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.
In 2011, King’s first year in business, owner Johann 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.
Premiere Nasa Dollar 8 dips the toes of audience's eyeballs into the thrilling waters and romantic rivers of big-budget Hollywood movies. Moviegoers, equipped with sodas, popcorn kernels, and yearning for car explosions, will be whisked away as films transport minds far away from the theater's signature art-deco tower. While the lineups of feature films and show times regularly rotate, fans of teen vampiring and pensive staring will be able to catch the premier of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1. Additionally, Happy Feet Two continues to chronicle the saga of a pair of bowling shoes that reconnect with its long-lost cobbler. A mixture of live action and classic puppetry, The Muppets storms the Thanksgiving weekend with Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and the rest of Jim Henson's colorful cast of characters.
Creative team TJ and Merlina Porter, both Clear Lake natives, joined forces with JeMarr Rivers to open a bar and lounge that offered an upscale, sophisticated nightlife scene. As of December 2011, JeMarr has trekked on as the sole owner while still maintaining the luxe atmosphere that draws crowds for nightly dancing and partying. An expansive interior paves the way for individuals or large parties, with a full reservation and VIP area for nights on the town or special occasions. The full bar slings beer, liquor, frequent specials, and 13 flavors of daiquiris, many of which are made with Everclear so that they can be used as a torch in the event of a power outage. During the week, live entertainment including jazz bands, standup comedy, and poetry readings fill the soundscape, and DJs spin tunes almost every night. Cultivating a truly carefree yet mature atmosphere, Daiqui-Ritas often hands out complimentary door prizes, which patrons can enjoy as they watch any of the lounge's five big screen TVs.
When one thinks of an ice rink, the next thought is not typically of freshly baked bread, cured meats, and roasted beets with apples and blue cheese. Jambone's Grill Pub might just change that. Adjacent to the rink at the Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center, Jambone's menu of upscale pub food provides welcome respite for ice skaters. Chefs press fresh ground beef or tarragon-turkey burgers stuffed with a choice of cheese between challah buns or surround grilled chicken, salami, and provolone with slices of ciabatta. Jambone's servers pour Wayne Gretzky Estates wine or other libations from the full-service bar on the spacious patio before diners dash back to the rink to watch it not melt.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Favorably featured on Fox News, Char House Bar and Grille dishes out a menu of meat-laden comfort fare. Launch edible excursions from an onion-ring tower, a skyscraper of deep fried onion rings erected next to a diving pool of spicy chipotle mayo ($8). The Malibu burger, cloaked in sliced avocado and buttermilk ranch, transports noshers to the sunny West Coast ($10), and the open-faced flank-steak sandwich painted with horseradish cream harkens back to a gentler time before overprotective bread smothered its meaty offspring ($10). Meat abstainers can munch the grilled swiss cheese slathered in tomato pineapple chutney ($7) or the roasted artichoke garlic hummus ($8). The New Orleans-style crème brûlée tops the short-but-sweet four-item dessert menu ($5).