I’m always on the hunt for the cheapest of cheap booze. My quest for wallet-friendly alcohol has lead me to drink everything from Costco brand B-listers to moonshine from a backyard still to toilet wine that ended up not being wine at all. Let me tell you, the Costco brand beer was a mistake. Every sip I took killed my soul a little bit. Costco brand beer is so terrible it almost makes the $20 for 48 cans price not even worth it. Almost.
Don’t judge me, but I’ve always loved Applebee’s. Where else can you drunkenly stumble in like a degenerate in the middle of the night on a Tuesday and get wings, mozzarella sticks, and a beer for under $20? It’s the ultimate pig-out spot. In the immortal words of Louis C.K., “The meal doesn’t end when I’m full, the meal ends when I hate myself” — and that’s exactly what God created Applebee’s for. Now, the worldwide leader in half apps came out with the ultimate cheap alcohol game changer: dollar margaritas the entire month of October.
Normally, I don’t like margaritas. I’m a huge fan of Mexican beers, but margaritas? Not so much. But hey, when they come out with margaritas that are literally cheaper than water, I’ve got to give it a try.
So the other night, I finally made my pilgrimage to the promise land (the Applebee’s 15 minutes from my house). There was a high school football game that night, so the place was screaming with teenagers who had nothing better to do than storm this chain restaurant in droves. After a long wait, we get a table and an accompanying waiter who straight up looks like a hipster version of the monopoly man. He asks me what I want, and, in true Marshawn Lynch form, I look at him dead-on and say, “You know why I’m here.” Without question, he comes back with a round of the mystical dollar margaritas. The drink I had heard so much about, that I thought was only a myth… a legend… a rumor… was finally in front of me.
I didn’t know what to expect. After all, anything that cheap must have had the tequila come straight out of a plastic bottle. It’s also the first, and probably only time in my life I’ve seen a margarita served in a beer mug. To further confuse matters, there was no salt on the rim of the glass. Bad looks on presentation, Applebee’s; bad looks.
So I finish the margarita — nothing special. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. Best way I could describe it is imagine if Taco Bell served margaritas through their drive. That’s what they’d taste like. So then I order another, and then another, then another, and so on. I wanted to see what would last longer, my drinking or the Yankees-Cleveland game on Friday that went into extras (plot twist, it was the drinking). After about five margaritas, I lost count and almost admitted defeat. I recovered, and at the end hipster monopoly man brings me my bill. Eight margaritas later, and the damage to my bank account? A whopping $8.
That’s when it finally hit me and I realized I didn’t fail on my quest for cheap alcohol; I had 100% succeeded. Sure, the taste was subpar, but as long as the price is right who cares about taste? It’s quantity — not quality — in the quest for budget booze. I got fucked up south of the border style for less than a $10 bill. This October, you can get fashionably inebriated at a chain restaurant for one hour of minimum-wage work. I’d call that a great play..
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