When Jim Kiest of the San Antonio Express-News visited Hooligan’s Bar & Grill, he left with one important takeaway: “It is a great place to hang out when you’re not quite sure what you want to do. You’ll figure it out when you get there.” Kiest hit the nail on the head, given Hooligan’s eclectic collection of events and games. On any given night, a DJ might spin current hits for patrons to tap dance to or a cover band might storm the stage and pump out jams from the 1970s, ‘80s, or ‘90s. The music supplies a lively soundtrack for free rounds of poker, coin-operated pool games, an arsenal of darts and video games, and even dodge-ball matches.
Regardless of the ever-changing events schedule, patrons will always find three staples at Hooligan’s—food, drinks, and plenty of TVs. While watching Monday-night football or a UFC fight, bar-goers can munch mild to extra-hot wings, classic 8-ounce burgers, and individual pizzas, all washed down by domestic beers or fun cocktails such as cherry bombs and washington apples.
The taxidermal animals at Trophy Room help to create an ambiance that toes the line between a lodge and a natural-history museum. In addition to a bighorn sheep and a bear, the space includes terrariums with everything from deer to foxes. The bar actually rests on a line of these terrariums, allowing visitors to enjoy their drinks beside posed scenes with pheasants and iconic copies of National Geographic.
The dedication to hunting culture extends to the menu, which features hearty burgers and sliders with buffalo, elk, and venison patties. Familiar finger foods round out the selection and include beer-battered onion rings and hand-cut tortilla chips with roasted-tomato salsa. Bartenders augment meals by siphoning off sudsy pints of domestic and imported microbrews.
Between bites and drinks, Trophy Room invites guests to demonstrate their skills on red-felted pool tables, dartboards, or scattered arcade games. The bar stages free Texas hold’em tournaments throughout the week, and high-definition televisions and a jukebox keep patrons entertained with live sports broadcasts and hidden birdcall tracks.
The home of "increasingly famous burgers," Wild Horse Saloon & Grill spreads out tasty pub fare in a building that previously served as a church and a community theater. After finding a seat, guests can grab a handful of free peanuts, fling the shells to the floor in slow motion, and check the menu for potential edibles. The Stampede burger's hand-pressed, one-pound patty of Angus beef is smothered in a slew of toppings including bacon, four slices of cheese, peppers, and chili and arrives with a heap of hand-cut french fries ($12.45). Diners can also blow their tongues' minds with a "somewhat famous" chicken sandwich ($7.45) or bite into the eatery's "completely obscure" fish entree, the grilled mahi mahi sandwich ($7.95). Thin-crust pizzas ($5.95–$17.95) can be ordered from a selection of signature styles, customized with an array of fresh ingredients, or quickly stacked into a pizza-cake in the event of an impromptu wedding.
Ray’s Gourmet Country’s culinary team is so dedicated to building a seasonal menu from the produce and meats raised near the Fulshear restaurant that Inside Rose-Rich Magazine noted, “There are no can openers at Ray’s, with everything being delivered fresh from the local markets.” If the hunt for dinner leads you here, you'll be rewarded with crispy buttermilk calamari, seared foie gras, and main courses such as chicken-fried ostrich, rosemary grilled pork chop, and crispy juniper duck confit. Desserts include pumpkin cheesecake with house blackberry marmalade and light cinnamon beignets with baked apples and Calvados ice cream. Ray's rolls out a brunch buffet every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and schedules live jazz and complimentary wine tastings on Thursday nights.
Modeled on England's famed watering holes, Baker St. Pub & Grill greets visitors with a softly lit atmosphere, age-darkened wood, and ceilings adorned with anglophilic knickknacks. Classic Britannic drinks such as Guinness and Strongbow Cider flow from the bar's taps, joined by New Belgium, Fat Tire, and other American craft brews. Guests can pair their brew with something from the pub menu, featuring Welsh rarebit sandwiches, bangers and mash, and shepherd's pie. Fish and chips come in classic form, or potato crusted. Those looking to sink their teeth into homegrown specialties can order a juicy sirloin burger or spicy chicken wings.