January 4th, 2010
The Week That Was 1.3.10
We’re a small operation, but we cover a lot of ground. Sometimes it’s hard to sit down and write out an in depth experience about the places we go to every week. To compensate for that we’ll publish a sweet little ditty about the notable adventures of The Loop Scoop every Monday. Where did we go? What did we hear? What did we eat, drink and see? These are all questions that we ask each other and we’ll answer for you in our public forum. Enjoy.
This Week: Wine and Dine at Block 7, Cahill’s on Durham, Drinking Cheap at Saucer, New Year’s Eve Takes a Bite Out of Houston, St. Arnold’s Brews and Nobody Loses
Grilled Cheese vs. Rabbit Fettuccine: Who You Got?! (Paul)
With a friend making his homecoming to Houston over the holidays, we tried to get the old crew together over dinner to be regaled with stories of the Big Apple. We decided first to go to Beavers, but even one of their most esteemed patrons, Aaron, didn’t know that they were closed on Mondays. Our back up plan turned out to be Block 7, a restaurant/wine bar that I haven’t returned to since it’s opening night. I chose the grilled cheese for my dinner. I’ve never had a grilled cheese sandwich that hasn’t come from my own frying pan. We’ll consider this one of my most exciting culinary adventures. Across from me, a husband and wife tag team a plate of Rabbit Fettuccine while downing a bottle of pinot noir. So who wins classiest meal? Grilled cheese, popcorn with truffle salt and a Real Ale Coffee Porter OR the tandem of game eaters and wine drinkers at the other side of the table? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Two Ends of the Spectrum:
“This burger doesn’t taste like a burger,” says Connoisseur #1
“I think it tastes delicious,” says Connoisseur #2
The Cahill’s Have Eyes (Paul)
What’s dinner without drinks afterward? Empty. Vacuous. Unfulfilling. Do we need further elaboration? We huddle outside as the arctic wind whips around the steel building of Block 7, trying to decide where we might find an equally frosty brew for our post-meal nightcap. The Usual, Dubliner, and Sawyer Park all get mentions. Location, location, location is the eventual deciding factor. My friend and I cross Shepherd and Durham on foot to Cahill’s, while the rest of our group heads over in their wheeled and heated transportation. We catch the rest of the Monday night football game as the Bears manage to upset the Vikings and the Chicago-bred owner of Cahill’s rejoices. On such occasions, isn’t a free drink in order? My bill reflected no such benefit and my bank had to pay the price.
An Exercise in Sarcasm:
“Oooooo, I’m SO disappointed that the football player couldn’t make that catch! I just don’t know what I will do with my life now that this has happened! Why, God? Why?!” mocks our friend, too cultured to be a sports fan.
Fire(water) Sale (Marc)
Drinking on a budget is an art form, and one of the best places to accomplish the feat is Flying Saucer on Monday night. I met up with a group of like-minded bears fans, thinking that we might have to drink heavily in order to watch our teams host the final Monday Night Football game of this decade. Flying Saucer, offering $2.50 pints on Monday nights, allows us to drink heavily without sacrificing the quality of our frosty libation or taking out a loan to cover the tab. With a large projection screen in the corner showing the game and sound blasting over the speakers, it was easy to stay focused in on the game as the Bears raced out to a fast start and then let the lead slip away. Beers, poured from a huge selection of taps behind the bar, were raised in celebration, and then drank in desperation before we finally hoisted our pints up in elation after the Bears shocked the entire bar, winning the game in overtime on a 39 yard pass play from Cutler to Aromashodu. Say Who?
“I texted him ‘I’m sorry. I’ve dated my share of douche bags this year. Try again in 2010,’” says a serial dater.
Houston Pauses to Catch Its Breath and Comfort Its Liver (Paul)
Remind me next year to stay in the night after New Year’s Eve. The first of the year is no time to go out on the town and expect that the rest of the population has an iron-clad liver such as my own. A friend and I met up at Mercer, only to find that less than a handful of people ventured out into the formidable night. Bartenders and bouncers outweighed people 2:1. So we decide to head down to Shoeshine Charlie’s Big Top, which had it’s steel doors drawn shut. We took our last shot by venturing over to Leon’s Lounge, to meet Marc and crew. Equally as dead, but not closed, Leon’s ended up being a comfortable choice to close out the night… That is until my friend had his car towed from the lot across the street from the lounge. A hectic hunt for an ATM and the impound lot ate up the rest of our Friday night. Some nights you just need to stay at home.
Literature is Everywhere:
“Sheesh, it’s worse than the bathroom wall at Rudyard’s,” says my friend as he stands at the window waiting for his keys at the impound, reading the words of disgruntled and similarly towed people.
A Stout’s A-Brewin’ (Paul)
“We’re up at St. Arnold’s for Jeff’s birthday. Come out,” reads the text that I get on Saturday close to noon. With the tours just recently opening back up at the new location, Saturday seems like a prime time to check out St. Arnold’s new facility. I hop to, get ready and head down to the Northwest side of town to meet up with my friends. When I walk up, there’s at least a 100 person line waiting with St. Arnold’s pint glasses and flattened six-pack boxes. The culture that surrounds Houston’s brewery constantly amazes me. Houston is full of people that embrace the Houston cause ( especially if that cause includes alcohol). A buddy comes outside and pulls me from the line, “you just got off a plane from Denver. Don’t ask any questions. That’s your story.” Fair enough. We head into the now air conditioned facility to find the rest of a group of domino and dice-playing drinkers. A perfect start to a Saturday: $7 for a tiny St. Arnold’s glass and five beer tokens. It might be the best deal in town.
Farkel You Too:
“Do you want to play?”
“What is it?”
“It’s Farkel. You’ve never played?”
“Nope, and I’m not starting now.”