In 2011, King’s first year in business, owners Johann and Philipp Sitter had to expand his space from a 40-seat dining room to a 200-seat restaurant and beer garden. The customer response aligned with the press response: That same year, Houston Press included King’s sausage sampler on their list of 100 Favorite Dishes and in 2012, GermanDeli.com voted King's the Best German Restaurant in America. They were excited to find the restaurant served “the kind of hearty yet fresh sausages and schnitzels that Houston has long lacked,” and singled out the weisswurst for having “the texture of sifted pate, light and airy.”
In addition to meals built from family recipes, patrons can revel in an extensive selection of German brews. Beer tour samplers allow guests to sip on four or all of the draft beers, but those ready to commit to a single draft can sign a marriage certificate for a 3-liter das boot. Thursday through Saturday, groups can listen to live music from German house bands on the beer garden.
The soothing sounds of the saxophone and the call of the trumpet fill the air inside the Red Cat Jazz Café. Several nights a week, artists such as Brian Best and Dean James play on the café's stage, which also hosts boisterous events including the Sunday Jazz Brunch. Open-mic nights let lesser-known acts make a splash, and happy hours and special events encourage artistic expression through words, mixed drinks, and opportunities to complain about coworkers in song.
The Terrace Cafe's culinary craftspeople whip up delectable dishes that appear on a menu of contemporary American fare in an atmosphere geared toward the entire family. Coronate a meal with friends by noshing on a Super Nachos appetizer—a plate of tortilla triangles draped in Texas flavors, including cheese, chili, jalapenos, and onions ($13.95). The double-meat, bacon-swiss burger ($10.95) quells carnivorous cravings, and the bacon-swiss-chicken melt ($11.95) reminds taste buds how much owners care for them. Feast on the Shrimp Artery Clogger ($13.95) to delight in Jacques Cousteau's greatest gift to humanity, deep-fried shrimp.
The menu at Bakkhus is loaded with traditional Greek recipes with modern twists and shouts. Start off a meal with an appetizer such as fire feta dip, which adds Serrano peppers, olive oil, and spices to the Greek cheese for a spicy pita-chip-dipping delight ($7.95), or a hot plate of loukanika, the Greek sausage ($8.95). Evening diners sup on a traditional gyro platter ($13.95) or the snapper Santorini ($21.95). But Bakkhus's lunch specialties perform the Herculean feat of freeing Prometheus from plastic-baggie handcuffs. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the week, come in for a Mykonos burger (half pound Angus patty marinated in red wine and topped with jalapeños and pineapple, $8.95), a plate of kefte pasta (angel hair with Greek meatballs and crumbled feta, $9.95), or an old-school gyro pita complete with tzatziki ($7.95) with a side of spanakopita ($4.75).
Since 1998, Bronx Bar has been attracting young, party-scene people with drinks and music that inspire festive moods. The club, like the White House after visiting hours, boasts an upbeat, club-like ambiance, earning itself the Houston A-List's Best Trendy Bar award in 2009. Twinkles of light dance throughout the mostly dark space, emanating from fixtures underneath the bar and reflecting off the shiny silver ceiling tiles overhead. A mural resembling an urban skyline gives the space a hip, modern vibe.
As an international jazz club, Cafe 4212 Jazz Bar & Grill treats guests to a rotating lineup of blues singers as well as a seasonal menu of eclectic and classic dishes. Cafe 4212’s chefs use fresh and locally grown ingredients when available to crafts hors d'oeuvres such as fruit kebabs and Jamaican-style meat patties as well as entrees of praline-pecan ham and Cajun shrimp. Diners can also sip international wines, imported and microbrewed beers, specialty cocktails, and martinis.
Jazz performances on weekend nights and during Sunday brunch send patrons heading for Cafe 4212’s dance floor. Walls ornamented with red and gold hues pop against the restaurant’s ivory-clothed tables and tan leather couches, and a large outdoor patio supplies a romantic setting for couples to take in some fresh air or scream at passing airplanes.