December 21st, 2009
The Week That Was (12.20.09)
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: Pub Trivia, FRIDAY prix fixe LUNCH, The Spazmatics, The Loop Scoop Meeting, Foundation Room, Agora and Anvil on a Saturday night
Pub Trivia at The Harp - A few months ago I moved my residence from Branard near Mandell to a new place by Memorial Park. One of the biggest losses of my relocation was giving up my proximity to The Harp. I had never been a “regular” at a bar before I was walking distance from the Irish pub. Every Tuesday night The Harp puts on their version of pub trivia. The format of four rounds of ten questions plus the bonus round begins at 8PM (be there around 7:30 to secure a table and a drink) and will have you searching the dark places in your brain for that stuff that “you just know but can’t think of right now.”
Bring your thinking cap, but leave your iPhone or Blackberry at home. No cheating! (Note: Teams can be no bigger than six Guiness drinking geniuses) My team didn’t have the best showing, but we had fun heckling each other which is all that really matters. It’s $3 a person and the first place team gets paid, second and third place teams get pub paraphernalia.
The longest time between a movie and it’s sequal was 46 years. Name the original movie and it’s sequel. [Write your answers in the comments]
Loose at Foundation Room - We are never really aware of private clubs. That’s not the case with Foundation Room, mostly because it’s connected to the House of Blues and membership can be yours for a relatively low price. If you don’t want to fork over a couple grand for unlimited access, head up on Wednesday night when admission is open and the secret handshake will get you nothing but a smug, knowing smile from the man working the door.
Look forward to the second Wednesday of every month for only music from a specific year. Last week there was a DJ on the ones and twos (I’ve always wanted to say that) playing a little bit of everything and the Pabst Blue Ribbon was plentiful behind the bar; which makes any night worth living.
“That girl in the gray dress is on the prowl.”
“That’s exactly how I like my women. On the prowl or desperate. Hopefully both.”
The Spazmatics at Sammy’s - Somtimes in our search for the new and exciting we forget about the things that remain steadfast in Houston. The Spazmatics playing at Sammy’s on Thursday nights is one of those, in my case. I made it out to Sammy’s close to 11PM on Thursday and had some of the most fun of the week drinking Budweiser and dancing around like a man possessed for three hours. Unfortunately, this is their last month playing at Sammy’s. The final two shows are moved to Tuesdays because of Christmas and New Year’s Eve falling on Thursdays. Catch them while you still can.
“Are you one half white?” asks the married mother of one.
“Yes,” I reply.
“What’s the other half?”
“Um, white…” I say, unsure of where this is going.
“Do you want to see how cute your babies would be if you had mixed babies?” she says as she shoves her iPhone in my face.
Friday Prix Fixe Lunch at t’afia - Once upon a time, I used to frequent the 3700 block of Main Street at West Alabama. I know Continental Club, Shoeshine Charlie’s Big Top and the Mink well, but I never had gone Monica Pope’s restaurant, t’afia. When my friend called me Friday morning to join him and another friend for lunch I made my move. For $22 I enjoyed the prix fixe lunch of three courses (radish and arugula salad with swiss, half a baby chicken, and affogato). The “menu changes every week based on market availability and the whims of the chef” so look forward to new tastes each Friday.
We sat outside, which was perfect considering the weather on Friday. Not so perfect was the late-twenty-something couple that was sitting, straddling each other, looking like they gave up on the walk of shame and decided on the lunch of shame instead. My friends and I never stood a chance of surviving the barrage of absurdities of which, we were, unfortunately, within earshot.
“I don’t like Southern boys. They’re all bitches.” – The classy broad sitting spread eagle.
Agora and Anvil to Close Out a Saturday - When most of you read my musings on Anvil Bar and Refuge you could probably tell that I liked it… a lot. It’s quickly become one of those places that I make weekly jaunts (yes, I’ll use that word and you’ll like it Mr. Editor). On Saturday, fresh off meeting my family for a Thanksmas celebration – don’t ask and I won’t confuse you with an explanation about my sister’s invented holiday – I made a trip up to Agora, only to be coaxed into a night cap at Anvil. Having reached my goal of pages read (The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin if you must know) I closed down shop and made the short walk up Westheimer.
In between an Old Fashioned or two, I noticed that a pair of girls sitting at the other side of the L-shaped bar were looking at me. We played eye tag for a healthy hour as I pondered whether or not I should approach them. I’ve never really been the guy to make conversation at a bar, especially not here at Anvil lest I become the guy with the “he’s always up here, always hitting on a different girl each night” reputation. Thankfully, I didn’t have to approach them. One of them gave up her fortress behind the bar to walk up to me. Immeditately my ego inflated, only to be crushed.
“I just wanted to let you know, we keep looking at you because you look like the kid from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory all grown up,” she says to me, smiling from ear to ear.
“What if I told you I was that kid,” I ask, hoping to cover the fact that my confidence just took a hit.
“You’re not,” she says back.
“How do you know that?” I ask, as all the wind has now left my sails.
“Because, we already checked.”
The Loop Scoop meeting hosted by Cafe Brasil - There are some places in Houston that I love and frequent much more than others. Cafe Brasil is one of them (Cafe Agora is another). You would think that such places would have made appearances on The Loop Scoop months ago. The weird thing about places that you love and have visited hundreds of times over the years is that they’re impossible to write about even though they’re the first place I recommend for meeting up over coffee, dessert or otherwise.
It was another beautiful day on Sunday when four out of five of the staff met up for our monthly meeting (sorry, once again, for the confusion, Stephan). We had a little tea, a little dessert and a lot of coffee (in my case) out on the back patio that somehow gets overlooked by the newcomer. We sat around, debated new content ideas, discussed promotional campaigns, and, in general, yucked it up for a couple hours before heading home when the cold began to set in. Look forward to our brainstorming session, coming soon to The Loop Scoop near you (this post, in fact, being one of the many ideas).
Don’t Take This Out of Context. Actually, Do Take it Out of Context:
“I thought we killed that guy for a reason!” – Anonymous