Sips & bites | Q Mex Shuangjing opens, plus XL, Gung Ho, Pie Squared, Q Bar & more

Q Mex Bar & Grill Shuangjing Beijing China

By Jim Boyce | Nacho pizza! Nacho pizza! Nacho pizza! The Shuangjing branch of Q Mex has opened with a limited menu. The full menu, cloned from the Sanlitun South branch, will be available as of June 1. So will the nightly specials: half-price burritos on Mondays, half-price pizzas on Tuesday, half-… well, see those and other deals here.

With a pool table, frozen margarita machines, lots of seating, and a spot mere meters from Shuangjing subway stop, this place should do well. If you desire fewer Tex-Mex and Cal-Mex dishes, and more Mexican ones, see sibling venue Q Mex Taqueria.

A few photos from the Shuangjing launch party:

Known for its burgers—half price on Tuesdays!—XL Bar & Restaurant has other tasty eats, too, and owner Jane Cui says more dishes are in the pipeline. Look for chicken cordon bleu, pastas, cheese platters and more to make their appearances soon. By the way, the venues on the B1 level below XL were packed last weekend.

Gung Ho pizza discontinued its white crusts but customers do have three options. The default is whole wheat, with an extra rmb10 getting the gluten-free or low-carb paleo crusts. That low-carb deal involves a mix of cauliflower and cheeses. Get extra value by popping into Gung Ho on Tuesdays when pizza is buy one, get one free.

Also of note: the Gongti branch of Gung Ho has added a slate of draft beers from Moa in New Zealand.

Speaking of pizza, Pie Squared recently came downtown for a Pop-Up at Jing-A. I’m told 600-plus slices of its Detroit-style pizza were trucked to Xingfucun Middle Road for the event. I did my part by mowing down on the decadent Carnivore BBQ, topped with pork belly, pulled pork and smoked sausage, and the tangy Classic American. I also tried the new cucumber and sea salt sour beer by Jing-A. Good stuff. Here’s hoping Pie Squared does regular pop-ups, or even opens a location, in central Beijing.

The rooftop at Q Bar has a new paint job—with the traditional burgundies switched to off whites—and is slated to spruce up its foliage this week. Q Bar is also upping its food menu with chuanr, grilled seafood and, soon, burgers. This place recently hosted the launch of the wulala-garita, a Bordeaux-inspired drink featuring wine from Ponty.

Also, I finally made it to Migas Mercado! Delicious Bombay Sapphire Gin Tonics—rmb60 each—while relaxing on the terrace? Return visit required. Also went to jazz club Good Bait twice this month, including a night that featured the band Hot Cat Club and drinks by China Wine & Spirits. A potent cocktail with Chartreuse and Scotch doubled my finger-snapping speed. Good times. And I stopped by Beer Mania on Saturday for the going away party of Jerrod Weston of Papp’s Tea. That ended up being a six-hour detour that reminded me this place still has a good happy hour, with half-price draft beer from 4 PM to 8 PM daily. Finally, candy to make Shaggy proud. I’m kind of addicted to having these Boombastic chocolate bars with coffee these days.

Check out 京B Daily for weather, air quality, news and other updates. Plus sibling blogs Grape Wall of China and World Baijiu Day

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Get regular Beijing updates via my Instagram and Twitter feeds. Also see my sibling sites Grape Wall of China, World Baijiu Day and World Marselan Day. Help cover the hosting and other costs of these sites with a WeChat, AliPay or PayPal donation.

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