Craft breweries are bubbling all over H-Town, and taverns and eateries have raised the bar by dishing up inventive grub to match the brew-ha. Here are five hot spots with crafty menus that beg for a cold one on the side.
1. Belly up to BRC Gastropub (519 Shepherd Dr., 713.861.2233) for grilled half shell oysters, then move on to the Dixie Cobb salad, the mouth-watering daily slider, or barbecue chicken mac & cheese. Ahhh, perfect with a frosty Breckenridge Summer Cab Ride.
2. The Hay Merchant (1100 Westheimer Rd., 713.528.9805) designed its menu around the astonishing 70 or so craft brews on tap. Dig into steamed mussels in beer-curry sauce; the “butcher’s burger”; house-battered corn dogs with mustard aioli, or crispy egg and bacon salad. Lagunitas Lucky 13 coming right up!
3. From Southern Star Bombshell Blonde to Buffalo Bayou 1836, the taps are flowing at Mongoose Versus Cobra (1011 McGowen, 713.650.6872). Don’t pass up the gigantic soft pretzels from Slow Dough bakery served with cheese, chiles and bacon. Also on the “grocery” list: grilled Bratwurst with kimchi and mustard; local and global cheese plates with black bread; spicy roasted pumpkin seeds.
4. Not only can you tour and taste daily at St. Arnold Brewery (2000 Lyons Ave., 713.686.9494), there’s a new weekday lunch by chef Ryan Savole with suggested beer pairings. The ever-changing menu might include melon salad with chile lime vinaigrette—and Caprese chicken penne pasta. You’ll need a Fancy Lawnmower with that.
5. The Eatsie Boys (4100 Montrose Blvd., 713.524.3737) have settled into their new pint-sized brick-and-mortar and they craft their own beer label, 8th Wonder Brewery, on the side. They can’t sell their beer on site due to Texas laws, so bring your growler for bites designed for pairing. Test drive the Lamburghini—lamb patty with feta and cucumber on challah bun—or the Tough Guy, cooled fried chicken, coleslaw and spicy srirancha sauce.