The best part about September is finally getting a break from the sweltering summer heat. The worst part is knowing that winter is just around the corner and patio season is coming to a close.

The best part about September is finally getting a break from the sweltering summer heat. The worst part is knowing that winter is just around the corner and patio season is coming to a close.

So I suggest you get in all the patio time you can while you can. And there's no better patio in the Short North than La Fogata's.

It's large enough you probably won't have to wait for a table, and it's the perfect place to people-watch while sipping on a margarita.

The only way to improve upon drinking while enjoying the perfect weather is to go during happy hour.

The booze:

La Fogata is known for its extensive tequila selection, but its happy hour deals are also worthy of praise.

You can't go to a Mexican place and not get a margarita - that's just blasphemy. And unlike the house margaritas at most restaurants, with La Fogata's ($3) you can actually taste the tequila's bite.

But if you're feeling sacrilegious, La Fogata has you covered with a quartet of south-of-the-border suds on draft for $2 - Modelo Especial, Negra Modelo and Dos Equis lager and amber.

Sipping a frosty Dos Equis on the patio really does make you feel like the "world's most interesting man." In the mood for something a little more flavorful? Try the Negra Modelo - it's kind of like the Guinness of Mexico, with toasted malts and a hint of chocolate.

The food:

Let's face it: You're going to need more than chips and salsa if you plan on having more than one margarita. And it's too nice out to have just one.

La Fogata's half-off deals during happy hour are perfect for getting some grub while sunning and drinking.

Any of the tasty nachos combinations ($2.50-$3.50) are a good choice for early evening munching.

Everything from plain cheese to chicken or beef is half-off, and La Fogata has quite possibly the largest plate of nachos I've ever seen. I recommend bringing a friend to share.