Why Would We Review The Men's Club? This Is Why

Categories: Leftovers

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Photo by brh_images
This week's cafe review of The Men's Club was only posted an hour ago, and the angry emails are already rolling in. I guess that's to be expected.

And in response to each email and each question of "Why on earth would you review The Men's Club?!", I've been giving more or less the same reply. To save time, I'm simply going to copy the most recent one here.

I'm sorry you didn't like the review. The honest truth as to why I reviewed The Men's Club is because I was stunned to learn that they have a chef. I figured it would be an interesting look at some food and at a kitchen that people never think about. And if the food was good? What a surprising little twist that would have been. Unfortunately, I found while I was there that the food didn't quite live up to chef-level expectations. So, yes, I know that no one goes to The Men's Club for the food and now I know concretely why that is.

I didn't get into this position to discriminate between kitchens. That's why I review everything from food trucks to high-end dining and everything in between. If it's food and it seems interesting or noteworthy, I consider it fair game. The Men's Club included.


And that's the great thing about writing for an alternative weekly like the Houston Press. I feel that it's sometimes forgotten that the Press is an alt weekly. I see it in the commenters who are offended when we use blue language or in the people who turn their noses up when we review small, hole-in-the-wall ethnic restaurants. It can be frustrating, to say the least.

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It reminds me of listening to Mozart's rant to his fellow composers in the play Amadeus. He's found himself stifled by Emperor Joseph II's court at a time when he wants to write operas about real people and real places as opposed to the "gods and legends" that figured in the majority of librettos during the early Classical period:

Elevated? What does that mean? Elevated! The only thing a man should elevate is - oh, excuse me. I'm sorry. I'm stupid. But I am fed up to the teeth with elevated things! Old dead legends! How can we go on forever writing about gods and legends?"

And why shouldn't we write about real things as often as we write about the "gods and legends" of the Houston restaurant industry? I want to paint a full and colorful picture of every aspect of Houston's dining scene, and not just the pretty parts. And, thankfully, the Houston Press lets me.

That's why I reviewed The Men's Club.

And if you're interested in something a little bit more "elevated," Amadeus is playing at the Alley Theatre through May 1. Unlike The Men's Club, however, you get to see full frontal (top half only) nudity during the show.

Location Info

The Men's Club of Houston

3303 Sage, Houston, TX

Category: General


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38 comments
Mark
Mark

Some people seem to go out of their way to find things to be offended by. It must be exhausting. The truth is there are certain strip joints that get a reputation for their food. When I was working out on 290 on my summers off from college in the 90s, The Gold Cup was a favorite lunch place among some of my coworkers, and they raved about the food, but I never tried it. When I was single in the very early 00s, a friend insisted I had to try the burger at the Colorado on the Southwest Freeway. I did. It was okay, but there are a lot of burgers that are just as good without the additional cover charge. I haven't gone to a strip club since my bachelor party, and have no interest in going to one, but I see nothing wrong in writing a food review on that.

KristaNoelle
KristaNoelle

Yes! This piece of work was awesome. The closing paragraph was the best.

Ronstkn
Ronstkn

Perfectly fine.

If guys like Franklin Rose and Howard Marshall like topless bars at lunch who am I to argue?

Stacey
Stacey

Next weeks coming articles... "Reliant Stadium Nachos Review", "$8 Beers at Minute Maid without Strippers WTF OMG???" and "Toyota Center Hot Dogs... WINNING!"

Stacey
Stacey

Typical Baylor Grad with 8 cats.

Scott218
Scott218

I was more offended that you wrote Amadeus has full frontal nudity, but top half only. Umm, really? Similar to the Jack and coke (coke only) you ordered.

Ryan
Ryan

I always enjoy the diversity that The Press covers.

Keep swinging the hammer.

Ray
Ray

I was more disturbed to learn you went to Baylor. Yuck.

Seriously you guys
Seriously you guys

I'm not offended, but I don't think you've done a great job defending yourself. If it had been meant as a real restaurant review there would have been more about the food and fewer snotty comments about the dancers and what was or wasn't wrong with them. It was clearly a joke of an article that should have been published a week earlier if you didn't want a lot of outrage about it.

csoakley
csoakley

Katherine, feel free to skip the gods and legends and write about goddesses, legends and Roman Orgy appetizers whenever you damn well please. That's what this blog is all about, people!!

Schoenfeld36
Schoenfeld36

Kudos!! One of the funniest food reviews I've read in a long time.The juxtaposition of a Virgil-like guide leading an innocent Baylor girl through this circle of moral and food hell stands out a Press classic.

Was reading this at dinner and my fellows at the bar turned slightly each time I laughed, thinking I was somewhat possessed. When I clued them in, they laughed at the mere idea of reviewing The Men's Club.

Kevin
Kevin

I'm getting a bit elevated ...

Ornryeye
Ornryeye

KS: "This week's cafe review of The Men's Club was only posted an hour ago, and the angry emails are already rolling in. I guess that's to be expected."

Do you mean coming to you directly? Or to the editor? I don't see many negative comments here or on the review page itself.

vext
vext

I'm waiting for a strip club with drinks from Anvil and food by Bryan Caswell.{\}

Thursday Girl
Thursday Girl

Huh? Why WOULDN'T HP review the Men's Club? They serve food, you review food - seems like a no-brainer to me. I enjoy visiting adult establishments every once in a while, and though I usually just have drinks while I'm there, I have often wondered if the food is worth ordering. I'm grateful Katharine did the dirty work (pardon the pun) so that I now have an answer.

Might I request your next adult review: "steak night" at the swingers' club (it's a thing, I swear). I'm just SO damn curious about the quality of their meat ...

Ali
Ali

Katherine, people will bitch no matter what you write. Because it's not local. Or it's pretentious. Or you're following the crowd. Or you're not following the crowd enough. Or their ass itches. Or it's Monday.

I mean, honestly. People just love to bitch.

Keep doing what you're doing. It's great.

SirRon
SirRon

I think what that angry emailer meant was "Why on earth would you review The Men's Club?! It is outside the loop!!!!1!"

{\}

Stacy
Stacy

I loved your article. Interesting and funny. Everyone else can just suck it.

Kelli
Kelli

YAYAYAYAYAYAY! You go Katherine, it really boggles my mind that people turn their noses up to some of the articles presented here. It is a blog, a blog that HP hired people to write, and if you don't like it, then don't read it. There are other press distributions you can go to for your "uppity" knowledge and also something you might have heard of, the internet. Get a grip Houston, its freaking food and they write about it because they love it. Nough said.

Kleptofan
Kleptofan

I, for one, agree whole-heartedly with all you wrote.

(I just wish you'd chosen a gent's club with a real kitchen and good food: that would be The Colorado)

CMN106
CMN106

that you would review the food at a strip club, or list of top rodeo foods, or have hlavaty write a play-by-play of his 4Loko trip, is exactly why i pick up the press and visit the blogs whenever i can - because they're fun an interesting. i wouldn't call the Press my news source, but i do enjoy it immensely when i'm looking for entertainment or great food & drink recs. lord knows there are plenty of CultureMap/002/Chron's out there to satisfy the needs of those finding these articles too plebian. cheers.

Joanna O'Leary
Joanna O'Leary

Katherine, you were more than justified in your choice to review this place. Good retort.

Gil Velasquez
Gil Velasquez

I don't see why people would get so offended by this or why folks get bent out of shape. It is what it is, and believe it or not, people do eat food there (I don't, but that's me). If you have some moral reason for being offended, that should not weight in to the choice of an independent journalist choosing to review an establishment. Get over yourselves, folks.

Kyle
Kyle

I thought it was fine, and just another arrow to add to my quiver when my friends ask me why I'll never go to a strip club.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

You can get a beer at Minute Maid for only $8? I might be able to stop bringing a flask now!

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I have no cats. No pets at all, in fact. Or plants. I'm horrible at keeping things alive. I have a great collection of pottery, on the other hand. You don't have to water pottery.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

The dancers do factor in largely to the environment of the place. How do you not mention them?

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Coming directly to my Houston Press email account. I'm pretty pleased with the comments on the review itself! :)

Craig
Craig

I had my first taste of sausage at the swing club while my wife had the grilled tuna.

Bensonhead
Bensonhead

Agree with the reflective brilliance of this piece. The world, and I mean the *public world*, outside one's office, home, and other comfort zones, has always been ignited to to life by the bawdy and lewd and appetitive. Read the Bard, Chaucer, and the rest. Witness Toulouse, Van Gogh and the rest.

In many instances, great artists celebrate the carnal nature of the entertainment without a comment on the food. (Maybe this is why?).

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

So many jokes just waiting to be made out of that last graf........

SirRon
SirRon

To me, there is no better bitching than a bitching about bitching. Bravo.

Stacey
Stacey

You should write one of my suggested articles above... Think of it as an instant sky rocket to your brand new niche in journalism! And Yes Yes Yes you can get an $8 beer at Minute Maid; the down side is that the Astros are worse than the bad strippers at TMC. Let me know if you need additional great topics for articles! BTW... Pottery, Really? Mad Potter?

Fredlynnutz
Fredlynnutz

Agree. A restaurant review is more than staring down at a plate of food and describing it.

Regina239
Regina239

wow. that's weak.

I wish you could reproduce some of those emails, or at least the kernel of criticism that they contain. why not criticize in a public forum where it could be debated? i'm sure a lot of competing publications are going to dish: 'look, this is the kind of paper that reviews titty bars. us? never! we're 3x cooler, and will never do that kinda stuff..."

[grin]
[grin]

Oh, for fuck's sake. You're like a broken record!

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

In that case, here's a perfect example, straight from the comments section of the review itself: "What a waste of paper. Please go back to reviewing restaurants we might actually go to and skip the gratuitous comments. Whatever is the point. Really a new low."

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