June 24th, 2011
Drinking Made Easy: Houston
Maybe it’s because I’m infantile or maybe it’s because I just love to drink, but I’ve stumbled onto a new show “Drinking Made Easy” with Zane Lamprey. Basically, the premise of the show is a few friends get together, drive an RV around the country and find interesting bars, breweries and distilleries in various cities. As I went back and checked out the show, lo and behold, they had been to Texas. A Dallas show (filmed all over the metroplex) and Austin, but no Houston. As a matter of fact, the episode guide for Dallas mentioned it being the 9th largest city. Uh… yeah, so? Houston’s fourth in the country and the largest in Texas. How could they just bypass us like that? Could it be because Mark Cuban owns their network? Isn’t he satisfied enough with torpedoing the Rockets every year, that he can allow Houston to have a piece of the action?
As I watched the episode on New Orleans and saw all the bars I know and love from the Crescent City, I got to thinking: If Drinking Made Easy came to Houston, where would I send them. This became a topic of conversation between groups of my friends on more than one occasion, and I’d like to think that we’ve settled on a pretty good list of spots to check out. So, Zane, consider this a formal invitation from The Loop Scoop to come enjoy some southern hospitality and more than our share of drinks. Hell, you can even bring ol’ Cuban down if he promises to have his Mavs go easy on the Rockets next year. We’ll show ya’ll what Houston has to offer. Hell, we’ll even buy the first round!
Drinking Made Easy loves history. It seems like every episode showcases the oldest bar in whatever city they happen to be visiting. Of course, if you’re in New Orleans at my personal favorite Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, it’s oldest in America. La Carafe isn’t that old but it’s got a lot of character.
Drop the Hammer
For the longest time, Houston was bereft of classic cocktails made with top notch ingredients. And then there was Anvil. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, “Marc, really? Anvil this, Anvil that. Always with the Anvil.” Until we find others capable of such well-crafted cocktails in Houston, they’re our stand-by. It’s a safe bet to say that between our staff, we’ve gone through and sampled one of everything. There’s a reason that I had to hand over the title to my car in order to pay my tab at Anvil. The drinks are that good.
The Deep Blue Sea
Any Houstonian will tell you not to mess with the blue margaritas at El Patio, aka “Club No Minor” Many an innocent night has been sabotaged by a pitcher of these blue devils. Popular opinion is that they douse them with everclear, but they swear it’s not true. The only other excuse for their potency would be a handful of roofies. We saw the brainfreeze do Steve in in New Orleans, but you don’t have to worry about that at El Patio. Drinking more than three of these babies will put you on the floor.
Every episode features a brewery or a distillery. For us, we like all of our local breweries and each offers unique insight into a brewery at different stages of their development. Big boy Saint Arnold has been around long enough that it’s Texas’ Oldest Craft Brewery. Southern Star is new to the scene but is making quite the impression with their canned cold ones. Finally, the fledgling No Label Brewery is just opening their doors and would provide unique insight into the process of going from home brewer to brewmaster. You’ve got a lot to choose from and since we like all three, we’ll leave the tough decisions up to you.
Would you advise of different picks? What are they?