The friendly sustenance dispersers at Two Jerks, a neighborhood pub and live-music venue, serve up American pub fare and drinks well into the night in an environment full of entertainment-inducing elements including a dance floor, large TV screens, and video bowling. An assortment of chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, jalapeño poppers, and onion rings gather together on the Munchie Platter ($9.95), and the half-pound burger is enough to feed a hungry party of one ($5.95). A bottle of domestic beer ($3) washes down a wild flame-grilled pizza ($10), breaking its spirit and turning it into an amicable companion for humans. Premium beers ($4.50), mixed drinks ($3), and shots ($3) encourage patrons to sing along during live acoustic karaoke on Monday evenings and the open mic jam sessions on Tuesdays. Rock and blues bands create a soundtrack for two-stepping minglers and bar-top video gamers on weekend nights and crickets and summertime breezes entertain partiers in the outdoor beer garden.
Under the ownership of Federal Hill native Christopher Conti, Blush Winebar pours half and full glasses from hundreds of red, white, and sparkling libations. The upscale watering hole offers more than 100 wines by the glass, each with its own distinct flavor notes and secret cheese crush. A champagne bar highlights the bubbly beverage with glasses, full bottles, and three-flute samplers as well as a selection of champagne-based cocktails, such as the Blush Boom Boom, a mixture of Moët champagne, pomegranate liqueur, Grand Marnier, and orange juice. Executive chef Jacen Scungio blends fresh, local ingredients to create the flatbread pizzas, sliders, and handmade pastas that populate the wine bar’s tapas menu and keep hungry imbibers from trying to stomp their wines back into grapes.
McFaddens Restaurant and Saloon combines the warm atmosphere and decadent fare of a family restaurant with the all the rowdy good times of an old-fashioned saloon. In the dining room, the wait staff shuffles around plates of classic fare for both lunch and dinner, including Black Angus burgers, roasted vegetable flatbread pizzas, and slow-roasted prime rib, with a few treats for kids, such as grilled-cheese sandwiches, cheeseburger sliders, and ice-cream pie for dessert. After dark, the bar comes alive with trivia and karaoke on Wednesday nights, supplemented by liquid courage in the form of beer towers and Ciroc ultra-premium vodka. Weekends start on Thursday with a live DJ and wrap up on Sunday with game-day specials during NFL games and professional rock-paper-scissor smack downs.
The enticing menu, which has been crafted by executive chef David Cardell and celebrity chef and cookbook author Joyce Goldstein, shines a culinary spotlight on the flavors of the Mediterranean Sea. Empty-bellied diners can chose from a variety of salads and mezze ($7–$25), as well as entrees of flatbreads, kebabs, tagines, pastas, seafood, and more ($12–$29). The Rhode Island little-neck-clam flatbread ($14) is lovingly saturated with basil pesto and topped with creamy grana padano cheese. Noodle fanatics can set their sights on the penne al forno alla Bolognese ($15), which is oven-baked with meat sauce and topped with fresh parmesan. Protein-craving masticators can hang a fang on the grilled rib-eye steak ($29), topped with porcini butter and served with steamy parmesan-garlic fries that handily lend themselves to table Jenga.
Smoke Lounge's historic two-story all-brick building shelters a lounge of delectable eats, a bar boasting myriad libations, and a walk-in humidor lined with fine cigars ready for awaiting lighters. Prepuff, visitors nosh their way through plates of Italian eats including fried calamari tossed with hot peppers in champagne-garlic-butter cream sauce ($9.95) or paninis stuffed with imported Parma prosciutto and homemade mozzarella ($9.95). A bevy of beverages, bottled beers, and liquors intermingles with after-dinner cigars, including stogies from such tobacco wranglers as Rocky Patel, Magna, and Arturo Fuente, easing visitors through smoky exhalations. Smoke Lounge's ventilation system captures smoke as soon as it leaves visiting lips, spiriting it out of the restaurant and into its new job as a mystery-additive in ’80s music videos.
With a variety of foreign and independent talkies, Cable Car Cinema & Cafe entertains all who venture into its newly refurbished interior. Film fanatics can experience Tony Stone's Out Of Our Minds, a 28-minute exploration of mythology, music, and imagery as conceived by musician Melissa Auf der Maur (formerly of Hole and the Smashing Pumpkins). Beijing Taxi is a documentary that explores perceptions of the metamorphic Chinese capital from the points of view of three taxi drivers, and Total Badass portrays Austin's underground scene, counter-culturally interpreted by local deviant Chad Holt.