Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Houston: The Petrol Station

Although none of my siblings live close by, they more than make up for their distance by living in great places to visit.  Case in point, my youngest brother Matthew.  He lives in Houston.

Although he lives in Texas, I was actually born there.  A point I constantly remind him of.  Yes, even though I was only there for three months.  

At the holiday dinner table, I usually remind Mom, much to her embarrassment, my only Texas memory was her knees and a bright light.  Nonetheless, three months in San Antonio makes me a native and I can guarantee when we see the Astros play, none of my siblings sing Deep in the Heart of Texas at the 7th inning stretch louder than me.

So, yeah.  Visting Texas, and Houston in particular, is always fun.

As what tends to happen, when one of us visit another, an unexpected sibling shows up at the airport.  This time it was my sister, Anne.  

Our weekend was short:  a couple great meals at local gastropubs, Jonathan Coulton in concert at Fitzgerald's, and a trip to The Petrol Station.

First, let me apologize for the pictures.  I was using a point and shoot.  I was lucky to have that, as whenever I pull out a camera, Matthew makes a run for it and not because I'm taking picture of him…I'm just taking pictures.  Thankfully he can't run when he's not looking at me.

The Petrol Station - At the Bar

The Petrol Station looks to have been just that, a petrol station.  It is also a true neighborhood bar, with homes in the surrounding blocks.  Better yet, it's minutes from Matthew's house.

We arrived at night and if it were not for all of the cars out front and Google maps on my phone, we would have driven right by.  The Petrol Station appeared to be low key and that was fine by me, as it is really all about the beer.

I first "discovered" the Petrol Station when I reviewed Stone Brewing Company's list of the 2012 Most Bitter Bar winners.  They were the national winner.  My local, Boston's, was tied for the win in Ohio, so needless to say, I already felt the beginnings of a kindred relationship.

Beer Under Lights

The interior part of the Petrol Station is small.  The main room is mostly bar and a combination of tables, benches, and stools.

The Petrol Station - Taps

Chalk boards list the rotating taps and a food board displays what's available from the kitchen.  The beer list was impressive. Since we had already eaten, a return trip will be needed to survey the culinary scene.

The rear door of the bar spilled into a rustic backyard.  Dozens of chairs, high tops, and picnic tables, were spread out across the expansive lawn & deck.  Overhead, a canopy of trees provided cover while our table was illuminated by incandescent bulbs strung above.

Into the yard

A journey even further into the back revealed more seating and a fire pit.  It was a brilliant bit of atmosphere.

As the three of us sat and caught up, I was lucky to have Stone's Enjoy By, which was currently in Texas, as well as Burton Baton from Dogfish and Ranch Double IPA from Victory Brewing.  All on draft and all IPAs.

The bartenders were helpful and knowledgeable and although the line for the bathroom was a little long on the way out, a return trip is guaranteed.  I still need to try the food and perhaps, another pint.

 

 

 

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