A Preview of the Whole Foods Post Oak Store with Dinner, Beer, and a Chat

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Photo by Joey McKeel
An overhead shot of the food and beer served at the dinner. Dave Ohmer, Whole Foods brewmaster, is third from left.
Next month, a new Whole Foods Market location is opening in the Galleria area that promises, for the time being, to be the biggest Whole Foods in Houston. Inside Whole Foods Post Oak will be the company's first brewery-- according to Whole Foods, the first in-store brewery of any kind in the grocery industry.

As a preview of the features available at the new location, we were able to have a media dinner with the brewmaster at the Whole Foods Market Brewing Company, Dave Ohmer. The meal was from the new location's Souvlaki Greek venue and paired with beers chosen by Ohmer. We also got to speak to Ohmer about his plans for the brewery.

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Reserve 101 Gets the First Bottle of Glenmorangie Pride 1978 in America, and for $750 a Shot, It's Yours

Categories: Bar Beat, Booze

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Photo by Chuck Cook
The Glenmorangie Pride 1978 in its specially designed packaging and crystal bottle (and next to it, a bottle of Glenmorangie 25).

You may remember back in February that I wrote about Reserve 101's acquisition of a bottle of Glenmorangie 1963, a 25-year whiskey forgotten in the corner of a warehouse for many years until it was discovered and bottled. That bottle, though it retailed for $550 a shot, sold out in 66 days, inspiring Reserve 101 owners Mike Raymond and Steve Long to seek out another rare bottle from Glenmorangie's collection.

On Monday, it arrived: The Pride 1978 is Glenmorangie's oldest current expression, aged for 34 years. Reserve 101's acquisition is the first bottle of Pride 1978 to make it to America. First aged for 19 years in used bourbon casks made from American white oak, the single malt is then transferred to Bordeaux Classe' Grand Cru casks for 15 more years of aging (which also marks the longest "extra maturation" period of any Glenmorangie spirit). Raymond and Glenmorangie Global Master Brand Ambassador David Blackmore were generous enough to let us sample both the Pride 1978 and, for basis of comparison, the Glenmorangie 25.

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The 5 Best Happy Hours in Greenway Plaza

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Photo by Troy Fields
Pizzeria Solario's selection of pizzas, antipasti, craft beer and wine makes happy hour quite happy.
If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced wine to dives with cheap beer and burgers, we've got it all. See the complete list at the end of this post

Last week we covered Upper Kirby, so this week we're moving right next door to the area surrounding Greenway Plaza.

Note: For the purposes of this post, Greenway Plaza is loosely defined as on or south of West Alabama, west of Buffalo Speedway, north of Highway 59 and east of Loop 610.

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The 5 Best Happy Hours in Upper Kirby

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Photo by Troy Fields
Queen Vic's taps pour out some of Houston's finest pints.
If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced wine to dives with cheap beer and burgers, we've got it all. See the complete list at the end of this post.

This week, we're moving into Upper Kirby, where you'll find everything from top-notch sushi and sake to authentic British pub fare.

Note: For the purposes of this post, Upper Kirby is defined as west of Shepherd, east of Buffalo Speedway, north of Bissonnet and south of Westheimer.

Honorable Mention: Sorrel Urban Bistro (which we're losing soon), CRU Wine Bar, and Eddie V's "V-lounge" happy hour.


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First Look at Moving Sidewalk

Categories: Bar Beat

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Photo by Chuck Cook Photography
The door that used to lead to Goro & Gun now leads into a quality cocktail bar.

The name of the new bar, Moving Sidewalk was inspired by a band that Billy Gibbons played in before ZZ Top. It's also a reference to the foot traffic to the area near Congress and Main. The area is officially bar-heavy now: The Original OKRA Charity Saloon, Bad News Bar, Little Dipper, The Pastry War and stalwarts Warren's and La Carafe are just a few of the others nearby. It's quite easy to pop into one, check out the scene, have a drink and then move on to the next one.

Yet, once you enter Moving Sidewalk, you might just decide to stay the rest of the evening. Gone is the Asian antique shop vibe of Goro & Gun with its taxidermy and toy robots. In their place are streamlined bar shelves and walls repainted in ocean blue. It's very dark inside, but it's also sexy--a much different environment than the casual intimacy of Little Dipper, the noisy bustle of Charity Saloon, the New Orleans-esque gentility of Bad News Bar or the colorful cantina flair at The Pastry War.

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The 5 Best Happy Hours in Midtown

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Photo by Troy Fields
Make your way to Sparrow Bar + Cookshop's sleek bar for classic treats with a twist.
If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced wine to dives with cheap beer and burgers, we've got it all. See the complete list at the end of this post

This week, we're moving on to the bar-and-resto-packed hood of Midtown, where there are almost too many awesome spots to name. While happy hours at laidback bars like Little Woodrow's, The Dogwood, Saint Dane's, and Celtic Gardens don't disappoint, we've put an emphasis on the places with the best bang for your buck.

Honorable mention: Free finger foods at Piola's bar and $6 to $8 teasers and elixirs at Mr. Peeples.

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Hump Day Cocktail: Wine Spritzer at 13 Celsius

Categories: Bar Beat

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Photos by Kaitlin Steinberg
It's Kristen Sandvig's birthday. Go in and tell her happy belated today.
It's Wednesday. Hump Day. Still two days until the weekend. Honey, you look like you need a drink. Here's our suggestion. Tell 'em the Houston Press sent you.

"If I won the lottery, I would buy you Louboutins," the guy down the bar from me tells a bartender. "And dildos."

Apparently everyone else in the bar would get $100,000 each from this older gentleman, a regular (though I've never seen him), but this guy, Christopher...he'd get shoes. And sex toys.

It's Christopher's last day at 13 Celsius, and it's the birthday of another bartender, Kristen. There's a lot to celebrate here. We do so with champagne. And spritzers. And some funky red wine that is making my day so much better right now.

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Hump Day Cocktail: Tuxedo Martini a.k.a. Sexual Chocolate at Char Bar

Categories: Bar Beat

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Photos by Kaitlin Steinberg
Just wait until Char Bar after dark.
It's Wednesday. Hump Day. Still two days until the weekend. Honey, you look like you need a drink. Here's our suggestion. Tell 'em the Houston Press sent you.

"You can't write about what you see upstairs."

Jeremy, the bartender at Char Bar, is wary of me. He knows I'm a writer, not a regular. Everyone else at the bar eyes me warily too.

"Last time we were written about, they said the tailor shop was closed, and it's not. They didn't even come here before they wrote about it. That hurts our business."

Let it be known: The tailor shop is very much open.

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First Look: Julep, An Old-Fashioned Southern Cocktail Bar With Modern Sensibilities

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Photos by Kaitlin Steinberg
A julep and a raw oyster--the ideal southern afternoon.
When you first drive up to Julep, the chic new cocktail bar from Alba Huerta of Anvil and Pastry War, all you can see through the large glass windows is white lace with whispers of people floating somewhere behind it.

It's a cool, easy vibe made cooler by the mounds of ice you see sailing past on trays once you enter through the doors in the back. It's an ode to wealth and excess, to the people who could afford to buy ice and quality bourbon back in the day and who flaunted their high status with mint juleps, overflowing with chipped ice and fresh, green mint.

Today, of course, the space is air conditioned, and we can get ice at any corner store. But Huerta wanted to be sure and maintain the notion of ice as a symbol of decadence in her new bar, and the icy drinks, along with a small but powerful menu of cold seafood and hot sides, make for a truly unique experience--a tip of the hat to the southern past on modern day Washington Avenue.

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Hump Day Cocktail: The Ekvator at Provisions

Categories: Bar Beat

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Photos by Kaitlin Steinberg
As the guy next to me said, "Even the bartenders are totally hot." Noted.
They're using science tools to mix the drinks. There's a beaker and an eye dropper and careful measurements, but then there's the rhubarb and the garlic honey and Etta James playing over the speakers giving the place a homey, easy feel. Science meets soul.

I'm drinking an Ekvator, described as bready but clean, but all I taste is clean, almost chemically so. You could scrub tiles with this genever drink, and yet a piece of pickled rhubarb mellows it out, makes more easy and comfortable. Science and soul, baby.

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