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Skipping breakfast is a bad habit, but you might want to make an exception when you cash in today’s Groupon for $40 worth of gourmet comfort food for $20 at Max’s Wine Dive. Max’s was one of Texas Monthly’s picks for top 10 spots to eat in 2008, and in 2009, Bon Appetit named it one of the hottest 10 wine bars in the country. It’s been listed in The New York Times, and Zagat rated the food “very good to excellent.”
In a society without comfort food, potatoes would go unmashed, cheese unmelted, and empty ice cream cones would be repurposed to store our car keys. That’s where Max’s comes in. At Max’s, the mantra is “Fried chicken and champagne? …Why the hell not?!” The Wine Dive is renowned for a menu with culinary chutzpah that turns hot dogs, fries, and burgers into “big and brawling” flavors. The Texas Haute Dog (a venison chili-smothered beef dog with St. Arnold beer Sauerkraut topped with fried onion strings) is a signature dish at Max’s, and the Kobe beef burger (Yama Farms Texas Kobe beef burger with Belletoielle triple cream brie, in-house pickled jalapenos, Texas tomato and organic bib lettuce on a Kraftsmen brioche bun) is a favorite. Woman’s Day recently named Max’s grilled cheese (Veldhuizen Farm’s gruyere, provolone, and piquillo-pepper pimento and served with a shot of tomato soup and homemade sweet-pickle salad) one of the top 10 in the nation.
Max’s, located in the Washington Avenue corridor, is an easygoing spot with friendly, attentive servers and a bustling dining area. There’s a jukebox pumping killer tunes, live music on Mondays and Fridays, and a 40-foot bar where Aussie shiraz and Texas brews such as Shiner Hefeweizen and St. Arnold Amber flow late into the night. The gigantic, hand-picked wine list changes daily, but expect more than 100 selections from around the world - ranging from cabernet sauvignon to syrah and Spanish and South American reds and whites.
Max’s has a ton of media love. It was one of Texas Monthly’s picks for top 10 spots to eat in 2008; it’s been listed in The New York Times; Bon Appetit named it one of the hottest 10 wine bars in the country in 2008; Zagat rated the food “very good to excellent”; Houston Press said it serves the best wine bar food; and The Houston Chronicle featured it. > * With “dive” in the name, you know the food’s not prissy. With “wine” in the name, you know it’s not prole. At cacophonous, brick-walled Max’s, duded-up comfort food in chic surroundings fills the restaurant every night. The Kobe beef burger is juicy and the fried chicken hearty, but the dish that says it all may be the Texas Haute Dog, which consists of a grass-fed-beef frankfurter crowned with St. Arnold beer–braised sauerkraut or spicy venison chili. – Patricia Sharpe, Texas Monthly > * Giant platters of manly Texas food flew from the open grill, brimming with discus-size pancakes and fist-size chicken wings, blankets of french fries supporting hot dogs the size of Yao’s Reeboks and hot-fudge-and-praline sundaes as big as a wash basin. – Alison Cook, Houston Chronicle
Yelpers give Max’s Wine Dive an average of four stars; Citysearchers give it 3.5: > * Totally loved this place…It totally ROCKED. – ursula5000, Citysearch > * The food is ALWAYS great here. I’ve gone with friends, and taken family. I finally went for brunch and it was awesome. I mean, truffles [cream] on my omelet? Yes please. – nixnix, Citysearch > * In one experience at max’s wine dive I did both of the following: 1. Proposed to my bottle of wine 2. Ate what I believe to be the most perfect form (according to Plato) of an egg sandwich that exists in the entire universe. – Sasha A., Yelp
Although these hearty favorites have been dubbed comfort food, they can be readily consumed during good times as well. Here are some suggested special occasions that would be perfect for cashing in your Groupon:
- Paintball victory
- Cat’s birthday
- Administrative Professionals’ Immediate Supervisor’s Day
- Using a new toothbrush
- Dinner practice