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.
Walk into any of BreWingZ Sports Bar and Grill's 19 locations, and you'll be faced with many decisions. First, of course, is the food: the sports bar's crisp, juicy wings come in more than 25 different sauce flavors from classic suicidal hot to orange ginger. The mozzarella cheese sticks are carved from a cheese brick, breaded, and fried to order. And then there are the salads, sandwiches, burgers, and wraps. The family-friendly restaurant even gives kids an extensive selection with six child-friendly dishes, some of which include the same signature items their parents enjoy. But once you've ordered your food, there are a few more dilemmas: Which of the plentiful beers do you choose? Which game on the many massive HD televisions do you watch? Which one is the fork, again? Luckily, the spot's easygoing atmosphere and bounty of entertainment doesn't quite necessitate speedy decision making.
Cuisine Type: Wings/American
Reservations: Not offered
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 50+
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Wings
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery / Take-out: Metered street parking
Since opening in 2003, The Tasting Room has morphed from a wine bar to a full-service restaurant with four locations—all while retaining its wine-bar charm and racking up numerous awards and accolades. Diners can select libations from a list that boasts more than 200 wines, pairing them with contemporary dishes whipped up by executive chef Jonathan LeBlanc. TTR offerings run the gamut from small plates of mini grilled sandwiches and classic bruschetta to entrees including creole-spiced quail and Jamaican jerk chicken breast, which diners can savor at windowside tables or on the plant-ensconced patio and garden area.
The eatery doesn't just sate hunger for eclectic classics and thirst for fermented grapes. It also hosts live music, meetings, and events such as 2011's Grapes vs. Grains, which pitted beer against wine in a liquid wrestling match. The owners have their hands in other culinary enterprises, too. There's the Houston Cellar Classic, for example, an annual celebration of food and wine. Also popular is MAX's Wine Dive, a destination for gourmet comfort food best defined by its slogan—"Fried chicken and champagne? ... Why the hell not?"
Previously known as The Firkin & Phoenix Pub, The Phoenix on Westheimer didn't necessarily rise from the ashes as much as it transformed into its current incarnation under the watchful eyes of the original owners and management. The cozy tavern maintains the same neighborhood-friendly spirit that made the original pub an inviting stop for regulars and passersby hoping to enjoy a quick meal and a pint. The menu, while updated, also preserves the feel of a traditional pub with favorites ranging from fish 'n' chips to bangers and mash.
Complete with weathered floorboards, dark wooden trim, and chairs and banquettes upholstered with lipstick-red fabric, the decor continues the across-the-pond ambience. 12 LCD televisions hang throughout the space, and five projectors are available for especially important games or marathons of Antiques Roadshow. That's only the regular entertainment, though—the proprietors love to throw special events, including regular trivia nights and viewings for popular TV shows such as The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. The Phoenix also earned a spot on CBS Houston's list of the Top 2014 St. Patrick’s Day Bars In Houston for the St. Patrick's Day party it hosts in its parking lot.
Chefs at Aztecas Margarita Bar & Grill prepare a full menu of authentic Mexican fare including guacamole made to order, dark mole poblano sauces, and fresh ceviche. The pollo Azteca—marinated and chargrilled chicken breast with Azteca sauce, grilled onions, and chili con queso—ignites palates with more flavor and fewer missing teeth than chewing firecrackers. Meanwhile, mariscos mex-tex enchiladas with sautéed shrimp and crab topped with house-made ancho poblano cream sauce follow up orders of Azteca nachos and twice-fried, cheese-filled jalapeños rellenos. The red, green, and yellow walls adorned with exposed bricks and flat-screen TVs surround diners during the day and dancers twirling to live music or DJs throughout the night. Behind the full bar, bartenders pour signature margaritas, frozen or on the rocks, infused with fruit flavors such as guava or mango. An outdoor patio holds additional seating for dining alfresco or picnicking without bears.