July 5th, 2010

The Week That Was 7.4.10

With my younger sister getting married this weekend, I couldn’t have felt any older yet immature. “When are you going to have one of these,” asked my aunt referring to a hypothetical wedding. I never have an answer for that question. Not that I get asked very often. I’ve grown into my role as the unpredictable guy that wives of my friends aren’t really sure if they should trust when their husbands decide they need a “guy’s night.” Ladies, not to worry, I’m not here to corrupt the minds of your partners with tales of the single life. They were already corrupt to begin with.

Big Red… um… Rooster (Paul)
Quickly, BRC Gastropub has become one of the places on the short list for meeting up, hanging out and celebrating with friends. With a husband and wife duo taking a plane to Africa on Thursday afternoon, a group of seven decided to head up to the newish restaurant on Shepherd for one last good ole American meal. The last two times I had been to BRC “burger special night” was in full swing. This time around, I took a chance on something new. The next four words you are about to read will scare you: I ordered a salad. After munching on the contents of the pickle jar and getting a soft pretzel, I, Paul the McDonald’s fiend, asked for “The Leghorn,” a salad with roasted and pulled capon. Yes, I enjoyed it. I might even consider ordering a salad again. Don’t hold me to that though.

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Grill & Gifts & French Toast (Paul)
Living in the Heights has its benefits. But being a new resident is even better for me because it has lent the opportunity to discover new stuff right around every corner. Looking for a place for breakfast on Saturday, I checked out Yale Street Grill & Gifts on the corner of Yale and 21st. It’s an old school diner, a place for a quick breakfast and coffee all day and fresh squeezed orange juice at your request. I opted for the french toast with two eggs and bacon. The food came from behind the corner immediately and exactly as ordered. Don’t get me wrong, you’re not about to head up to Yale Street Grill & Gifts for a culinary experience, but between the signed photos of a younger Ricky Skaggs on the wall and the throw back counter seating right up against the grill and milkshake maker, you’re going to feel like you went back to the 50’s for your morning meal. If you need a couple of Houston magnets, post cards or odds and ends, you can pick those up on your way out the door. It’s a one-stop-shop for a helping of nostalgia.

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Burger Envy (Stephan)
What is a weekend without a burger? I call it uneventful. So after the rain deluge we received this weekend my wife and I decided to spend part of our Saturday afternoon at Hubcap Grill. Ricky was running a special and I am all about good, cheap eats. For $6 we were treated to a burger, fries, and soda. Best $6 I spent all weekend (the best $7 was the brewery “tour” at Saint Arnold’s). I’ve never had a bad burger at Hubcap. Every time I’ve visited it has been a nice, juicy patty, fresh toppings, and a fresh bun. Add on top of that the fries, with whatever addictive concoction they’re seasoned with and my Saturday is complete.

He Say, She Say, Hersay (Paul)
My sister’s wedding was held in the beautiful Magnolia Ballroom on Saturday night. I’ll try not to gush about the event itself too much. Those of you that run into me over the next few weeks should be prepared for that conversation. After the new bride and groom entered their chariot to take them to the hotel, I took the opportunity to walk up to Market Square for a drink at Hearsay Gastro Lounge. People have been telling me that the drinks rival those at Anvil Bar & Refuge. Being ever the investigative soul, I had to pit the gastro lounge up against one of my favorite Houston bars. I ordered The Twelve Spot, the name a shout out to the place that used to hold court in the same building (#43 on our Nostalgic List). The drink was a version of an old fashioned, and held its own against my regular drink at Anvil. My date ordered a Gin-Gin Mule which she graciously let me taste. This is where I give Hearsay props for their concoction. The drink was on par, if not better than any gin cocktail I’ve had. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to end my love affair with Anvil quite yet, but I might cheat on her from time to time with Hearsay. If only for the space itself, Hearsay is a great place to sit and admire the interior. Pair that with a seemingly delicious array of cocktails and it might just turn into one of your favorite downtown stops.

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When the Stars go Blue (Marc)
The Fourth of July is one of those holidays that are hard to make plans for. Being a summer holiday, it’s ripe for a cookout and boozing it up in a backyard, but when one lives in an apartment, it isn’t always easy to plan said bash. Especially when the pool keeps your invited guests limited to three with snazzy wristbands. After venturing down to the Land of Sugar for good ole family bbq, we made our way back into the loop to find out that all of our friends had vanished. Taking a cue from our new friends at Liberty Station, we headed over to our neighborhood bar and claimed our spot to watch the fireworks. Sitting at a table behind the bar, but inside the makeshift fence, we were able to smell the smoke from the grill, take advantage of whatever breeze there was and watch the shirtless lunatic directing traffic on Henderson and Union. When the fireworks started, we had a prime view, a burger and beer. Who could ask for anything more? Of course, traffic was ridiculous trying to get out, but I guess three out of four ain’t bad, right?

— Paul

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