A few weeks back when we were in Houston visiting the fam, we ventured out looking for a place to grab a drink with friends. We wanted to try somewhere hip and new. Somewhere with some good bar snacks. Somewhere that has a great cocktail and some interesting beers on tap. Somewhere with an industrial, hip vibe. What bar in Houston encompasses all these qualities and more? Mongoose versus Cobra, of course!
The circa 1910’s building itself is what piques curiosity from the random passerby. With its high ceilings, exposed brick, and large industrial windows facing McGowen street, its facade reads as if a bunch of hipster factory workers turned over their tables and decided to set up bar inside. It actually never was a “factory”, but it has been everything from a single family home, grocery store, to, most recently, a post office. Inside, you are literally sitting in a hundred years of Houston history. The owners have actually coolly paid homage to the previous grocery store that once dwelled within with its snacks menu. Each section of the menu is named after an aisle at the store: The Cured and Salted Aisle, The Dairy Aisle, The Deli Section, and The Dry Goods. I myself have wandered down the Cured and Salted Aisle for the Midnight Special, and can attest it was old-school amazing. Soft, salty, doughy pretzel, grainy sweet mustard, topped with pickles, chilies, and (the best part!) bacon!!
I would love to sample the “Pick of the Best” from the Dairy Aisle next time, as I love me a good cheese plate, and, eyeing it from the table over, it looked bountiful and delicious. As for the drinks, I had one amazing cocktail, and another that tasted a bit like soap. The soap drink would be my only complaint of this place, and it was on a different night than the delicious drink, so I may just chalk it up to a bartender blooper. I remember the delicious one was cleverly called the “Jack Lemmon”, and it was smooth and citrus-y and bright. Not too strong or sweet. As for the beer selection, they have a lot of great international and local beers to try, which I get the impression is more their forte than the cocktails. They have a good selection of IPA’s, which I tend to gravitate towards, but also a wide array of Stouts and Ales as well. All in all, I would give this place a solid 8 out of 10, though I have to confess, I am a bit of an historic building over-enthusiast, so it may just be the hundred year old building and its stories that makes it all so special.
*Pretzel photo courtesy of Yelper Chadwick R.