditions but have taken a few detours.

First, some HOB dining secrets. After listening to the "30-minute wait" speech and getting a beeper from the hostess, you should stroll around back to the Voodoo Garden. It overlooks the lake, there's live music, and – best of all – there's often an empty table. Second: The Voodoo Garden music ends at 10 p.m., when it becomes a very peaceful place to dine. The last secret? Order extra rosemary corn bread – even at $3.95 – since it's moist, crunchy and satisfying.

First, some HOB dining secrets. After listening to the "30-minute wait" speech and getting a beeper from the hostess, you should stroll around back to the Voodoo Garden. It overlooks the lake, there's live music, and – best of all – there's often an empty table. Second: The Voodoo Garden music ends at 10 p.m., when it becomes a very peaceful place to dine. The last secret? Order extra rosemary corn bread – even at $3.95 – since it's moist, crunchy and satisfying.

The staple "seafood gumbo" ($3.95 a cup) has a flavorful soup base, which takes a lot of concentration to notice, since the slightly burnt taste of blackened seasonongs masks everything. With almost none of the promised ingredients showing up (andouille sausage, shrimp, oysters and crawfish are listed, but you couldn't prove it by me), it's not the enjoyable dish it could be.

The staple "seafood gumbo" ($3.95 a cup) has a flavorful soup base, which takes a lot of concentration to notice, since the slightly burnt taste of blackened seasonongs masks everything. With almost none of the promised ingredients showing up (andouille sausage, shrimp, oysters and crawfish are listed, but you couldn't prove it by me), it's not the enjoyable dish it could be.

Options for appetizers include "Caribbean jerk chicken wings in Pickapepper sauce" ($8.95) and "seared Gulf shrimp with Blackened Voodoo Beer" ($10.25). For the latter, six decent-sized shrimp come coated in a dark, spicy sauce, the deep flavor accented by a mound of radish sprouts. It's a good precursor of the interesting combinations of textures and flavors to follow.

Options for appetizers include "Caribbean jerk chicken wings in Pickapepper sauce" ($8.95) and "seared Gulf shrimp with Blackened Voodoo Beer" ($10.25). For the latter, six decent-sized shrimp come coated in a dark, spicy sauce, the deep flavor accented by a mound of radish sprouts. It's a good precursor of the interesting combinations of textures and flavors to follow.

For the "ahi tuna salad" ($10.95), rare slices of quickly seared tuna are wound around a heap of red cabbage and topped in a drizzle of wasabi mayonnaise. The fish is sushi-grade and splendid, and while the cabbage is a bit too oversoyed, the crisp texture offsets the buttery feel of the fish.

For the "ahi tuna salad" ($10.95), rare slices of quickly seared tuna are wound around a heap of red cabbage and topped in a drizzle of wasabi mayonnaise. The fish is sushi-grade and splendid, and while the cabbage is a bit too oversoyed, the crisp texture offsets the buttery feel of the fish.

Some of the so-called "Southern specials" come from South Elsewhere. I don't think any bayou cook has ever rustled up a mess of "chicken and penne pasta with wild mushroom cream sauce and Gouda cheese" ($14.95). The "grilled rosemary chicken" ($14.95) comes nicely charcoaled and juicy, along with mashed potatoes that are richly creamy and wonderfully lumpy at the same time, and perfect, tender sautéed asparagus.

Some of the so-called "Southern specials" come from South Elsewhere. I don't think any bayou cook has ever rustled up a mess of "chicken and penne pasta with wild mushroom cream sauce and Gouda cheese" ($14.95). The "grilled rosemary chicken" ($14.95) comes nicely charcoaled and juicy, along with mashed potatoes that are richly creamy and wonderfully lumpy at the same time, and perfect, tender sautéed asparagus.

Our attentive server recommended the "white chocolate banana bread pudding" (all desserts $5.95). CrÈme anglaise and dark-chocolate drizzles accent the muffinlike pudding, but by the time we got to the car I felt several pounds heavier. Try the "sweet potato cheesecake" for something lighter.

Our attentive server recommended the "white chocolate banana bread pudding" (all desserts $5.95). CrÈme anglaise and dark-chocolate drizzles accent the muffinlike pudding, but by the time we got to the car I felt several pounds heavier. Try the "sweet potato cheesecake" for something lighter.

HOB will always be a theme restaurant, but this theme has the food to back it up.

I-Bar is hipster central. There’s no other way to put it, which makes it a target for teasing, sure, but it also means that you always have a story to tell after a night there.
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