Bellevue Collection visitors seeking a break from competitive holiday shopping, stroller dodging, and parking-lot circling should take a breather at the Parlor, a restaurant/bar/pool hall with a super-cheap happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. daily (and Sunday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to midnight, too). Start with a glass of Mondavi cabernet sauvignon ($2.99) or Silver Lake chardonnay ($2.99)—yes, it's oaky, but it'll taste refreshing after all that mall air. If you don't like sweet drinks, steer clear of the huge happy-hour cocktails, such as the sugary Caribbean Lemonade ($3.99) made with tequila, blue curaçao, sweet and sour, and lemonade. The happy-hour menu offers 16 appetizers at three price levels: $1.99, $2.99, and $3.99. The Caesar salad ($1.99) was a winner because of its generous size. The seafood quesadillas ($2.99) housed melted cheese, tiny shrimp, and a bit of shredded crab meat; they came three to a serving and tasted mainly of cheese and flour tortilla. The halibut taco ($2.99), served whole, was harder to share. It had shredded cabbage and what looked like Thousand Island dressing on it (at least the fish was tender). Watch what you wear, though: At a recent happy hour, a friend and I chuckled as the manager enforced a no-hats rule with a gentleman near us. After a few glasses of wine, we were tipsy enough to hit the stores again and make impulse purchases in the name of gift giving.
Parlor 700 Bellevue Way N.E., Suite 300, 425-289-7000, www.parlorbilliards.com. BELLEVUE