March 1st, 2010

The Week That Was 2.28.10

By far, this was one of our busiest weeks yet. Several places/events had to be left off the this week’s edition of TWTW just because of sheer amount of stuff we took part in. It will come as no surprise that the week was initiated with a trip to Anvil. Of course, there was also the Rodeo Cookoff. But, with two obvious bookends, where did the rest of the week lead? Hint, one saves you money, another celebrates Dia De Los Muertos every day, a third is a proud proponent of taxidermy, and we even threw in a high school musical for good measure.

ArticleImage-TWTW (2-28-10) - Anvil

Drinks With Mindy Goes Citywide (Paul)
Anvil has turned into something of an office for those of us involved with The Loop Scoop the last few weeks. Mondays, at the tail end of happy hour, we’ve found ourselves gracing the bar with our amazing good looks and superior intellects. Seeing as we spend so much time and money there, it’s only fitting that we brought the ladies and gentlemen behind the bar in on our little secret. Later today, the fruits of that labor (if you really want to call trying new cocktails “hard work”) will be unveiled in a new column. Mindy, a talented mixologist at Anvil, has agreed to walk us through the creation of some of her favorite recipes. I am particularly excited about this new endeavor because it means I’ll continue to validate my Minday night drinking as “field research.” You’re not supposed to mix business with pleasure, but I have a feeling that if you throw in a few dashes of Angostura bitters, you’d have yourself a heck of a drink. That leads us to our new tag-line… The Loop Scoop: Where Business Is Pleasure on the Rocks. Today we will have our first ever Titillating Tipples column written by Mindy. Stay tuned, you won’t want to miss it.

ArticleImage-TWTW (2-28-10) - Gallery Furniture

Postmodern Identity, I’ll Get To It Tomorrow (Aaron)
While Paul spends his time voyeurishly gallivanting through Houston’s hotspots, like the Red Room last week, with a lens, the rest of us cover slightly more mundane beats. For me, being in a Red Room is much more likely to signify a home decorating excursion with my wife, than a post modern Saturday night identity crisis. This weekend was no exception. We ventured into the newest store of Houston’s most recognizable marketer…that’s right…”Saves you money today!”, “No, no, no, no backorder slips”, “buy today, deliver tonight.” Furniture is a tricky thing once you’ve outgrown IKEA. For every decent furniture option, there are 200 tacky, gaudy alternatives and the one contemporary piece is the most expensive. I have to wonder two things: Who the hell designs this stuff and why? In this case, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality, and quantity, of the furniture at the Gallery Furniture’s Galleria Store. It still has it’s tacky moments, like a sales staff that dresses like the Harlem Globetrotters and stalk you like candy near an ant pile, but there were a surprising number of good options and some seriously comfortable couches! So if you’re more likely to spend your Saturday night in the living room than Red Room, at least you can relax on a stylish and affordable couch.

ArticleImage-TWTW (2-28-10) - Under the Volcano

Oh What a Beautiful Evening! (Richard)
Saturday brought me to South Houston to the small town of Friendswood for the 42nd Annual High School Musical. Having attended the school some years ago, I vaguely knew of the tradition and competitive spirit that surrounds this production each February. I’m ashamed to say that I never attended a show during my four years there. It wasn’t until I had family performing on stage that I pursued Saturday’s coveted tickets for the production of Oklahoma!. Musical theater’s not really my bag, baby. Not that I have anything against it, but bursting into song at inappropriate moments and wide-eyed dancing are things that should be done in the privacy of your own home, as I did when I found out my wife was making cinnamon pancakes and coffee this very morning. Whatever your stance is on musicals, there was no denying that this production was well done. I had trouble believing that the actors and actresses were in high school as the singing and choreography were excellent, exhibiting a discipline and talent I never knew to exist in my younger years. The sense of joy that overcame the audience, cast and crew after a well received performance followed me for the rest of the night. I left the show with two thoughts that night: a) Musicals can be very cheerful affairs. b) I now understand this scene in When Harry Met Sally.

ArticleImage-TWTW (2-28-10) - Volcano

She’s Workin’ (Paul)
Wednesday, just as I was about to leave my day job, I received a text message from a friend of mine, instructing me to come up to Under the Volcano to see a friend play. Lance Smith currently plays with Mike Stinson, but on this night he was doing a solo gig on the small stage of one of Rice Village’s gems. Small, live acts come tend to be just as much, if not more fun than catching a national act at Verizon Wireless Theater; particularly on a mellow night in the bar named after the Malcolm Lowry masterpiece. Lance played everything from his own catalog and mixed it up throughout with covers of popular songs. One that stuck out for me was from the most recent golden children of the Top 40, Kings of Leon. You’d be hard pressed to find better guitar work in Houston than when Smith gets after his axe. Over the last few years, I’ve seen him play with Hayes Carl, The Gougers, and most recently Mike Stinson up at Big Top (check out some of the photos here), but it’s always cool to see him get a shot to play his own songs especially “She’s Workin’” which is one of my favorites (second song on the MySpace playlist).

ArticleImage-TWTW (2-28-10) - Rodeo Cookoff

Smoking the the Surgeon General Loves (Paul)
Saying this could get me beat up ’round these parts, but I’m going to do it anyway. By the time Saturday rolled around, I was “rodeo’d out.” That’s not totally correct. Life had hit me rather hard on Friday night and into Saturday morning, so sobriety seemed to be the best possible solution for my woes. Note to those of you reading, when imbibing many free beers, sometimes the best thing to do is allow the taxi driver to take you home, not tell him to drop you off at another bar. I have to admit, the HSLR Cookoff was a rousing success. There were a ton of new people to meet and swap stories with, tremendous BBQ to be stuffed with, and, obviously, the aforementioned priceless drinking. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun in such a claustrophobic environment. People were pouring in and streaming out of the Cougar Cookers’ tent for three straight nights. The environment was ever-changing. I want to wish my congratulations to all involved with the site. Especially our very own editor, Marc. He worked his ass off as a cook this weekend and celebrated with a shot or twelve of Crown Royal and managed to keep all ten fingers.

ArticleImage-TWTW (2-28-10) - Stag's Head

Ten-Point Riflestein (Paul)
With the cookoff coming to a close on Saturday night, Richard and I made the decision to leave a little early to beat the long cab line that forms once cookoff shuts down. Friday night’s line for taxi service was easily a two hour wait. We caught our ride easily, gathered our thoughts, and went in search of a decent cup of coffee to sober the spirit and wake the mind before going down to Stag’s Head Pub. Inspired by our most recent contribution, The First Sip, I decided to take a leisurely stroll down pale ale alley. I started off with a Dale’s Pale Ale and continued drinking whichever others they had on tap. I tried my hand at a Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Magic Hat #9 (which is “not quite pale ale”), and mixed it up with a Gordon Biersh Marzen and the old standby, Guinness. No, I can’t describe to you the detail of my beer drinking experience in quite the way that Brian does, but I can tell you that each choice was a delight. Also a delight was a game that we began to play called “pick four random things and you’ve got yourself an indie band name.” Ten-Point Riflestein was the clear-cut winner of our inaugural session, picked out by a friend of ours. With such an utterly random collection of adornments on the wall, the Stag’s Head serves as a perfect venue for the indie band name game. Richard will have the full scoop on Stag’s Head in the next two weeks. Watch out, world!

— Paul


Giselle — Monday, March 1, 2010 11:21 am

I love the use of the Angostura aromatic bitters best….

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