So last night the wife and I get up with a couple of friends to finally hit up Houston Pavilions. For those not from this area or never quite make it past Main & Capitol, the Pavilions is this outdoorish area in downtown Houston spanning a few blocks with a series of great restaurants and bars. I'm sure there's some condos in the mix but who's stupid enough to buy a condo, ever?
Houston has the worst PR department ever, so we depend on things like hotty-totty Houston Press bargirl reviews to know when there is another huge bar area that has been developed and is open for business. So I never even knew it was worth my while to go down there, but it turns out this place is great for three things: great restaurants and drinks, Micheal Jackson music, and overweight black women. If they just switched that to overweight white women, you would have a brothas parking cars on 610. No new beering, but some great places to enjoy some beer that I'll review while downing some Buried Hatchet Stout from Southern Star straight out of the can.
First up. Polk Street Pub, the fightin' Polkers!
This pub popped up and I had not seen much in the Houston Beer-o-sphere about it, so naturally I assumed this place had a basic beer selection. Much more metropolitan looking with soft crimson and lighting everywhere with some flatscreens on one side. The tap list is only about 10 beers long, but they manage to have the Shiner 101, Shiner Bock, and Saint Arnold Amber on tap. As I've been feeling pilsners of late, I order the czech-style pilsner 101, only to find out it's out. So the SA Amber we go, served at the right temperature (not 33 deg F). I say this is a great place to get your night started, which I would be doing a lot of if it weren't for...
Ever since Las Verandas openned up a stone's throw away from my office park, I've been craving fine dining authentic Mexican food, I've been taking it easy on the Tex-Mex. And sure enough this place has all your favorite Mexican beers in bottles, and a great selection of localish craft beer with a couple Saint Arnolds, some Real Ales, and even some Abita. And damned if they don't have the Rogue Chipotle Ale in a bomber. I first opt for the basic house margarita which was excellent then move on to my favorite cerveza, Bohemia which was perfect with my Chilean sea bass topped with civeche. I'm going to have to bring my beer book over hear and do a margarita sampling oneday, I think I counted like 2 dozen different ritas. Give me the salsa/merengue and this drink menu and I will be starting AND ending my nights at this spot, A LOT. And we move on to shoot some pool at...
We wade through even more MJ music outside and make it up to the third floor to hit the bowling alley. Well damned if this is not the most hype ecletic bowling alley. First off they've got like 3.4 bowling lanes, $20 an hour pool table, and a beer menu that on it's own is pretty cool. We go STRAIGHT to the bottled Paulaner Oktoberfest. DAMN I love this beer. How can I forget the last time I had this beer in the Paulaner tent in Munich, and about 4 litres of it. They had a very nice variety here with about 30 bottles, maybe 10 of which are megaswill. The wife had some Rogue Dead Guy. We shot about $21 worth of pool, have a lot of laughs and partied it up listening to the 90s hip-hop blaring over the speakers. They're playing Rumpshakers, they're playing Naughty-By-Nature, they're playing Onyx. It like when I was in Junior High school when I wore glasses, was kinda nerdy, and didn't get any attention from the ladies. Unlike now when I'm kinda drunk guy who wears glasses, is kinda neary, and doesn't get any attention from the ladies unless I wear my wedding band (which I never do). So moving on, we nightcap it at
Rustic looking place with high ceilings. At this point I let the wife do the choosing, and she orders me a Chimay Red in a Chimay glass. What you talkin' bout, a finer beer selection over here. Duvel, Chimay, Celebrator, Lindemanns, come on baby! We shoot the ish for a while with some more friends that show up.
This is a great place to hang out and drink it up, big time. Get the damn valet parking, or best yet, get a hotel room that you can stumble too. Because in this heat, you're going to be inhaling those iced drinks and cold beer. Not to mention outside area serving Crown Royal and Crown Royal Black. With Washington Avenue for the 20 somethings and guys wearing Affliction shirts, and Rice Village for the nerdier college drinkers, and the Montrose for your ecletic folk (they say gays and goths), this place is right in there for your younger 30 something folks. It prices out the young folk, too "City of the Future" looking for simple drinkers, and just enough of a douche-bag element to keep the thugs out.
I had my doubts that I would EVER come down here with Flying Saucer on one side and Lucky's Pub on the other, but damned if I'm not going to make it out here to eat and drink, many a time. Turns out they want to revamp that crappy little park near Travis and Milam. Should be interesting one day, I'm sure I'll hear about it opening 7 years after the fact.