Photo of the day (9.30.10)

It’s 5 o’clock, a near-universally accepted time for happy hour. Flickr user t3mujin snapped this beer ad-worthy pic in Madeira, off the coast of Portugal and notes that the snacks in the background are tremoços or Lupin beans.The legumes are typically pickled, eaten with or without the skin, and served with beers in a pub. Here in Istanbul, drink snacks may include a bowl of nuts, cherries or other bite-sized fruits, or sliced cucumbers and carrots in a salty solution. Around many outdoor bars, vendors sell small plates of almonds or walnuts on ice, with the ice helping to peel the skins off and removing the bitterness of the nut. All of them pair well with a cold beer in summer.

Eat any good drink snacks on your travels? Send your shots to Gadling’s Flickr group and we might use one for a future Photo of the Day.

Score Chicago deals and freebies with

Okay, the name induces a slight eye roll – I’m not broke and I’m certainly no hipster, I just love a bargain – but the premise behind one of Chicago’s best new websites is pretty awesome. BrokeHipster collects all the top upcoming deals, from happy-hour specials and dining discounts to promotional parties and boutique sales, and puts them all in one place.

On any given day some of the freebies and cheapies might include: a promo party with an hour of free cocktails, a free tequila tasting, free museum admission, $2 beers or $1 burgers. The deals are all around in Chicago, and especially in this slumping economy, every bar, restaurant and store is looking for more ways to pull in customers with enticing offers.

If you find a stellar deal, just remember that BrokeHipster doesn’t create the deals, it just eliminates the legwork for budget travelers and frugal locals by putting the information together. It’s always wise to check directly with the establishment to verify that the deal is offered. There’s no cure for the heartache caused by the $1 burger that wasn’t.

French happy hour may be coming to an end

Using English words in France, sometimes causes a stir. Remember the French Eurovision song that had English lyrics? Despite attempts to language purity, English words and expressions still manage to make their way into la vie française. “Happy hour” is one of those expressions. The French love getting a deal on an afternoon beer, and happy hours (pronounced apee ow-uuur in a French accent) are popular. Travelers love them too, as they make expensive pints of beer — or an afternoon pastis — just a little more affordable. But the infamous happy hour is under the threat of a ban.

The French government body in charge of the fight against addiction to drugs and alcohol is working on a measure that would ban happy hours as well as the sale of vodka and other strong liquors in nightclubs in order to curb underage intoxication and alcoholism. The proposed measures are currently under discussion, but a decision could be made within a few weeks.

Government officials see the proposed ban as helping with public health, others see it as a merely “stupid measure.” “People buy bottles when they are in a group because it’s cheaper and they can last a long time on a single bottle. Does the government want people to spend their money individually to get wasted on beer instead?” said Patrick Malvaes, president of a union representing nightclub owners.

Happy hour might be under threat, but don’t worry, I am pretty sure the French government would never dream to regulate wine consumption. Just plan on making the house red your drink of choice on your next French vacation.