May's Top 10 happy hour list —offering a deal on both food and drinks — includes several new restaurants and bars, and a few updates from some old favorites.
The Place: Batanga, one of a new crop of restaurants and bars that have opened downtown including The Original OKRA Charity Saloon, Goro & Gun, Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar, and Clutch City Squire, serves up Latin American tapas and has a great outdoor patio.
The Food: Catalan Style Pork Ribs, Patatas (potatoes) Batanga and Grilled Chicken Pinxtos (the Basque word for tapas) for $4 each during happy hour.
The Drinks: Ice-cold beer, sangria, and red or white house wine are priced at $3. For a dollar more, order a mango or traditional flavored mojito.
The Times: Weekdays from 4 to 7 p.m.
THE SAM BAR
The Place: The Sam Houston Hotel may have gone back to its original name, but with a fresh take on the space that includes renovations from the 100 guestrooms to the The Sam Bar.
The Food: The happy hour menu features both shareable and small bites. On the shareable list: $8 white truffle mac and cheese and $7 Jury Fries tossed with duck fat, grated parmesan and chives. Small bites include $6 stuffed mushrooms with chorizo and a $9 grilled steak skewer.
The Drinks: Wet your whistle with $3.50 domestic beers, $4.50 imports/micros, $5.50 well drinks, $6 call drinks, $6 house wine, and $7 premium drinks.
The Times: Weekdays from 4 to 7 p.m.
The Place: Eleven XI, Midtown's newest restaurant, features a menu by chef Kevin Bryant and a cocktail program by general manager and mixologist, Joe Welborn. The duo’s combined talents make Eleven XI worth your dime, especially with discounted prices during happy hour.
The Food: The Hand Ground Prime Burger on slow dough Challah bread with fries is a deal at $6. An order of fried smoked pork shanks (think buffalo wings with twice the meat) tossed in your choice of a myriad of house sauces is just $8 and Gulf Oysters are $1 apiece.
The Drinks: $2 of of all spirits.
The Times: Tuesday through Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m.
THE GOOD LIFE
The Place: The latest from co-owners Jeff and Darren Van Delden, also of Saint Genevieve, Wonder Bar and Red Door, is The Good Life Kitchen & Bar. Chef Kevin Naderi of Roost consulted on the bites menu. The drink list features edible cocktails (aka gourmet Jell-O shots), which while not on the happy hour menu are hard to pass up.
The Food: $6 Dаіlу Fооd Bохеѕ change daily. Expect to see regular menu items as well as innovative ideas from the kitchen.
The Drinks: $5 wеllѕ, $5 wіnеѕ, $3 dоmеѕtісs plus a daily drink special. While there's no official happy hour on the weekends, specials include $5 Grey Goose Bloody Mary's, $5 mimosas, $2.50 draft beers, and $12 sangria pitchers on Saturdays. Sundays, enjoy $1 mimosas and $7 Bloody Mary's.
The Times: Happy hour is Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. Weekend drink specials are Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Place: The just-opened Pistolero's, from Shawn Bermudez of Royal Oak and Boondocks, spotlights tacos and tequila.
The Food: 2 for $6 full size tacos.
The Drinks: $5 frozen & rocks house 'ritas, $4 sangria and $1 off all drafts.
The Times: Weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m.
The Place: This neighborhood sports bar, complete with an ample amount of flat-screen TVs and games, is located in the space formerly occupied by Salt Bar on Washington Avenue.
The Food: Mondays, crawfish and all the essentials are $5.95 per pound. Wednesdays, Little J’s offers $6 bacon food pairings to go with whiskey drink specials (see below). Example fare thus far: blackened shrimp with bacon grits, and Andouille sausage with roasted potatoes and mac and cheese.
The Drinks: Mondays, mini pitchers and big beer specials to go with your crawfish start at $6. Wednesdays, whiskey drinks are $5.
The Times: Monday from 6 to 10 p.m. and Wednesday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
TEXAS DE BRAZIL
The Place: New at CityCentre, Texas de Brazil, an 8,500-square-foot Brazilian steakhouse, offers a happy hour deal in the bar and lounge areas.
The Food: Get your fill of protein with a small plate of chicken breast, garlic sirloin or sausage for $8.50 each (or two for $12.50).
The Drinks: Domestic beer is $3, wines by the glass are $5, well drinks, martinis are $7, and the house specialty, the Brazilian Caipirinha, is $5.
The Times: Weekdays from 5 to 7 p.m.
The Place: Cordua Restaurants has a new beverage director, James Watkins, and a new social hour menu available at both locations, The Woodlands and River Oaks.
The Food: Prices vary from an order of $4 empanadas to a $19 tasting of four ceviches. A favorite snack is the Angel Wings (chicken wings) with brown butter, habanero-papaya sauce and blue cheese for $11.
The Drinks: Cordua Cocktails such as The Toronjada made with whipped orange vodka, lime, grapefruit, and soda are priced from $8 to $11.
The Times: Daily until 7 p.m.
THE UNION KITCHEN
The Place: This family neighborhood restaurant and bar has locations in Bellaire and Memorial.
The Food: Half price appetizers include a crab stuffed avocado and Tejas Kobe Carpaccio for $6.50 or less.
The Drinks: Wines by the glass are $6, sangria is $5, drafts are $3, specialty cocktails are $7, and wells are $5.
The Times: Seven days a week — from 11 a.m. to 6:30 at Memorial and from 3 to 6 p.m. at Bellaire.
The Place: Étoile at Uptown Park offers fine French cuisine, an aesthetically pleasing environment, friendly service, and a new happy hour menu available at the bar and on the patio.
The Food: A few of the items featured on Étoile's Social Hour Menu are Chef Verpiand's basque crab cake lollipops, beef short rib sliders and merguez sausage on ciabatta. All are $7 and under.
The Drinks: For $6 each, order select wines by the glass and cocktails such as the Moscow Mule.
The Times: Sunday through Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.